Low Testosterone

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A low sex drive could signal Low T.

When a man’s testosterone hormone level is low, it can reduce his sex drive, and cause both irritability and erectile dysfunction. Low T may also cause weight gain, fatigue, decreased muscle, and increased body fat. We can treat Low T and get your sex life back on track.


What is Low Testosterone?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone. The proper level of testosterone is important for normal sexual development and functions. Testosterone is produced in the testicles and levels often decrease as a man ages. More than 8 percent of men age 50 and older are thought to have Low T. In addition to age, being overweight or having diabetes may also contribute to low T.


What are the symptoms of Low Testosterone?

Common symptoms of Low T include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced lean muscle mass
  • Irritability
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Loss of body hair

But each of these symptoms could be a sign of a different health issue. That’s why it’s important to see your doctor.


What causes Low Testosterone?

Some people are born with conditions that cause Low Testosterone such as:

  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Ambiguous genitalia (when the sex organs develop in ways that are not typical in appearance)

Other conditions that may cause Low T:

  • Primary hypogonadism (testicular disorder)
  • Secondary hypogonadism (pituitary/hypothalamus dysfunction)

Low-T also can be the result of:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Chemotherapy or radiation
  • Damage to testicles by accident
  • Infection
  • Pituitary gland disease leading
  • Removal of testicles because of cancer


How is Low Testosterone diagnosed?

At MidLantic Urology your doctor will likely check the following:

  • Blood test to measure your testosterone level. This test should be done at two different times on samples taken before 10 AM. Testosterone levels are naturally lower later in the day. If you are ill, the doctor will wait until you are not sick because your illness may cause a false result.
  • Your weight and body mass index
  • Your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels

It’s also common to check for:

  • Enlarged breasts
  • Hair loss
  • Prostate size and any abnormalities
  • Size of testicles


How is Low Testosterone treated?

Treating low testosterone can be beneficial in numerous ways. The proper treatment can:

  • Improve sexual function
  • Improve brain health
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Improve bone health

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Despite widespread advertising, we do not recommend Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) unless it is medically necessary. Taking testosterone may not be safe, and it may not be helpful for everyone.

To determine if TRT is right for you, your doctor will measure your testosterone level. Your levels may be affected by the following conditions:

  • Bone density loss
  • Chronic narcotic use
  • Diabetes
  • History of infertility
  • HIV/AIDS positive test results
  • Low-trauma bone fracture
  • Pituitary gland disorders
  • Radiation to your testicles
  • Unexplained anemia

Your doctor likely will ask if your medical history includes:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Chemotherapy
  • Corticosteroid medicines
  • Changes in your health. (Losing weight and/or becoming more physically active may raise your testosterone levels.)

If your doctor prescribes TRT, here’s what you should know:

There are generally five different ways to take testosterone. No method is better than another. When deciding the method that is best for you, consider your lifestyle and whether insurance will cover the cost.

Here are some details about the five different methods for taking TRT:

  1. Transdermal (Topical). Gels, creams, liquids, or patches deliver testosterone through your skin.
  2. Injection. There are short-acting and long-acting forms of testosterone injection. The short-acting medicine may be given under the skin or in the muscle. The long-acting one is usually given in the muscle. Injections are usually given either weekly, every two weeks, or monthly.
  3. Oral. You’ll place a patch above your incisor tooth. The drug is released over 12 hours. It may cause headaches or cause irritation where you place it.
  4. Intranasal. This form of testosterone comes in a gel. You pump the dose into each nostril, as directed. It is usually taken three times daily.
  5. Pellets. Your doctor will place the testosterone pellets under the skin of your upper hip or buttocks. First your skin will be numbed, then the pellets are inserted inside the fatty tissues underneath your skin. The pellets dissolve slowly, and the medication is released over about 3-6 months, depending on the number of pellets.

While you are taking TRT, your doctor will periodically test your blood to monitor your testosterone levels.


Schedule an appointment with a MidLantic Urology Physician near you today!

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