TRT in the UK

Will TRT Work For You?

Will TRT Work For You?

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

    Evidence Based Research

    You may have seen a TRT advertisement or heard about its benefits from one of your friends whose health improved after starting TRT. Now, you may be considering this treatment to enjoy the same benefits, but the question, ‘will TRT work for me’ is on your mind.

    If that is the case, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will answer this question in detail to help you decide whether you should go for TRT or not.

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    What is considered low testosterone?

    Like any other hormone, testosterone plays many important roles in your body, and it must be secreted in healthy amounts for your body to function normally. An increase or decrease in its normal concentration can lead to serious health problems.

    Men whose blood testosterone level stays below 300 ng/dL have a condition called low testosterone (low T). Low T is a common problem among older men, but it can affect men of any age. Some men are born with it, while others acquire it with time.

    Testosterone is secreted by the testes in men. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland control its release. The hypothalamus releases GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) that travels to the pituitary gland and tells it to release LH (luteinizing hormone). LH stimulates the testes to release testosterone in the blood.

    Any injury or issue with the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testes can result in low T. Common conditions that cause low T are:

    Acquired conditions:

    • Pituitary gland injury
    • Brain injury
    • Testes removal or injury
    • AIDS
    • Kidney failure
    • Liver damage
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Sleep disorder
    • Alcohol abuse
    • Certain medications

    Congenital conditions:

    • Anorchia
    • Underdevelopment of Leydig cells
    • Undescended testes
    • Noonan syndrome
    • Klinefelter’s syndrome
    • Prader-Willi syndrome
    • Kallmann syndrome

    Low T is known by many other names, including hypogonadism, testosterone deficiency syndrome, and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.

     

    What problems can low T cause?

    Low T causes several symptoms. In some men, they go unnoticed, while in others, they produce a significant impact. Some of these symptoms are:

     

    What happens if low T is not treated?

    In some men, low T produces no significant effect, and they may not have any problem living with it, while in others, it may show mental, emotional, and physical health effects. Men with low T should discuss their condition with their doctor because leaving it untreated may increase their risk of serious health conditions such as:

    • Heart disease
    • Osteoporosis
    • Infertility

     

    How is low T diagnosed?

    If you are experiencing symptoms like low libido and erectile dysfunction, you should talk about the problem with your doctor. The doctor will first perform a physical examination to look for low T signs, and then take your blood sample to run a serum testosterone test. This test will find your total testosterone (the sum of bound and free testosterone), bound testosterone (attached to a carrier protein), and free testosterone (not attached to any protein) levels.

    Because testosterone concentration changes from day to day, your doctor may conduct 2 to 3 testosterone tests. If all tests prove your testosterone levels are low, your doctor will most probably prescribe you testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

    Before starting TRT, your doctor will first look at your lifestyle. He may suggest some lifestyle changes, such as becoming more active physically, losing weight, and reducing alcohol intake. TRT is prescribed when no natural method of increasing TRT works.

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    Understanding TRT

    TRT is a hormone therapy given to men who have testosterone deficiency. It helps restore their testosterone levels and improve their overall well-being.

    In TRT, testosterone can be administered in several ways, including injections, skin patches, and gels. A majority of men choose testosterone gels as they are easier to apply compared to other TRT forms.

    Other popular TRT forms are:

    • Injections: They deliver testosterone directly into your bloodstream. They ensure a consistent testosterone level throughout a week.
    • Skin patches: They are usually applied to the upper body. Doctors often recommend one patch per day. Testosterone absorbs into your skin and bloodstream through these patches.
    • Pellets: They are of a small pill or grain size. Doctors implant them under the skin through a minor procedure. Pellets deliver a steady supply of testosterone for up to 6 months.
    • Pills: This is an oral form of TRT suitable for people who don’t want skin treatments or shots. However, testosterone released by pills has poor bioavailability as it is degraded by the body fast.

     

    Benefits of TRT

    TRT helps men with low T in multiple ways. You will not notice these benefits right away as it is not a quick fix. TRT will take at least 1 to 2 months to show its effects.

