Muscular man applying testosterone gel on shoulder

Testosterone Gel (Androgel) Benefits and Side Effects



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Supplements, techniques, and products like testosterone gel are becoming increasingly popular in the modern world. There are many things that are supposed to be able to help men feel stronger, more sexually active, and more energized – but there is often a lot of misinformation surrounding these things.

This is especially true with testosterone gel, a topic that has been the subject of quite a bit of controversy. In this article, we’re going to let you know the truth about testosterone gel, its benefits, and the potential for side effects.

What is a Testosterone gel?

AndroGel, a testosterone gel, is a specific form of testosterone that can be used to help treat certain issues related to testosterone. Most often it’s used to help manage conditions related to a testosterone deficiency, more so than it is used to help enhance the effects of testosterone in those who already have healthy amounts of the hormone present in the body.

Testosterone gel was developed for men who suffer from hypogonadism – a condition in which the body isn’t able to produce enough testosterone. Since testosterone is highly involved in the growth and maintenance of the sexual systems and hormonal health of men, deficiencies can cause a number of serious side effects.

What brands are available

Generic testosterone gel is found relatively easily, but testosterone gel is available under a number of different names. AndroGel is often used as a term to describe all forms of testosterone gel, but AndroGel is actually a brand name – and it’s not the only one. Here are some of the most common brand names of testosterone gel.

  • AndroGel
  • Axiron
  • First-Testosterone
  • First-Testosterone MC
  • Fortesta
  • Testim
  • Vogelxo

Regardless of whether you’re purchasing generic testosterone gel or one of the brand names listed above, you need to see a doctor to get your prescription. This means that, without the prescription of a doctor, the use of testosterone gel is considered illegal.

The above-listed brand names come in a variety of different forms, all of which are intended for topical usage. These are in the form of gels, creams, or solutions.

Benefits of testosterone gel

opened up tube

Testosterone gel is considered a more mild form of testosterone therapy, and as such, the benefits of the stuff will be less significant than they would be from, say, an injection. Fortunately, this also means that the side effects are less likely to be as severe.

Those who experience the most benefits from testosterone gel will be men who suffer from hypogonadism. This means that if you already have a normal, healthy balance of testosterone in your body, you might not experience such profound changes by using testosterone gel.

Regardless, these are some of the most prominent benefits associated with testosterone therapy:

    • Improved heart health.

Testosterone is highly involved in the maintenance of the health of our hearts, and helps to ensure that we produce enough red blood cells. Men who don’t produce enough testosterone are more likely to develop heart problems.

Some studies have proven that men who were able to restore their testosterone levels to a healthy amount were significantly less likely to have cardiovascular issues like heart attacks or strokes.

    • Losing fat & building muscle.

This is generally the most common reason that people are interested in testosterone therapy. Athletic men, especially bodybuilders, are often interested in maximizing their muscle growth while minimizing their body’s retention of fat.

Men who don’t produce enough testosterone naturally will have a hard time producing enough muscle. It has been shown that men who don’t make enough testosterone can see a significant improvement to the ratio of muscle mass to body fat, though not everyone reports a significant increase in strength.

    • Improved bone health.

Another important thing that testosterone gel can help with is improving the health of our bones. If you don’t produce enough testosterone, then chances are your bones won’t be as healthy as they could be. This is particularly true for older men.

Testosterone helps to regulate the mineral density in our bones, and as men naturally lose testosterone as they grow older, so too does their bone density begin to decrease. Some studies have proven that testosterone therapy can help to increase the strength and durability of bones, as well as decrease the chances of developing issues like osteoporosis.

    • Boosts cognitive health.

Men who don’t produce enough testosterone may have trouble with their cognitive abilities, and there is some evidence that men with higher testosterone levels are less likely to develop conditions like Alzheimer’s.

    • Improved sexual health.

There’s little doubt that men who have more testosterone are usually more sexually active. There is a close link between sexual activity, arousal, and testosterone production.

Older men tend to have decreased levels of testosterone, and as such may have a harder time maintaining an erection or sexual desire. It is known that using testosterone can help to improve sexual desire and performance in men. Again, this is mostly true for people who have a deficiency in their testosterone levels – further studies indicate that there’s a healthy level of testosterone for optimal sexual function, and taking more after reaching this level may not lead to any further benefit.

