Low testosterone levels, and Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Calgary are not uncommon. Cases of low testosterone levels may not be permanent and hence not all cases require treatment. While Testosterone replacement therapy sounds like a good option to most people, it can have various side effects and health risks that need to be weighed before determining whether a replacement therapy is necessary. Many a times, alternative treatments can work just as well.
Low Testosterone levels are not always noticeable. Signs and symptoms vary in prominence and nature from one person to another. Most common symptoms of low testosterone levels are- erectile dysfunction, decreased sex drive, weakness, poor energy levels, fatigue, hair loss, lack of concentration, depression and irritability.
Sometimes men have low testosterone levels without any symptoms. In these cases, treatment may be optional but not optimal. Levels of testosterone can decline with age and no treatment is an option in such cases as well. The patient and doctor should decide the best route.
Testosterone replacement therapy Calgary involves delivering doses of testosterone artificially to boost testosterone levels. This can be done using various methods like-
- Gels- These are gels that are applied directly on the skin. Testosterone is absorbed through the skin on application.
- Skin patch- These are skin patches containing testosterone that are worn on the arm once a day to deliver one dose of testosterone to the body.
- Mouth patch- These testosterone tablets are attached to the upper gums usually just above the incisors.
- Injections- Testosterone can also be injected directly into the body whereby they are slowly absorbed into the blood stream.
- Oral testosterone supplements- Oral supplements are also available but they are believed to have negative effects on the liver. Other methods bypass the liver and get directly absorbed into the blood stream.
The effectiveness of testosterone therapy differs from person to person. There has been reports of varying degrees where men report significant improvement in sex drive, mood, energy levels and quality of erections. Testosterone as a hormone is also known to enhance muscle mass, bone density, and insulin sensitivity.
Testosterone replacement therapy is not free from side effects or risks. The most common immediate side effect includes rash, itching, or irritation at the site of testosterone administration. Risks of testosterone replacement therapy include heart attack or stroke.
Testosterone therapy is also believed to worsen conditions like prostate cancer, blood clot, benign prostatic hypertrophy, congestive heart failure, blood clots and sleep apnea. So those suffering or at risk of these conditions must avoid testosterone replacement therapy (Vigen et al., 2013).
Due to the absence of large clinical trials, long-term risks or benefits of testosterone replacement therapy remains unknown. However, the prescription of these treatments largely depends on individual cases and doctor’s diagnosis that weighs benefits against risks.
TRT clinics in Calgary like the Mas Clinic are able to assess and treat low testosterone.
Vigen, R., O’donnell, C. I., Barón, A. E., Grunwald, G. K., Maddox, T. M., Bradley, S. M., … & Rumsfeld, J. S. (2013). Association of testosterone therapy with mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in men with low testosterone levels. Jama, 310(17), 1829-1836.