Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can be life-changing for many men suffering with low testosterone symptoms. However, there are crucial facts that most men are not told by their physicians before they start TRT. Here are the top facts that every man considering TRT should know:
1- TRT decreases your sperm count.
2- TRT may increase your blood viscosity due to increased hematocrit, the number of red blood cells in the blood. Some doctors may want to stop your TRT when this happens, but this side effect can be managed easily with blood donations or therapeutic phlebotomy. Just be careful: frequent blood donations can deplete iron and cause fatigue.
3- TRT shuts down your own testosterone production. It may recover after a few weeks and up to 6 months after you stop.
4- TRT improves your sex drive and muscle mass and burns fat. But it only works for some people, and dose/frequency and other factors like side effect management are essential. It is not a magic bullet.
5- Testosterone can be injected under the skin (Most doctors think you should inject deeply into the muscle)
6- Testosterone gels and creams are effective, but most doctors do not use the correct dose or do not adjust the amount based on your blood level.
7- Many doctors prescribe testosterone injections at 200 mg every two weeks. Many move towards 100 mg/week or 50 m twice weekly with an insulin syringe.
8- TRT can worsen sleep apnea.
9- TRT improves erectile function in some men but not all. It improves libido in most men, regardless of age, though. 10- You can monitor your blood tests via companies selling discounted labs without a doctor visit.
11- You can access a testosterone doctor via telemedicine if you don’t have one nearby. However, most of them do not take insurance.
12- TRT does not cause prostate cancer or heart attacks (cardiovascular outcomes depend on proper monitoring of hematocrit, HDL, and blood pressure, though)
13- Many men do not know that you can ask questions to other men who have used TRT for a few years by visiting the ExcelMale forum.
14- Many doctors only measure blood levels of total testosterone but forget to include free testosterone, DHT (metabolite), and thyroid function tests.
15- Most insurance companies only pay for certain TRT products but not others. And most refuse to pay if your testosterone is over 350 ng/dL.
16- Urologists are quickly becoming the most knowledgeable doctors of TRT management.
17- Some men fail to achieve benefits from TRT. Comorbidities and other issues can be to blame.