Don’t let low testosterone get you down! Treatments for this condition are available to help curb symptoms as this hormone naturally declines in men as they age. Produced by the testicles, testosterone gives men their male characteristics, like facial hair, a deep voice, a muscular build, and a healthy sex drive. While levels of this hormone naturally drop as men age, some men experience a rapid decline of testosterone that requires treatment. Talking with a physician is the first step, and urologists and endocrinologists specialize in diagnosing and treating low testosterone. However, treating low testosterone over the long term can be risky, and benefits and possible side effects aren’t fully known. It is essential for men diagnosed with low testosterone levels to carefully consider their options and talk extensively with their doctors before committing to any treatment plan. The top three methods for treating Low T include testosterone injections, testosterone gels or patches, and buccal patches. Read on to find out what you need to know about treating low testosterone.
Low Testosterone Treatments
- Testosterone Injections
- Testosterone Gels or Patches
- Buccal Patches
This type of low testosterone treatment helps the body to slowly absorb the hormone into the bloodstream. Shots of testosterone are given every 7 to 22 days, depending on patients’ needs. While testosterone is generally injected into the muscles, pellets can be implanted that release the hormone into the bloodstream instead of painful shots. One of the benefits of this type of low testosterone treatment is that it is the least expensive option. However, testosterone tends to rise to high levels for the first few days after injections and then slowly decrease, which can cause energy levels and moods to spike and then trail off.
Testosterone Gels or Patches
This type of low testosterone treatment involves a gel or patch that is placed directly onto the skin. The gels are spread each day onto the thighs, shoulders, or upper arms. The hormone is absorbed by the skin and into the blood, and the levels remain steady if applied as directed. Patches act similarly, except they are placed onto the arm, shoulder, or thigh and then left alone until replacement is required. One of the side effects of this low testosterone treatment is skin irritation in the form of blisters or itching. Treated skin should also be well-covered for a couple of hours after treatment so as not to expose women or children to testosterone.
Also known as mouth tablets, buccal patches are placed on the gums above the teeth. Replaced every 12 hours, these tablets slowly release testosterone into the bloodstream through oral tissue. These can also be placed on the inner cheek. Fortunately, individuals who use the mouth tablets can eat, drink, and kiss others as usual, since no testosterone exposure is possible. Drawbacks to using this type of low testosterone treatment include headaches, a bitter taste, and irritation to the mouth and gum tissue.
There are many low testosterone treatment options available for men who notice the symptoms of this condition.