Monday, April 1, 2013

Increasing testosterone: The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement

It is normal for the testosterone levels of men to decline as they age. And because testosterone is the hormone that makes men look and act like men, many men suffering from low testosterone levels feel less manly, prompting some of them to undergo testosterone replacement treatment.

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Here are some forms of testosterone treatment according to

Skin patches. Applied once a day, testosterone skin patches like Androderm are worn either on the arm or anywhere on the upper body. This slowly releases testosterone transdermally.

Gels. These usually come in two varieties: in a clear plastic packet or in bottles with a built-in pump that releases the exact amount of testosterone required. Some examples are Axiron, AndroGel, and Fortesta.

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Mouth patch. Stuck to the upper gums just above the incisor, Striant slowly releases testosterone to the blood via the oral tissues. It is applied twice a day.

Injections and implants. Testosterone injections, which are injected into the muscle, and implants, which are placed in soft tissues, release testosterone that is slowly absorbed by the body.

Benefits of testosterone replacement include improved muscle mass, insulin sensitivity, energy levels, erection quality, and sex drive. However, the effects vary with every man. Although testosterone replacement is generally safe, some experts believe that it can worsen some health issues, which include an increased risk for prostate cancer, sleep apnea, congestive heart failure, and erythrocytosis or increased red blood cell count.

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