Testosterone is a hormone that is naturally manufactured in both men and women, and it plays an important role in male fertility. Low testosterone (low-T) is a deficiency, or underproduction, of testosterone in men. Low-T can cause many problems, including fatigue, sexual dysfunction, and depression.
If low testosterone is having an impact on your life, then it may be time to explore the different treatment options available. Let’s talk about what low-T is and how best to treat it.
What Is Low-T?
Testosterone is a sex hormone produced primarily by men in the testicles, but women also produce it (to a lesser degree) in their ovaries. Testosterone is important in a number of factors, including bone density, fat distribution, red blood cell production, muscle strength, sex drive, sperm production, and the growth of facial and body hair.
Testosterone levels usually peak during adolescence and early adulthood, but they gradually decline as we get older. Unusually low levels of testosterone in the male body can be caused by many factors, including:
- Injury to the testicles
- Hormonal conditions
- Normal aging process
- Male hypogonadism (impaired hormone production)
Low Testosterone Treatments
If you’re experiencing symptoms related to low-T, then treatment may be necessary. Testosterone replacement therapy can increase your testosterone levels and improve the signs and symptoms associated with low-T.
There are different ways to take testosterone, including injection, pellets, patches, or gel form. Your doctor can discuss which treatment method is best suited to you.
- Testosterone Gels – These are often a first-line treatment for low testosterone in men. Testosterone gel is rubbed onto the shoulders or upper arms once daily.
- Testosterone Patches – These can be applied to various areas on the body, including the back, arm, buttocks, and abdominal area. They are generally applied daily.
- Testosterone Injections – These are administered as a deep muscular injection into the arm, thigh, or buttock, every two weeks.
- Testosterone Pellets – These are small testosterone implants in the form of tiny pellets. This treatment involves a quick office procedure (approximately 15 minutes) whereby the testosterone pellets are implanted under the skin using local anesthesia. They will gradually dissolve over several months while delivering a slow, steady, and constant infusion of testosterone into the body.
Patients on testosterone replacement therapy need to have their testosterone levels, complete blood count, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels closely monitored by a doctor on a regular basis, regardless of the form of supplementation. This is to ensure treatment is successful and that any side effects or complications are recognized and treated accordingly.
Depending on the cause of low-T, certain lifestyle changes can help to increase testosterone levels – such as losing weight, cardiovascular exercise, and resistance-based exercises (such as lifting weights). However, the increase in testosterone caused by exercise may only be temporary, and it is typically much more effective in younger men than in older men with low-T.
Men’s Health in Mesa, Arizona
The medical team here at Urologic Surgeons of Arizona are experts in treating urological issues and sexual conditions, including low-T. Just as women see their gynecologist, men see their urologist – and we can provide an evaluation and appropriate treatments to help keep you strong and healthy.
To learn more about the services we offer and the treatments we use, call us today at (480) 409-5060 to schedule an appointment, or request an appointment now using our online form. We look forward to helping you get your energy and stamina back.