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What is Androgen Replacement Therapy (ART)?

What is Androgen Replacement Therapy (ART)?

By Mike Kocsis | 7 minutes read | Last updated: May 26, 2023
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

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    Whether you have experienced low testosterone now or are trying to learn if there is a therapy or treatment for your existing low testosterone symptoms, you may have heard of androgen replacement therapy before. Androgen replacement therapy (ART) is another way of saying testosterone replacement therapy. The difference between the two is that ART is broader than TRT. ART is a treatment that aims to replace androgens in the body, which includes testosterone. It is very commonly used as a treatment for men who are experiencing low testosterone and the various symptoms that come along with it.

    Men who are successfully able to replace the amount of testosterone in their bodies are often able to have increased energy, improved sex drive, and mood improvement following the treatment. So, why doesn’t everyone do it?

    Well, as it turns out, ART isn’t for everyone. While ART can certainly help men increase the level of testosterone in their body and enjoy all of the benefits that come with a life that has more testosterone, ART is a specialized treatment that is typically only for men that meet the requirements and recommendations of doctors. If you are looking to learn more about ART and whether it might be the right option for you, you are in the right place.

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    This guide is going to teach you all about ART including the causes, symptoms, and other crucial information that you will need to know before you decide on this treatment.

     

    Symptoms of Low Testosterone

    The main reason that anyone would need androgen replacement therapy is for the treatment of low testosterone. There are many symptoms that might lead you to believe that you have low testosterone, but we have organized a useful list for quick consulting so that you can easily identify the symptoms and determine when it might be necessary for ART. Here are some of the low testosterone symptoms and what leads many individuals to utilize ART:

    • Low libido
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Irritability and poor mood
    • Depression
    • Low self-esteem
    • Problems with focus
    • Body/facial hair loss
    • Decreased muscle mass
    • Fatigue

    If these are your symptoms, there is a chance that you have low testosterone and that you may be a good candidate for ART, which many men have found success with. The best thing to do is to consult your doctor if you have these symptoms. They’ll determine if you’re a good fit for ART. There are millions of men each year with these symptoms, and they are not uncommon.

    Types of ART

    If you have decided that ART is right for you and you wish to raise the level of androgens (testosterone) in your system, there are a number of ways that you can do so. You can use several treatments to ensure that the treatment is administered in a safe and effective way. Here are some of the most common delivery methods for those trying to raise testosterone levels through ART.

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    Skin Patch

    One of the most common ways that people undergoing ART choose to get treatment is with a skin patch. Skin patches are so common because of all of the benefits that they are able to provide. For starters, skin patches are very convenient. They can be applied and removed easily. Additionally, they can be taken anywhere and worn with privacy. You can wear skin patches under your clothes and even apply them in public if you feel the need. Skin patches are by far one of the most convenient and safest ways to administer ART and that is why so many people choose them each year.

    Gels

    Gels are another very common way that people choose to raise their testosterone levels. They’re useful because they are easily and conveniently applied. Although you may not choose to apply them in public, they can easily be applied in the home without much hassle. One potential drawback to gels is that they are somewhat of a burden if you plan on going out and doing any activities or coming into contact with others. Since they are full of hormones, anyone who directly touches the gel will also receive the hormones in their skin. This makes gels perhaps not the greatest option if you are planning on coming into contact with others while you are out of the house. However, gels provide a benefit in the even distribution of the hormone, which is not something that every method provides.

    Mouth Patch

    Mouth patches are highly convenient ways to administer ART treatment. They are small pouches that are placed inside the mouth which makes it easy to get the testosterone directly into your bloodstream quickly. Mouth patches can be worn privately and don’t require you to disclose to everyone that you are wearing one. The downside is that some people find them uncomfortable to wear, especially at first. Additionally, mouth patches can interfere with athletics, eating, or even breathing and talking.

    Injections

    Injections are perhaps the most effective method in terms of the dosage strength and the speed at which you can feel the effects of testosterone. They ensure that you can get the ART quickly into your body and that you feel the effects as soon as possible. If this is a goal of yours in your therapy, then ART is a great choice for you. When an injection is performed, it is typically injected right into the muscle. This helps to ensure the best results. Your body will slowly absorb the testosterone and you will quickly feel the effects. The drawback to this method is that the effects are often front-loaded and quickly fade as the weeks go on. The typical injection schedule is every 2 to 4 weeks.

    Benefits of ART

    If you are considering ART as a possible treatment for your low testosterone, then you are probably wondering about the benefits of ART and testosterone replacement. The results of ART widely vary according to who is undergoing the treatment. Every person is different, but many people report improvement in mood, sex drive, energy, and quality of erections. As for the effects that you cannot necessarily notice right away, many men experience improved bone density, insulin sensitivity, and muscle mass. It’s clear that when done right, on the right candidate, ART can be largely beneficial and have many positive effects.

    Since testosterone is so important to a variety of bodily functions in males, regaining a proper level of testosterone is something that has a large effect on many men. However, the benefits of ART are also elusive. Not many men are a good candidate for this therapy and there are many that won’t even notice the effects.

    benefits and risks of androgen replacement therapy

    Risks and side effects of androgen replacement therapy

    While there are many potential benefits of ART, there are also risks that come with the treatment, just as there are risks and side effects that come with testosterone treatment. The risks that come along with ART are mostly inconvenient side effects. These can include things such as rash, itching, and irritation where the testosterone is applied to the skin. Most of the side effects that might come along with ART are very minor.

    However, there are some side effects that should be heavily weighed. There has been evidence of increased heart attack or stroke as a result of ART and testosterone use. Medical professionals are unaware of the long-term effects because there have not been many long-term case studies conducted.

    ART is thought to put some at increased risk for various diseases. Some include BPH, prostate cancer, sleep apnea, blood clots, and congestive heart failure. If you are planning on undergoing ART, you should consider these risks and discuss them with your doctor. There is much work to do on the possible risk analysis of ART as a whole and what kind of risk-to-reward ratio can be expected of this type of treatment.

    Conclusion

    If you are experiencing low testosterone, you have probably heard of ART while researching. That’s because ART is shown to be one of the most effective ways to deal with low testosterone. If you are considering ART, you now know the information that you need in order to make an educated decision. If you have further questions, you should consult with your doctor. Alternatively, you can get in contact with us by clicking the button below.

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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 26th, 2023
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