In men, the testicles produce a hormone called testosterone. This hormone helps men build muscle, maintain healthy red blood cell levels and improve their reproductive function and sexual health.
While not a common cause of erectile dysfunction (ED), low testosterone levels can cause ED. If low testosterone is, in fact, the cause of ED, hormone replacement therapy at ALC in West Palm Beach can help improve symptoms of ED.
Starting at about age 30, men produce less testosterone, and testosterone levels will decrease as time goes on. Certain diseases and conditions, drinking alcohol and stress can also lead to low testosterone production.
Common symptoms of low testosterone production include depression, ED, low sex drive and difficulty concentrating. Men may also experience an increase in body fat, mild anemia, less body hair and decreased muscle mass.
Diagnosing Low Testosterone
The only way to diagnose low testosterone is with a blood test. A doctor will take one or more blood samples to measure testosterone in the blood. Most doctors like to take a sample in the morning, since this is when testosterone levels are at their highest for the day.
Fortunately, there are a few treatment options available.
Intramuscular injections every 10 to 14 days.
Testosterone gels or creams applied daily.
Testosterone patches changed daily.
Each of these three treatment options has its own pros and cons. Hormone levels can fluctuate greatly between shots. The patches can cause skin irritation, and the gel can be transferred to another person.
It’s best to discuss the different treatment options and their side effects with a doctor before making a decision.
Testosterone therapy can cause the prostate to grow, so men with early prostate cancer should not take hormone replacement therapy. Men who have breast cancer also should not use this therapy.
Although not common, there are side effects of testosterone replacement. Some men may experience one or more of the following:
smaller testicle size
increased red blood cells
decreased sperm count
It’s important for men taking testosterone replacement therapy to see their doctor as scheduled. Contact us today for more information!