Testosterone is the hormone which gives men their manliness. It is produced by the testicles and it is important for all the male characteristics like muscular build, deep voice and facial hair. Testosterone is also responsible for sexual function, cognitive function and fertility. It fosters the production of red blood cells, keeps bones strong, and aids thinking ability. Lack of testosterone which is often called low-t may cause different types of unwanted symptoms.
Do you also have any of these symptoms of low testosterone? Or you are not sure how you should get it treated? Want to know the effective and affordable treatment of low testosterone?
Then, in this article we have some treatments for you of low testosterone and also we are going to tell you about the symptoms of low testosterone, how it affects men and how you can test if you have low testosterone.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is made inside testicles. Testosterone hormone levels are very important to normal male sexual functions and development. Testosterones are also made in women also, and the development is natural but in much lower amounts. Testosterone is very important for good health and general well-being in every man, but it often gets bad press in the media and from many doctors who associate it with violence, aggression, and toxic masculinity.
However, the problem of low testosterone level in men is not acknowledged if we compare it to the acknowledgment of menopause in women. The thing is, if a man is having low testosterone levels then they suffer from many problems which can make life miserable. You can read more about this here.
The Reason Behind low testosterone
There are many reasons behind low levels of Testosterone and sometimes there isn’t any obvious reason. According to some studies, the modern man’s testosterone levels are around 20% less than they were 20 years ago. Some of the reason for this is:
- Environmental factors such as plastics and fertilisers leaching chemicals into the water supply/food
- Hormones from the contraceptive pill disrupting the male hormonal system
- Age related decline/andropause
- Medical conditions such as testicular varicoceles.
So as we know some of the reasons which lead to low hormone production. So, if you are also seeing any of these factors in your regular life then it is the right time to get tested and get some good advice from experts.
Available treatment for low testosterone
There are many treatments which are available for low testosterone, some of them are:
- Testosterone gels
- Monthly testosterone injections
- Weekly testosterone injections such as Cypionate, Enanthate or Sustanon
According to experts, self-injections are the most effective and safest way of treating low testosterone levels. The details of treatment of low testosterone are discussed below:
Injectable are medium acting testosterone options. It is injected into the muscle or belly fat and it releases in a few days to a week. If the levels of oestrogen are too high in men then it can cause other issues. Injectables are considered to be one of the best options for treating low testosterone by many patients and doctors across the world.
Low testosterone gel treatment
It is a gel which needs to be rubbed on the skin every morning. Some people find this more easy and convenient, especially if someone is afraid of injections.
The downside of low testosterone gel treatment is that there is a high risk of the gel transferring to women and children if they come into physical contact with the patient. So, the patient has to be very careful regarding this. Another problem with low testosterone gel treatment is it can be sticky and may lead to skin irritation for some men.
These injections like Nebido can be very convenient as they do not need such regular administration, but what they need is someone to administer the injection every 8-10 weeks. All these injections may lead to a drop off in testosterone levels by the end of the injection cycle and much higher levels straight after the injection.
This is the most convenient option of all that we have discussed above. The reason is it can be inserted and left for around 6 months to release testosterone slowly, without further testing. One of the reasons why people usually don’t prefer Pellets is that they are more expensive than the other options but good for the busy man who is not keen on self-injecting.
It has some benefits for men with low testosterone, like:
- It stops the testicles from shrinking
- It maintains testicular function
- It maintains other hormone pathways
- It helps to maintain fertility in most men
Is low testosterone common in men?
According to recent studies, low testosterone may affect 1 out of 5 men. But the worst thing is that only 5% of these men do the treatment for their low testosterone levels which means that a lot of men are suffering in silence and not getting treated for such big issues. So if that’s you, you can try testosterone boosters before trying other mentioned ways to increase testosterone.
How to diagnose low testosterone?
It is important to have certain blood results tested before starting low testosterone treatment. You need to check low total and free testosterone before starting any low testosterone treatment.
Also, the doctor who will be doing the treatment should make sure that you have the following values tested to ensure the safe treatment:
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin: The protein binds to your total testosterone which makes it useless to the body. If someone has a high SHBG level, then he can suffer from the symptoms of low testosterone.
- Oestradiol: It is the main active part of oestrogen. It is produced in the male body from testosterone when it is converted by aromatase. This can be too high if converted too much from oestrogen. If the level of Oestradiol is too high or even if it is too low then it can affect sex drive, erections.
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone: It is a hormone which is produced by the pituitary gland which stimulates the testes to produce sperm.
- Luteinizing Hormone: It is a hormone which is produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates production of testosterone in the testicles. Luteinizing Hormone is very important for understanding why you have low levels of testosterone.
- Prolactin: If the level is low then it may affect your mood and sexual health. But high levels may reduce testosterone production. And if it is too high then the reason can be associated with a prolactinoma. This is a tumour in the pituitary gland.
So if you also think that you have low levels of testosterone or you think you have any of the above symptoms then you should contact a good doctor and get the treatment done at the earliest. It will help you get back to normal life again.