If you’re struggling with low testosterone, you’ve probably wondered whether a long term solution like testosterone replacement therapy might be a solution for you. Thousands of men are pursuing this course of action in order to improve their libido, energy levels and regain the youthfulness that started waning off with the decrease of testosterone that comes with age or in some men regardless of it.
In this article I’d like to share with you a further insight into TRT, what it is, the benefits and potential side effects that may come along with with TRT.
Common Low Testosterone Symptoms
So what are the usual symptoms of having low testosterone production? They are:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low energy
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Decrease in strength
- Body and facial hair loss
Not sure if you have low T then check out this post (10 signs you have low testosterone and libido levels).
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
As the name says, TRT replaces, or better yet, adds testosterone into your system. You should however consult with your doctor before trying any of the methods we’re about to discuss, as some of the low testosterone symptoms can have other causes as well.
With that out of the way, here are the commonly used TRT methods:
Skin patch – Androderm is a skin patch that releases testosterone into your body. It is applied once a day, usually on the arm or in the upper body region.
Gels – There are a few popular testosterone gels that are currently used. AndroGel and Testim are applied to the skin and work similarly to skin patches. There is also a gel called Natesto that is applied inside the nose and produces the same effect.
Mouth Patch – A mouth patch is a tablet that sticks to the upper gums. It needs to be used twice a day, and it slowly releases testosterone into the system through the oral tissue.
Injections and Implants – Perhaps the most widely known way to increase testosterone is through injections, and it’s also a preferred method used by many athletes. It’s quite convenient once you get the hang of it, and doesn’t need to be done as often as the other methods. Testosterone is injected into the muscle (not a vein!). It can also be implanted as pellets in the soft tissue, but this method is rarely used.
What About Testosterone Pills?
You might be thinking that testosterone pills are the easiest way to do TRT, but the truth is that pills are the most dangerous way as well. Testosterone pills such as Dianabol and Winstrol are highly toxic, and can damage the liver and kidneys, especially with prolonged use. Since TRT is a longterm therapy, the safest way to do it is by administering testosterone directly into the bloodstream, either through patches or injections.
TRT Risks & Side Effects
Even though it can be miraculous, TRT also poses a few risks that you should be aware of.
Skin rash – the part of the skin where testosterone is administered can develop a rash and be itchy and red, especially if you’re using injections. This depends on the width of the needle, as well as the skill of the person who administers the drug.
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy – Enlarged prostate is a condition that many aging men suffer from, as the prostate increases with time, making it more difficult to urinate, and also potentially causing urinary infections. Increased testosterone is linked with this issue, so TRT can aggravate it.
Prostate Cancer – Testosterone increase is also linked with faster development of prostate cancer. It won’t cause it by itself, but if it’s already in the making, it can strengthen it’s development. This is why it’s important to do screening for prostate cancer before starting TRT.
Blood Clots – The testosterone replacement products increase the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot that develops in the lungs. This happens due to a large increase in the red blood cell count. The chances of this happening are unlikely, but it still requires a fair warning.
Congestive heart failure – The most dangerous potential side effect of TRT is heart failure. If you suffer from a heart condition or have a genetic likelihood of developing it in the future, you should probably avoid going on TRT.
Gynecomastia – Just like with any testosterone product that is both androgenic and anabolic, there is a risk of developing gynecomastia (also known as bitch tits in the bodybuilding circles). This aesthetically unpleasant side effect occurs due to the increase of estrogen as well as testosterone.
Individuals who are prone to developing gynecomastia should also be taking an anti-estrogen product to keep it at bay. The most popular anti-estrogens for this purpose are Nolvadex and Clomide.
Avoiding The Real Cause – The other side effect of TRT has more to do with your own psyche. It is in our nature to look for one solution to our problems. It’s easy to get side-tracked and believe that TRT will do exactly that, and then ignore the other underlying health contributes to low T such as poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, obesity and substance abuse.
The chances of experiencing one or any of these side effects are more common than you think. TRT should be your last choice.
Is TRT for you?
Before starting TRT, you should also be aware that it’s a long term solution that requires full commitment. Your natural testosterone will not increase after some time of doing TRT, you will have to supplement it your whole life to experience the benefits.
Proper testosterone replacement therapy only brings your testosterone to its natural level, it doesn’t elevate it any further. That’s another thing you should be aware of, since many people believe they’ll get super-jacked if they start taking it. This is where controlled TRT doses and typical anabolic steroid usage by athletes and recreational gym rats differ.
In the end, it’s better to try natural methods and see whether they can provide the benefits you’re looking for. There are many we’ve discussed here on the site, so feel free to check them out. With that being said, good luck with your testosterone increasing goals, and subscribe to our email newsletter for cool articles and updates.