Testosterone in Men
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and is secreted by the adrenal glands and testes. It is critical in maintaining erectile function, libido, normal energy levels, good mood. As with other hormones, testosterone levels decline with age and at age 60 is about one-fifth of what it was in youth. Testosterone levels start declining by 30 years of age.
Symptoms of decreasing testosterone appear as a gradual decrease in energy, thinning bones and muscles, increased body fat, depression, and impaired sexual function. Studies over the past decade show that replacing testosterone can help restore a man’s health.
It has also been shown that Testosterone plays an important role in the functioning of the brain. It appears to have a profound impact on the way a man thinks and how well his brain performs learning and memory functions. Results show that testosterone supplementation improves visual and spatial skills.
Testosterone in Women
Testosterone is secreted by the ovaries and adrenal glands in women. Although healthy women produce much smaller amounts of testosterone than men, it is a critical hormone for libido and enhancement of the other sex hormones in females and helps to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis, among other benefits.
Beneficial assessments of Testosterone in Women:
- Improved well-being
- Improved energy
- Improved body composition
- Improved bone density
- Improved sexual function
- Protects against heart disease
Who Needs Low Testosterone Treatment?
Men who have low testosterone levels need this type of treatment. The National Library of Medicine says that about five million men in the United States suffer from low testosterone levels. This common condition is usually the result of aging: as a man ages, his testes produce less testosterone. After the age of thirty, testosterone levels drop about 1 percent per year in the average man. This means a man’s testosterone level has dropped by as much as 25 percent by the age of 55.
Low testosterone may also occur after injury to the testes resulting from accidents, inflammation of the testes, and cancer or radiation and chemotherapy to treat cancer.
Men who need low testosterone treatment suffer from symptoms such as:
- Decreased sex drive
- Infrequent erections
- Poor erection quality
- Low sperm count
- Increased breast size
- Decreased muscle mass
- Increased fat, especially around the waist
- Weak bones, which are prone to fracture
- Inability to concentrate
- Small, soft testes
Low testosterone treatment reverses these symptoms and restores vitality.
Determining the Need for Low Testosterone Treatment
Dr. Ann Peters adheres to the strict protocol for determining whether a patient needs treatment for low testosterone. She gathers a detailed medical history, notes symptoms, performs a thorough physical exam, orders laboratory work, and reviews all the available options with the patient.
Types of Low Testosterone Treatment
There are three types of low testosterone treatment:
- Intramuscular injections, usually given every two to three weeks
- Patches or gels
Ann J. Peters does not recommend testosterone pills or capsules as hormone replacement therapies for men. In weak concentrations, pills and capsules are not as effective as other modes of delivery. At stronger concentrations, oral testosterone can cause serious liver damage.
Testosterone levels rise to their highest two to three days after each injection before slowly falling.
Some patients prefer to apply testosterone patches or gels to their back, abdomen, upper arm, thigh, or scrotum each day. These patches and gels are easy to apply and do not cause fluctuations in testosterone levels.
Benefits of Low Testosterone Treatment
Low testosterone treatment may have a variety of pleasant benefits, including:
- Renewed sex drive
- More frequent erections
- Less depression, anger, and fatigue
- More robust male features, such as a beard
- More muscle mass
- Improved bone density
- Stronger hand and leg muscles