    TRT produces many short and long-term effects in the body. Some of these effects are:

    People may also take testosterone for non-medical reasons. However, in most countries, you need a prescription to purchase a testosterone supplement legally. Some non-medical benefits of testosterone may include:

    • Weight lose
    • Improvement in athletic performance
    • Increase in muscle mass for bodybuilding
    • Increase vitality

    Taking testosterone to improve performance in sports is considered doping in many places. A sportsman can get banned for taking it without any medical need.

     

    TRT safety (side effects)

    TRT offers many benefits, but that does not mean it is a safe procedure for all. In some men, it produces more side effects than benefits; in others, its benefits outweigh the health risks.

    TRT may produce the following side effects.

    • Acne
    • Increase in breast size
    • Swelling of the feet
    • Increased red blood cell count
    • High risk of prostate issues

    Taking testosterone from an exogenous source further reduces the production of endogenous testosterone and healthy sperm. It also reduces the size of the testes that produce and release testosterone. Having said that, many experienced TRT doctors do offer hCG with TRT which helps to preserve fertility.

     

    Who should not have TRT?

    TRT can worsen certain medical conditions such as sleep apnea, prostate cancer, heart disease, and polycythemia. Therefore, if you have any of these diseases or if these diseases run in your family, you may not be a good candidate for TRT.

     

    What else do you need to know

    TRT is a life-long procedure. It will increase your testosterone levels as long as you keep taking exogenous testosterone. Your testosterone levels will return to their original level if you stop TRT. This may sound daunting but if you think about it as brushing your teeth every day to upkeep your oral health, it makes more sense.

    You should discuss everything about this procedure, including its side effects, costs, dosage, etc., with your doctor before you start taking testosterone. Once you start the procedure, you will have to stick to your treatment plan for the rest of your life for long-term success.

    You should set realistic expectations for TRT. Remember that it is not a fountain of youth and there is no guarantee it will fully restore your sexual function and improve physical health. But, plenty of studies and testimonials suggest TRT is a fantastic treatment that has changed the lives of many men for the better.

     

    FAQs

    Who should I see for TRT?

    It is better to choose a doctor who is specialised in testosterone treatments, particularly TRT.

    What is the cost of TRT?

    TRT cost depends on various factors, including the clinic you choose, TRT type, and frequency of testosterone administration. Discuss long-term treatment charges with your doctor during your first consultation so you can cover your financial needs beforehand.

    Should I have TRT if I plan to have children?

    TRT can lower your sperm count but a lower sperm count doesn’t render you infertile. If the sperm count risk is concerning you, we do offer a balanced TRT with HCG solution which helps to preserve fertility while on testosterone treatment.

    Is TRT the same as anabolic steroid abuse?

    No, it is not. TRT is prescribed to men who are naturally deficient in testosterone. Athletes who take anabolic steroids have a healthy testosterone level, but they still take steroids to enhance their athletic performance, which is considered dangerous and may produce serious health effects.

    Summary – Will TRT work for you?

    TRT is a beneficial procedure, but you cannot tell whether it will work for you or not without consulting a doctor.

    You should discuss your symptoms, medical history, and future health-related plans with your doctor so he can compare TRT pros and cons for your unique case to decide whether it is the right treatment for you or not.

    If you are the right candidate for TRT, your doctor will design a customised treatment plan that matches your individual needs and goals. He will monitor your symptoms, side effects, and testosterone levels from time to time to optimise your testosterone dose and see if the treatment works for you.

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    References/Scientific studies/Bibliography/ Further reading

    • Bassil, N., Alkaade, S. and Morley, J.E., 2009. The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy: a review. Therapeutics and clinical risk management5, p.427.
    • Huo, S., Scialli, A.R., McGarvey, S., Hill, E., Tügertimur, B., Hogenmiller, A., Hirsch, A.I. and Fugh-Berman, A., 2016. Treatment of men for “low testosterone”: a systematic review. PloS one11(9), p.e0162480.
    • Shoskes, J.J., Wilson, M.K. and Spinner, M.L., 2016. Pharmacology of testosterone replacement therapy preparations. Translational andrology and urology5(6), p.834.
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    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.

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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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