Is testosterone replacement therapy good to treat ED?
In terms of sexual related issues, erectile dysfunction is the most common problem men typically reports to the doctor. In this case, men are often prescribed oral medicine such as blue pill or one of its kind as a primary alternative. However, that is not at all true.
Treating erectile dysfunction does not always have to start and end with oral medications prescribed by the doctor, which is often associated with unwanted side effects. It is also generally unsafe to take such medicine that comes with risk of severe medical conditions in people dealing with severe heart disease/heart failure or low blood pressure, and people who use nitrate drugs for chest pain. Also, the response is not always positive for the user.
There are many men who report improvements in energy levels, sex drive, and mood after taking testosterone treatment for low testosterone levels. Could testosterone replacement help if testosterone levels are low?
Taking testosterone replacement therapy can have side effects, and it is not known how long-term risks and benefits will work. The only men who should consider testosterone replacement are those who have symptoms of low testosterone and blood levels that confirm this as the cause of their symptoms. You can only know if testosterone therapy is right for you by talking to your doctor.
Symptoms of Low testosterone level
There are a number of signs and symptoms associated with low testosterone, both obvious and subtle. It is normal for men’s testosterone levels to decline as they age over the course of a lifetime. However, certain conditions can also result in abnormally decreased levels. There are a number of symptoms associated with low testosterone, including:
- decreased muscle mass
- poor energy level
- hair loss in both, body and facial
- Erectile dysfunction
- low sense of well being
- poor concentration and focus
When men are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone and tests reveal an abnormally low testosterone level, they may need to be treated by their doctors. The current recommendation is that no treatment is required for millions of men with low testosterone levels but no symptoms. A low level of testosterone due to aging can also be treated with it, but it has not been approved for use in men.
Different forms of testosterone supplements
Testosterone replacement therapies differs mainly upon testosterone supplement that are available in the market in several forms. All the forms are potent and effective enough to increase testosterone level in men.
- Skin Patch (transdermal): Skin patches called Androderm are worn on the arms or upper bodies. Once a day, it needs to be applied. This medication is absorbed through the skin, enters your bloodstream, and helps your body reach normal testosterone levels.
- Gels: There are different testosterone gel that come in packets of clear testosterone gel. You absorb testosterone directly into your body through your skin when you apply the gel once a day. There is also several testosterone gel pump that can deliver the dosage of testosterone prescribed by your doctor. There is also a nasal gel that is applied inside the nose.
- Mouth patch: It is a small tablet that sticks to the upper gums above the incisor, which is the tooth just to the left or right of the two front teeth. When applied twice a day, it continuously releases testosterone into the bloodstream through the oral cavity.
- Implants and injections: Injections of testosterone can also be made into the muscles, or pellets of testosterone can be implanted in soft tissues. During the absorption process, testosterone slowly enters the bloodstream.
The questions here arise is Why not just take a simple testosterone pill? There is an oral testosterone product available. Oral testosterone, however, may negatively affect the liver, according to some experts. Another method, such as skin patches, gels, orally disintegrating tablets, or injections, bypasses the liver and directly delivers testosterone to the bloodstream.
Benefits of testosterone therapy
When you receive testosterone treatment, what can you expect? Every man is different, so it’s impossible to predict. The energy level, sexual drive, and quality of erections of many men are reported to have improved. There is also evidence that testosterone increases certain factors in men, such as bone density and muscle mass.
In addition to improved mood, testosterone replacement is often reported to improve physical health as well. There are many factors that determine whether these effects are barely noticeable, or if they result in a major boost. Some general benefits of testosterone therapy includes,
- Bone density.
- Fat distribution.
- Muscle strength and mass.
- Facial and body hair.
- Red blood cell production.
- Sex drive.
- Sperm production.
Risks associated with Testosterone Therapy
Most often side effects that are associated with testosterone therapy includes rash, itching, or irritation i.e. found on the site where testosterone is used. However, testosterone use is also associated with several severe conditions such as increased rusk if heart attack or stroke, as per evidences.
According to experts, the benefits and risk of testosterone replacement therapies are not known as no large clinical trials has been associated with them. However, there are several health conditions that may get worse while using testosterone such as:
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
It is a common condition found in elderly men, also called as prostate gland enlargement. Having enlarged prostate gland can cause discomfort in urination by blocking its flow out of bladder. It can also cause several other medical conditions such as bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems.
Testosterone is a kind of hormone that can stimulate the growth of prostate cancer. Most men are advisable to take a clinical test for prostate cancer before starting therapy with testosterone. As per experts, men with Prostate cancer or elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) must avoid taking testosterone therapies.
It is advisable as well as necessary for men to identify this condition themselves rather than getting acknowledged by their partner in bed.
As per FDA, testosterone replacement products must carry warning associated with risk of blood clots in veins. This could also result in deep vein thrombosis and a potentially life threatening clot that occurs in the lungs called pulmonary embolism. Also, there must be warning for the risk of blood clots that occurs with an abnormal rise in the number of red blood cells that sometimes occurs with testosterone treatment.
Congestive heart failures
It is advisable for men with a history of congestive heart failure to avoid any kind of testosterone therapy, as they can increase the risk of congestion.
The factual answer on the long term benefits and risk associated with testosterone replacement therapy are expected no less than years from now. However, as for now, the decision of using these replacement therapy and getting benefits that outweighs the potential risk is totally left on you and your health advisor.
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