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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 symptoms that are associated with low testosterone 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 if you have these symptoms is to consult your doctor to determine if you are 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. There are several treatments that you can use 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 put on and taken off in the blink of an eye and they won’t give you any trouble during the process. 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 to do so. 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. Gels are useful because they are easily and conveniently applied. While you may not choose to apply them in public, they can easily be applied quickly in the home without much hassle. One potential drawback to gels is that they are somewhat 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 to 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 that makes it easy to get the testosterone directly into your bloodstream quickly. The upside to mouth patches is that they 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. You should strongly consider if you will be able to tolerate having a mouth patch in your mouth for all of your daily activities before you decide on a mouth patch for your method of ART.

Injections

Injections are perhaps the most effective method out of all the methods in terms of the dosage strength and the speed at which you can feel the effects of the testosterone. Injections 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 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 some evidence of increased heart attack or stroke as a result of ART and the use of testosterone to boost levels in the body. The truth of ART is that not many people know the true long-term effects because there have not been many long-term case studies done on the topic.

Mostly, ART is thought to put some at increased risk for various diseases such as 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 medical professional or 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, ART is one of the many treatments that you have probably heard of in your research. That is because ART is shown to be one of the most effective ways to deal with low testosterone and ensure that it gets the treatment that it needs. If you are considering ART as a possible treatment, you now know much of the information that you will need in order to make an educated decision. As always, if you have more questions about ART, you should consult with your doctor or medical professional to see if you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.

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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.

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 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: March 31st, 2021

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