Testosterone replacement therapy is not an immediate fix to restore low testosterone overnight, but that does not mean a man should not start as soon as he receives diagnosis for low t. Although there are some natural ways to increase testosterone and prevent this from happening, not everyone can restore testosterone that way. For those who have experience low testosterone have more often than not expressed how much it effects their lives. Symptoms that are an issue are erectile dysfunction, loss of sleep, constant fatigue, weakened muscles, increase anxiety and feelings of depression, and generation of body fat. The use of testosterone replacement therapy will help to correct these problems by slowly introducing testosterone into the body. Typically these treatments can be administered as a skin patch, gels, testosterone pills, implants, and injections.
All of these treatments are used to improve T-levels, and are safe to be used depending on the testosterone diagnosis of the individual.
This type of procedure is applied by wearing an outer skin patch on any spot on the body that is not oily, hairy, or likely to move for 24 hours. The spots that are the most common for men to apply it to are their back, stomach, thighs, or upper arms.
Much like skin patches, testosterone gels (like AndroGel) are applied to the outer layer of the skin. Individuals who are prescribed this treatment will rub gel onto their upper arms and shoulders – areas that are normally covered by a short-sleeve T-shirt. Areas that they should NOT apply it to are their stomach area, chest, armpits, or anywhere in their pelvic area.
Although this option is available, some experts will say that oral testosterone can have negative effects on the liver. This option can be recommended by a doctor, but most of the time it is not. There are companies that do formulate and create their own supplements that are a separate entity from doctor-prescribed medication. This means that due diligence is needed from those who are interested to ensure that they are not just getting a placebo or high-risk product.
The more common treatment option is the use of testosterone pellets to be implanted in the soft tissues of the skin, or injected directly into the muscles. Both of these options are applied under the skin, so the use of a needle is required. The body then slowly absorbs the testosterone into the bloodstream, and thus influences the body functions to return back to normal after a period of time.
This article aims to dive more into the testosterone injection procedure. This will cover what they are, what can be expected during the treatment period, and common questions that many have with this type of treatment.
Understanding What Testosterone Injections Are
Testosterone injection is used in boys and men to treat conditions caused by a lack of this hormone. Delayed puberty, impotence, and other hormonal imbalances justify the use of this procedure in men, but women have been seen to use it to treat breast cancer that has spread around the body as well.
This type of treatment is applied once every 2-4 weeks, and the duration will depend on the severity of the diagnosis. Some individuals may only need it for 2-4 months, but some with a more severe lack of testosterone will see treatment for upwards of 10-12 months. Consulting with a medical provider or doctor is the first step, and based on their recommendations an individual will know if this procedure is required.
Testosterone Injection Procedure
Like all medical procedures, there are many steps involved to ensure that the patient is getting the right treatment, at the right dosage, and at the right time. Before the injection can be applied, a doctor will measure out exactly how much the patient should be receiving at set times during the treatment period. Once determined, the procedure can move forward into the injection phase. The process is to administer a shot of testosterone directly into the muscle. Common spots that are used are the thigh or buttocks of the patient. Although there may be other spots that can be used, these two areas are the easiest and most accessible for injections.
Some programs will call for more frequent injections with the first couple of months, then will span out to visits once every 10 weeks. The other program will be applied every 2-4 weeks if the body cannot produce much testosterone by itself on a daily basis.
Like mentioned above, this procedure – and every other testosterone treatment option – will not show immediate effects. Some men expect big results within the first month or two, but this is not how it works. The process for testosterone treatment takes time, and if administered right at the correct intervals, then the results after the treatment period will speak for itself. All that’s needed is just a little patience!
What To Expect During the Treatment Period
It usually will take three to six months for testosterone injections to really work with men. Some may see improvements sooner than others, but for most men the process is gradual. The only concern is that if an individual stops treatment because they do not feel like it is working, then it won’t work. Much like other chronic conditions, if therapy is stopped, then the problem will return.
With a well-structured testosterone injection program provided by a doctor, men can expect to see the following results:
For those who are just now receiving testosterone injections, they should be able to see small improvements within the first 3-4 days. Men will be able to sleep better and have more energy in the morning, and throughout the day. They may even feel a tad bit stronger if they hit the gym within the first week!
