Skip to content

Men's Health

Select An Article

Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Right for You?

Font Size

Many aging men with low testosterone report improved energy levels, sex drive, and mood after testosterone treatment. If testosterone is low, why not replace it?

Not so fast. A low testosterone level by itself doesn't need treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy can have side effects, and the long-term risks and benefits aren't known. Only men with symptoms of low testosterone and blood levels that confirm this as the cause of symptoms should consider testosterone replacement. Talking with your doctor is the only way to know if testosterone therapy is right for you.

Recommended Related to Men

Forget About Your Stomach

By Mehmet Oz, M.D., and Michael Roizen, M.D. New research about how we store fat will help you keep your hands off the muffins. When we think about losing weight, most of us focus on two things: the food we eat and the stomach where it ends up. The first part makes sense. But the second part is misguided. It's not a big stomach that gives us our beer belly, but a layer of fat called the omentum, which hangs in front of our intestines and stomach. And it's how food interacts with...

Read the Forget About Your Stomach article > >

Subtle Symptoms of Low Testosterone

The symptoms of low testosterone are sometimes obvious, but they also can be subtle. Testosterone levels decline naturally in men as they age over decades, and symptoms may appear slowly. Low testosterone symptoms include:

  • Low sex drive (libido)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue and poor energy level
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Hair loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Low sense of well-being

If a man has symptoms of low testosterone and tests show he has a low testosterone level, a doctor may suggest treatment. For millions of men who have low testosterone levels but no symptoms, no treatment is currently recommended.

Forms of Testosterone Supplements

Testosterone replacement therapy is available in several forms. All can improve testosterone levels:

  • Skin patch (transdermal): Androderm is a skin patch worn on the arm or upper body. It's applied once a day.
  • Gels: AndroGel and Testim come in packets of clear testosterone gel. Testosterone is absorbed directly through the skin when you apply the gel once a day. AndroGel, Axiron, and Fortesta also come in a pump that delivers the amount of testosterone prescribed by your doctor. Natesto is a gel applied inside the nose.
  • Mouth patch: Striant is a tablet that sticks to the upper gums above the incisor, the tooth just to the right or left of the two front teeth. Applied twice a day, it continuously releases testosterone into the blood through the oral tissues.
  • Injections and implants: Testosterone can also be injected directly into the muscles, or implanted as pellets in the soft tissues. Your body slowly absorbs the testosterone into the bloodstream.

Why not a simple testosterone pill? Oral testosterone is available. However, some experts believe oral testosterone can have negative effects on the liver. Using other methods, such as skin patches, gels, orally disintegrating tablets, or injections, bypasses the liver and gets testosterone into the blood directly.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video