As men age, they occasionally lose interest in sex. They may also lose the ability to obtain or maintain an erection. Quite often, these changes result from a decrease in the production of the hormone testosterone. Testosterone output begins to decrease after men turn 30. However, the physical effects of reduced levels of testosterone may not appear for many years.
Many men do not want to discuss these issues with a doctor, especially in the case of erectile dysfunction. Studies show that well under half of men with erectile dysfunction complain to a medical professional about their problem. A similar number of men fail to report issues of low sex drive to their primary care providers or urologists.
Blood tests measure a man’s level of testosterone. Typically, in the absence of symptoms, doctors do not order a test. Once tests show that a man’s testosterone dropped below 300IU, a man qualifies for a diagnosis of hypogonadism, also known as Low T.
Signs and Symptoms of hypogonadism include:
- Low self-confidence
- Poor sleep
- Trouble focusing
- Decreased muscle mass
- Decreased bone density
- Elevated body fat percentage
- Feeling tired
- Decreasing sex drive
- Less random erections
- Trouble maintaining erections
Other conditions also produce these symptoms. Depression could result from external factors, such as family or work situations. Decreased muscle mass could result from a lack of exercise. Poor sleep could develop from excessive alcohol consumption, an erratic sleep schedule, or elevated anxiety. However, if you have some of these symptoms, you should consider Low T a possibility.
Testosterone replacement therapy remains a widely used treatment for hypogonadism, especially when the patient complains of some degree of erectile dysfunction. Testosterone administration occurs in several forms.
- Pellets. A medical provider can implant a pellet under the skin every after making a small incision. The pellets last either three or six months.
- Mouth. Men place a small tablet between their upper cheek and gum two to three times a day, delivering testosterone through the buccal cavity, where the upper teeth reach the gum.
- Nasal. Administration occurs through a nasal spray into the nose, typically three times a day.
- Patch. A testosterone delivering patch attaches to the thigh or torso. Patches generally last one day.
- Injection. Several methods of injecting testosterone exist, with some requiring a doctor’s office visit and some allowing for home administration.
- Gel. Men apply testosterone gel to the upper arm and shoulder. You should wait several hours before showering and ensure that no one, especially women, come into contact with the application area for at least two hours after use.
Testosterone, a controlled substance, may cause several potential side effects, from less serious to severe. These side effects include the following:
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Troubled breathing during sleep, including causing or aggravating sleep apnea
- Shrunken testicles
- Low sperm count
- High red blood cell count
- Increased risk of stroke
- Increased risk of heart attacks
- Increased risk of heart disease
Testosterone Administration Requires a Medical Professional
Given the severe nature of the side effects of testosterone administration, a medical professional should guide your treatment. You should inform your healthcare provider of any potential side effects while taking testosterone and keep the provider updated on the impact of the testosterone therapy on symptoms.
Testosterone requires a prescription. Several over the counter products claim to provide testosterone. However, these are poor substitutes with no quality control. Using these products could negatively impact your body’s ability to produce testosterone, defeating the purpose of the treatment and causing additional problems.
No man wants a low sex drive. Low sex drive and ED lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-confidence, and can cause significant problems for men and their partners. However, these symptoms represent serious medical problems requiring ongoing professional care.
If you are suffering from a low sex drive or any of the other problems listed above, you should not hesitate to call us for an appointment. We value our patients and fiercely guard their confidentiality. We have successfully treated many men with these issues.
We understand that no man likes to discuss problems such as reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, or Low T. However, the problems will persist unless you take action to combat them. Allow us to guide you on a path back to sexual health so that you can continue to enjoy sex through all stages of your life. Call us today at (205) 352-9141!