Men who suffered lower sex drive and/or have erection problems should see an improvement here. The noticeable change here is that morning erections make a comeback. This also helps determine if their problem stems from a psychological or physiological issue.
Cognitive clarity and functionality should be improved at this time. The ability to recall information and articulation is also improved. Most men at this stage may feel more sharp and able, which will allow them to cope better with stress and anxiety (a common problem with low testosterone as well). Sex drive will be rebalanced, which will also allow men to improve their social life/social interactions.
End of Month 1 & 2
Energy output is noticeably increased throughout the day, with increased even more energy following the next morning. The body will also have improved lipid profile, with decreased triglycerides and total cholesterol. Men should also have a stronger “go-getter” attitude, too.
Working out and being active will require less effort and will yield quicker, more visible results. The time needed for muscle healing and recuperation after exercise should be significantly reduced. Noticeable body changes should be a decline in high blood pressure (if any), and better glycemic control.
By now, endurance, stamina, exercise potential, and overall performance ability should be greatly increased. For those who are just experiencing testosterone treatment for the first time will be blown away at the level of transformation at this point – if the patient was eating well, exercising, and following the treatments well. There should also be no more symptoms of sleep deprivation from low testosterone at this point.
Mental problems such as sadness, depression, anxiety, and even mental fatigue should be greatly reduced by this time. The ability to deal with unpleasant or challenging scenarios and circumstances is also much better at this time, too.
All individuals who receive testosterone injections experience different effects at this 6 month mark. Some may feel like a new person than 6 months prior, some may not notice big changes, but most who are doing this for the first time/cycle will always admit that it was much needed for them, even if they did not notice “big changes”, such as improved sex life, muscle growth, and overall happiness (this could be due to other factors, not just testosterone).
Common Questions Associated with TRT/Injections
How Does My Doctor Determine if I Have Low T?
A simple blood test will be performed by medical professionals/doctors. The results will often be known in about 20 minutes or less, and if the testosterone levels in the body is not within normal range, testosterone replacement therapy will be recommended.
What Are The Benefits of TRT?
Benefits of the therapy vary upon the pre-therapy symptoms, but they may include:
- Increased energy
- Decreased irritability and depression
- Improved muscle mass and strength
- Improved libido (sex drive)
- Higher motivation
- Decreased body fat
What Are The Risks of TRT?
Some patients may experience one or more of the following side effects:
- Increase in red blood cells may lead to blood clots or heart attacks.
- Prostate effects, especially in those who are more than 50 years of age.
- Skin reactions such as oily skin, increased body hair, and acne.
- Infertility due to some experiencing lower production in sperm.
- Sleep apnea may worsen in those who already have this present.
- Fluid retention in those who have a history with heart failure or kidney disease.
Is TRT Covered by Insurance?
Some health insurance may be accepted for certain treatments. However, to learn more about the cost of testosterone replacement therapy with Dr. Ben Evans, be sure to schedule an appointment with him today.
What is the Advantages of Injections over Gels/Pills/Patches?
The proper method of treatment is determined by a physician, however, many have found that injections are more effective and convenient for them. Gels tend to be messy and less convenient in terms of the application process. Patches can create rashes or not stick well, especially during the summer. Lastly, pills may cause other side effects and problems for the digestive system and liver in the body.
When Will TRT Not Work For Me?
Those who already have these problems listed below should NOT receive TRT, due to it causing more problems:
- Breast or Prostate Cancer
- Hyperviscosity (Problematic blood flow)
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Uncontrolled Heart Failure
- Severe Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
To learn more about the testosterone levels, click here to read about the common questions asked about high vs low levels of testosterone.
The benefit of starting testosterone treatment now is to avoid any other problems down the road. Testosterone is a very important hormone in the human body, and can cause many problems if not treated immediately.
To receive further information about how quickly testosterone injections and therapy works, contact our hormone replacement specialists at Scottsdale Internal Medicine. We offer confidential consultations for both men and women, and are here to help those in need of testosterone to help them with their lives. Schedule an appointment today to learn about our hormone replacement options, and if this procedure is needed to get your life back on track.