Testosterone

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If you wonder whether testosterone therapy might be right for you, call our office today to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.

Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testicles that helps maintain men’s:

  • Bone density;testosterone molecule
  • Fat distribution;
  • Muscle strength and mass;
  • Red blood cell production;
  • Sex drive;
  • Sperm production.

Testosterone peaks during adolescence and early adulthood. As you get older, your testosterone level gradually declines — typically about 1 percent a year after age 30. It is important to determine in older men if a low testosterone level is simply due to the decline of normal aging or if it is due to a disease (hypogonadism).

Hormone Evaluation

Testosterone testing is used to diagnose several conditions in men, including:

  • decreased sex drive;
  • erectile dysfunction;
  • infertility;
  • testicular tumors.

Two separate assessments may be performed as part of a testosterone test:

  1. total testosterone, which measures the entire amount of testosterone in the body;
  2. free testosterone, which measures only the testosterone that’s not attached to proteins.

 

The only accurate way to detect the condition is to measure the amount of testosterone in your blood. Because testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, several measurements will need to be taken to detect a deficiency. Doctors prefer, if possible, to test levels early in the morning since this is when testosterone levels are at their highest.

Hormone/Testosterone Replacement

testosterone men San JoseMany aging men with low testosterone report improved energy levels, sex drive, and mood after testosterone treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy can have side effects, and the long-term risks and benefits aren’t known. Only men with symptoms of low testosterone and blood levels that confirm this as the cause of symptoms should consider testosterone replacement.

Growth Hormone – HCG

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland of men and women. Elevated levels of hCG can alert your doctor to look for some types of cancers.

The structure and function of hCG has also led to its use as an adjunct treatment for low testosterone. The structure of the hormone acts on chemical receptors that stimulate production of leutenizing hormone which will target cells in your body that produce testosterone, restoring the natural size of the genitals and alleviating the testosterone fluctuations.

Testosterone Replacement Methods

Testosterone replacement therapy is available in several forms. Your doctor may recommend implants for testosterone replacement. Testopel is a pellet based testosterone therapy that is implanted just under the skin in the hip area or another fatty area during a simple in-office procedure. Testopel is considered a long acting testosterone replacement method because pellets dissolve and slowly release testosterone over time. Advantages include convenient dosing-only requiring implantation every 4-5 months, maintains stable testosterone levels without peaks and valleys, there is no risk of transference, and a low risk of increasing the red blood cell count and negatively altering cholesterol.

Topical gels or solutions are another common method of testosterone replacement therapy. Topical treatments need to be applied daily and absorb through your skin. Testosterone should be applied to the shoulders or upper arms, areas that are covered by your shirt to avoid transference. They come in a variety of doses depending on your condition and testosterone levels. Advantages include constant testosterone levels with daily dosing, can be applied at home, and avoidance of needles.

Another testosterone replacement option is with a single intramuscular injection every 10-14 days. Injections are administered into large muscles, usually the buttocks or thigh. Dosing can be adjusted depending on how your testosterone blood levels and symptoms respond. The injections can be given in the office or you can be taught how to administer the injections to yourself at home. People may experience increased fluctuation (peaks and valleys) in their testosterone levels when using injections. Advantages include weekly to biweekly dosing and efficacy in treating patient symptoms and blood testosterone levels.

Finally, AVEED is a newer testosterone injection therapy that only requires six injections per year. This convenient dosing is due to AVEED’s long acting delivery method that sustains steady testosterone levels throughout the duration of therapy. While AVEED is an available treatment option, we maintain reservations due to potent risks including pulmonary embolism.

If you wonder whether testosterone therapy might be right for you, call our office today to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.



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