Most people reading this post will share the same feeling. You have a serious testosterone deficiency and it reached the point that you’re debating taking drastic measures to get your life back on track. You’ve heard about a thing called hormone replacement therapy for men and boy did it get you all excited…
You’re thinking whether this might just be the light at the end of the long, long, testosterone-lacking tunnel. Now you might be aware of some of the side effects and dangers, but you’ve reached the point you just want to take control again; you want your life back.
You are absolutely right for wanting that, and I can assure you you’ve come to the right place. But before you take the plunge and go start your male hormone replacement therapy, we do want to ask you to first go through this article below. Some parts will definitely shock you, and you might reconsider this intense therapy… Don’t do it for us; do it for yourself and your body.
- Health risks of low testosterone
- What is hormone replacement therapy for men?
- Types of male hormone replacement therapy
- What are the benefits?
- Hormone replacement therapy side effects
- Other methods to increase testosterone
Low testosterone – or low T as it’s often referred to – can seriously impact your life. Unfortunately, it affects all of us to a certain degree because it’s part of the natural ageing process. As we grow older, our testosterone reserves start running low. We have less energy, we can’t seem to shed those pounds, hell; we may even struggle to perform in the bedroom.
All signs of low T. You feel like your life is slipping away; you are officially turning into an old man.
It sucks that your t-levels are decreasing, and unfortunately, it’s all just part of the ageing process. It isn’t nice, but it is natural.
Now it DOES become an issue when your testosterone is decreasing faster than it should be. When this happens, we call it testosterone deficiency syndrome, which IS a medical condition that may need treatment.
Testosterone deficiency syndrome is sometimes also referred to as late-onset hypogonadism. It is characterised by the deficient testicular production of testosterone. In other words; your testicles are not producing the amount of testosterone they should be producing, which can result in some serious health risks.
For example, low T can make your bones weaker and potentially cause osteoporosis, which makes you more prone to injuries and breaking your bones. Furthermore, eventually sharply dropping t-levels can cause a higher risk of death, due to a higher risk of heart disease.
Testosterone deficiency syndrome is a serious matter, and if you suffer from this condition you may want to resort to measures such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
But before you do so the question is; when is it a deficiency, and when are you just ageing? It is a difficult distinction to make, and that is why you should always first try ways to naturally increase testosterone before you resort to something serious like HRT.
Still not working? Unfortunately, there is no natural hormone replacement therapy, so it will mean you have to resort to medication. Then just make sure to always consult with your doctor first before starting a therapy like this!
All precautions aside: what is male hormone replacement therapy exactly? The answer is quite easy: a man is given testosterone (this is possible in different ways, more about that later) to increase t-levels.
This is done because of a testosterone deficiency or to treat male hypogonadism, which is a condition in which somebody’s body makes far less testosterone than normal. In other words, hormone replacement therapy simply gives you more testosterone.
Of course, this is the very short version of a serious treatment. As an introduction, have a look at this video below which explains it all quite well (video length = just over 8 minutes). Don’t feel like sitting through that whole video? We get that, but not to worry: further below we’ll go through all the info you need to decide whether or not to try hormone therapy.
There are different types of hormone replacement therapy. You should discuss with your doctor which type of HRT is best suited for you and your condition. The three types of hormone replacement therapy for men are:
- Intramuscular – testosterone injection. This is the image most of you will have of the treatment. You – or your doctor – will inject yourself with testosterone. The injection goes directly into the muscles of your buttocks, and you have to repeat this every two to three weeks.
- Transdermal – testosterone gel. This treatment seems less scary because it doesn’t involve needles, but the downside is that you have to do this every day (instead of just once every few weeks). You should apply the gel to your abdomen, shoulders or arms.
- Transdermal – testosterone patch. Similar to the gel, you can also decide to get skin patches. You wear them on your arm or upper body, and just like with the gel you should apply the patch every day.
- Oral – methyltestosterone pill. Again, with this method, you can stay away from the needles, but you will have to do it much more frequently. This pill should generally be taken several times a day.
- Subdermal – implant. This one keeps you away from the needle, sure, but it doesn’t sound that appealing… The doctor will make a small incision into your butt, place the little implant, and sow it up again. It takes less than half an hour, and it can last you for months.
- Transbuccal – tablet. This option won’t involve any sharp objects; aside from your incisor. You place this tablet above your incisor, on your gum, and then hold it there for about 30 seconds, pressing it to your gum through your upper lip. After this, it should stick to your gum and you leave it there for about 12 hours(!!!). Remove tablet, then repeat.
Now all of these types have pros and cons. An injection sucks, but you only have to do it once every few weeks. A gel is easy and less scary, but you have to do it every day.
And that’s not all. An additional side effect is that is can rub off on other people(!). Yes, you read that right! You’ll have to think twice before hugging your loved ones… That’s seriously messed up!
So what are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy? Well, simply put, it’s to treat testosterone deficiency, so you will be seeing all the benefits of testosterone in general:
- More energy
- Stronger bones
- Increased strength
- Stimulated libido
- Less irritability
- Decreased body fat
No wonder testosterone is so popular among bodybuilders and people who want to increase their performance in general. Furthermore, hormone replacement therapy and weight loss are often seen as being connected, making HRT popular among people who want to lose weight.
However, weight loss is NOT a good enough reason for a doctor to prescribe hormone replacement therapy. A doctor will always advise you to exercise more and eat more healthy. HRT is a treatment for people who suffer from a medical condition, not a weight loss therapy.
The benefits are obvious, but how about the dangers and side effects of hormone replacement therapy for men? Unfortunately, the list is LONG.
We won’t sugarcoat it, we won’t act like these side effects only happen to a small percentage of people, we won’t tell you they are worth the risk. This is your body and your decision to make; you decide whether the pros outweigh the cons.
Here comes the list; don’t shoot the messenger, please.
- Water retention
- Breast enlargement; a.k.a. man boobs
- Higher cholesterol
- Swelling in the ankles
- Blurry vision
- Chest pain
- Muscle pain
- High blood pressure
- Blood clots in your vessels
- Higher risk of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes
- Enlarged prostate
- Sleeping problems
The list of side effects is nasty and long, and these are just the most common problems that may occur when resorting to hormone replacement therapy. Several studies – like this one and this one – highlight the risks of the therapy for men, and it shows how this treatment is not something to take lightly.
Sorry if we scared you a bit, but it’s important you are fully aware of the magnitude of the situation. Hormone replacement therapy is not a walk in the park, but if you are determined to go ahead with it then we can only further advice you to see your doctor first.
If, however, you are seriously in doubt after reading this article, you may want to have a look at other methods to increase testosterone first.
Luckily, there are many different ways to naturally increase testosterone. From just making sure you actually sleep enough, to boosting your magnesium, to something as weird as taking a cold shower to increase testosterone; there are loads of ways to give those t-levels a natural boost.
Does a cold shower sound horrible and do you simply not have time to sleep for 9 hours a day? Then you might want to consider a natural testosterone booster instead!
Again, if you are determined to take the plunge and go for hormone replacement therapy then there is nothing else we can say then good luck and we hope it helps you achieve what you want to achieve.
This article tried to provide a complete overview of what the therapy is, how it can help men overcome their testosterone deficiency problems, and what side effects might occur. Bear in mind though that more often than not the therapy does work and it helps men turn their lives around again.
HRT can be the perfect solution for you; just make sure to always check with your doctor first before buying some dodgy product and potentially harming your body for the rest of your life. Good luck!