    • Better emotional stability.

Testosterone is highly involved with our mood, and many people who struggle with low testosterone are more likely to be depressed, irritable, angry, and tired. These issues don’t tend to occur with the natural age-related decline of testosterone and are thus attributed mostly to hypogonadism.

Fortunately, using testosterone gel can help to restore balance to your emotions and improve your mood. Testosterone therapy has been shown to help many males struggling with hypogonadism.

Androgel side effects

While Androgel might be known for causing some pretty impressive benefits, it’s always smart to be aware of any potential testosterone gel side effects that could occur alongside the usage of a potent substance like this. Androgel is actually known to cause a relatively high number of side effects, similar to those that are caused by other testosterone-enhancing substances, such as:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and other issues of digestive upset
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Premature hair loss or increased hair growth in different areas on the body
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in libido – some find that they become hyper-sexualized, others notice a significant decrease in their sexual desire
  • Redness, swelling, itchiness, burning, or hardening of the skin in areas where the testosterone gel is used
  • Changes to skin tone and color in areas of the skin where the gel is worn
  • Changes to the breasts – men may find that they begin to grow larger breasts; while some women have found that their breast size decreases
  • Changes to mood and temperament – some become more aggressive, irritable, easily upset, or depressed
  • Acne

These side effects tend to increase in intensity and frequency the more testosterone gel a person uses and the longer that they use it for.

It’s also important to let your doctor know if you have had any negative experiences with other prescriptions or the ingredients included in these products, such as dyes. This can help to prevent any unwanted reactions to the testosterone gel.

Testosterone gel vs Testosterone injections

There are many different ways to go about testosterone replacement therapy, and testosterone gel isn’t the most popular. Many people prefer depo-testosterone injections, despite the dangers that this method of therapy can create.

Here are some of the pros and cons of each method of testosterone therapy.

Testosterone Gel

Pros:

  • Testosterone gel is a more mild form of therapy, and thus will be less likely to cause serious side effects.
  • Testosterone gel is often easier to acquire than testosterone made for injecting.
  • Testosterone gel does not require that you actually use a needle, which can cause issues such as infections.

Cons:

  • Testosterone gel therapy is more mild, meaning that men with healthy levels of testosterone may not experience much benefit from it.

Testosterone Injection

Pros:

  • Testosterone injections are generally much stronger than testosterone gels, and can therefore provide significant effects in people with healthy testosterone levels.
  • Testosterone injections are likely more effective for building muscle mass.
  • Some people are able to source their injectable steroids without a prescription, thus making them more affordable than the androgel cost.

Cons:

  • Testosterone injections are much more likely to cause serious side effects.
  • Injecting anything can lead to infections of the blood, scabbing, and scarring if not done properly.

Natural Alternative Solutions

If all of the risks associated with testosterone therapy seem a bit much for you, don’t worry – there are ways to boost your testosterone naturally. Some of these methods involve simply changing your diet, others are lifestyle changes that may take some time and dedication to implement.

    • Zinc

Zinc is one of the most important minerals for managing testosterone levels and sexual health; this is one of the reasons that it’s included in a number of different supplements aimed at men.

    • Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is another natural supplement that many men have used to help boost their testosterone levels. While there is some debate as to whether it actually increases testosterone, there’s little doubt that the effects of supplementation – increased libido, more energy and vitality – are similar to those of increased testosterone.

    • Garlic

Garlic is another natural food that’s known to help boost sexual health and testosterone levels. Garlic provides the most medicinal benefits when it is eaten raw and after it’s been crushed or chopped.

    • Use fenugreek

Fenugreek is another food substance that has been touted to help increase testosterone levels, though there is some controversy surrounding its effectiveness.

    • Exercise more

While many men use testosterone therapy to enhance the effects of their workout, this works the other way, too: working out and lifting weights actually boosts testosterone. If you are not a very active person and have low testosterone, this could be why.

    • Avoid stress

Stress causes the body to produce more cortisol, a hormone that can interfere with the beneficial aspects of testosterone. Men who live high-stress lives may have more cortisol and thus feel the need to supplement with testosterone.

Conclusion

Testosterone gel is one of the milder forms of testosterone therapy, but it still carries with it some risks. Men who struggle with low testosterone levels may find that AndroGel or similar substances can help them improve their overall well-being.

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