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Debunking Myths about Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

Debunking Myths about Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

By Mike Kocsis | 7 minutes read | Last updated: May 7, 2024
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

    Evidence Based Research

    Testosterone Replacement Therapy is a popular treatment option used to increase testosterone levels. When doing online research on this treatment, you may find many myths and misconceptions about it, which may confuse you about whether to have it or not.

    That is why it is important to correct your knowledge by getting information only from authentic sources. In this article, we have debunked popular Testosterone Replacement Therapy-related myths to help you better understand its effects.

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    Myth: Testosterone is only produced in men.

    Fact: Testosterone is a primary sex hormone in men, due to which people believe women do not produce this hormone.

    Both men and women produce testosterone, but women produce it in low concentration compared to men. The normal range of testosterone levels in adult men is 280 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). In comparison, the normal range of testosterone in adult women is only 15 and 70 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).

    Testosterone plays many roles in men and women.

    Myth: My lifestyle does not impact my testosterone levels.

    Fact: In men, levels of testosterone change throughout life. They are at their highest point during adolescence when men reach 20. They naturally start declining when men hit 30 and reach their lowest at old age. This is how testosterone levels change throughout your life.

    However, your lifestyle habits can also cause testosterone fluctuations. Some poor habits that can contribute to low testosterone are:

    • Being overweight increases your risk of low testosterone.
    • Spending an inactive life in which you perform fewer physical activities also makes you prone to low testosterone.
    • Narcotic painkillers and some other medications can change your testosterone levels temporarily.
    • Anabolic steroids, which bodybuilders often take to boost their muscle growth, can also lead to low testosterone levels.
    • Lack of sleep can reduce testosterone levels.

    That is why doctors recommend that patients change their lifestyles to increase testosterone levels naturally.

    Myth: There is no treatment for low testosterone.

    Fact: Low testosterone is a health issue in which your body does not make sufficient testosterone. As a result, different changes occur in your body, for example:

    Around 25% of men experience this issue in their life. It can impact their lives negatively. Therefore, scientists have created a treatment called Testosterone Replacement Therapy to help men restore their testosterone levels and start living their lives like before.

    In this treatment, the therapist injects testosterone into your body through different means such as injections, patches, and medications to increase its concentration in the bloodstream. Multiple studies have found that Testosterone Replacement Therapy helps men reduce symptoms of low T.

    Myth: Testosterone deficiency occurs only in older men.

    Fact: Decline in testosterone concentration is a natural part of ageing in men. This decline occurs gradually and is irreversible.

    However, some younger men also experience testosterone deficiency due to multiple reasons we have described above. Therefore, we cannot say that low T occurs only in old age. Besides age, many other factors can also cause this issue.

    Myth: Testosterone Replacement Therapy does not boost your energy levels.

    Fact: One of the well-known benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy is its ability to restore energy levels. Many men who have this treatment experience improvement in their productivity level and energy during workouts. They do not get tired like they used to and enjoy doing physical work.

    One possible reason for how TRT boosts energy is that the hormone encourages erythropoiesis. It is the process in which red blood cells are synthesized. Low T can drop your red blood cells. But, when you restore testosterone levels, your red blood cell level returns to normal, which helps you feel more energetic and revived.

    Testosterone may also improve your mental health, which further makes you feel better and more energetic. It suppresses the effect of cortisol (stress hormone), reducing feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression which can be beneficial for your energy.

    Myth: Testosterone Replacement Therapy cannot treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

    Fact: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to have and maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. There can be many reasons behind this issue. One of these reasons is the low testosterone levels.

    If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction due to low T, getting Testosterone Replacement Therapy can be an effective solution.

    Myth: Testosterone Replacement Therapy increases the chances of having a heart attack.

    Fact: Testosterone Replacement Therapy has many pros and cons. Some earlier studies said that it increases the risk of heart attack and heart stroke in men. However, some recent studies are proving these claims wrong.

    In a research study, scientists concluded that men who have TRT have a 26% low risk of heart attack and 36% low risk of heart stroke compared to men who do not have this treatment.

    Though the data is mixed regarding the impact of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on heart health, some new studies are proving the older claims about Testosterone Replacement Therapy wrong. You should ask your therapist to explain the risks in detail to understand the treatment better.

    Myth: Testosterone Replacement Therapy will make me aggressive.

    Fact: Testosterone Replacement Therapy is provided to those who lack testosterone. The dose of testosterone that you receive varies from one patient to the other, depending on how deficient you are.

    Your physician will design a treatment plan for you that will be structured based on your needs. If you observe negative changes in your behaviour, the therapist will have to readjust your testosterone dose to ensure you enjoy more benefits and fewer side effects.

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    Myth: Anyone can have testosterone replacement therapy.

    Fact: Testosterone Replacement Therapy is for people who cannot make sufficient testosterone due to one reason or another. It is given to men and women who want to restore their testosterone levels and become more energetic.

    However, not everyone can have this treatment. Men with prostate cancer cannot have TRT because it can aggravate their condition. That is why you are asked to have prostate screening before getting your first testosterone dose.

    Myth: Testosterone Replacement Therapy is a risk-free treatment option.

    Fact: No doubt, TRT has several benefits. It still has some side effects that you must be aware of before getting the treatment. The intensity and the number of side effects that you feel after this treatment vary from patient to patient.

    The common side effects of TRT that people report are:

    • Swelling in limbs
    • Skin breakouts
    • Sleep apnea
    • Decreased sperm count
    • Reduction in the size of testicles

    You should sit with your physician and discuss the side effects thoroughly to better understand and evaluate the pros and cons of the treatment.

    Myth: Testosterone Replacement Therapy will cure my testosterone deficiency.

    Fact: Testosterone Replacement Therapy is an ongoing treatment. It does not cure the low deficiency. It simply increases your testosterone levels in the blood. Therefore, once you start it, you will have to keep getting its doses from time to time to maintain a healthy concentration of testosterone. People who stop getting TRT notice a reduction in their testosterone levels.

    Myth: Patients do not require follow-up sessions.

    Fact: When you get your first dose of testosterone, you need to visit your doctor in a few months (probably 6 months or more) to check if your testosterone concentration is normal or not. If it is more or less than you need, then the doctor will readjust your next dose.

    Your doctor will also evaluate your prostate health to make sure they are healthy, and there is no prostate cancer development. He will ask you if you are feeling any side effects etc and if you are, they will offer a suitable solution according to the condition.

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    The bottom line

    Testosterone Replacement Therapy is a popular treatment used all over the world to boost testosterone levels in men and women who are deficient in it. It has helped many men improve their energy levels, bone health, cognitive function, and sex drive over the years. It has some side effects, but its multiple benefits outweigh fewer side effects.

    If you think you are suffering from low T, you should talk to a doctor to get a suitable treatment on time. Discuss the pros and cons of TRT with your physician to find if this treatment is right for you or not.

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    References/Bibliography/Recent Studies/Study Material/Citations

    Grober, E.D., 2014. Testosterone deficiency and replacement: Myths and realities. Canadian Urological Association Journal8(7-8 Suppl 5), p.S145.

    Glaser, R. and Dimitrakakis, C., 2013. Testosterone therapy in women: Myths and misconceptions. Maturitas74(3), pp.230-234.

    https://www.health.harvard.edu/drugs-and-medications/testosterone–what-it-does-and-doesnt-do

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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

    We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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    Last update: May 7th, 2024
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