How Testosterone Replacement Therapy Is Helpful And Its Contraindications

Posted on: 30 April 2019

As men age, sometimes less testosterone is produced by their testicles. The medical term for this condition is hypogonadism.

Men living with hypogonadism can develop both physical and emotional problems. Physically, a lack of adequate testosterone can lead to a loss in bone density and bone strength which can result in more fractures later in life. Inadequate testosterone levels can also result in a lack of libido and the inability to sustain an erection. This, in turn, can lead to emotional problems and serious relationship issues.

Thankfully, many men living with hypogonadism can be successfully treated with testosterone replacement therapy

How Testosterone Replacement Therapy Improves a Man's Health

There are a variety of different ways testosterone replacement therapy is helpful for improving a man's overall health. For example, testosterone increases muscle mass, which includes the heart muscle. It also increases libido and often restores sexual function which improves personal relationships and emotional health.

Probably one of the most beneficial effects of testosterone replacement therapy for most men is its effect on bone density. As men age, they naturally lose bone density, which can result in more hip fractures and other bone breaks from falls and accidents. Since testosterone strengthens bones, testosterone replacement therapy helps to prevent some fractures and breaks later in life for men who have taken it. 

Contraindications for Testosterone Replacement Therapy

As with any other medication, there are men for whom testosterone replacement therapy is contraindicated. For example, men who have been previously diagnosed with breast cancer or prostate cancer should never use testosterone because it can exacerbate these medical conditions.

In addition, testosterone replacement should not be used on men who have issues with the following conditions:

  • benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • peripheral edema
  • obstructive sleep apnea

Also, testosterone replacement can lower sperm counts and can lead to infertility, so it should be avoided in men who have partners who are trying to conceive or soon will be.

How Testosterone Replacement Therapy is Administered

If you are interested in trying testosterone replacement therapy, then your doctor has a variety of different options for administering it to you. Currently, there are no FDA-approved oral testosterone medications, so testosterone is administered via the following methods:

  • transdermal medication patches
  • transdermal gels
  • intramuscular injections
  • under-the-skin pellets

For Further Infomation

Finally, if you are interested in testosterone replacement therapy, then you need to discuss it with your internist or urologist at your next appointment.