Most men understand that testosterone is a vital component of their masculinity, but not all men are fully familiar with its broad range of impacts on mental and physical health. Scientifically classified as an anabolic androgenic steroid, testosterone is a powerful hormone that plays a major role in building and maintaining bone density and muscle mass, among a variety of other functions.
Testosterone levels naturally vary between men and can fluctuate over time, with a tendency to decrease as men age. The effects of lower testosterone are noticeable not just at the gym but in other areas of life as well. Low testosterone levels can make it difficult to build lean muscle mass even with a proper diet and rigorous training regimen, and can also lead to brain fog, anemia, infertility, and sleep disorders. For these reasons, many men of all ages and from all walks of life look to testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to restore their confidence and enhance their performance.
“Testosterone replacement therapy is one of the most widely sought-after regenerative treatments for men since its benefits can be felt across every area of a man’s life,” says Dr. Shawn Seit, a world-renowned regenerative medicine specialist and the Founder and Director of Rejuuv Medi Spa, a world-class medical spa with three current locations. “However, despite its popularity, many people still have misconceptions about the procedure. To really understand whether it’s right for you, it’s important to begin by looking at the science.”
Understanding The Basics
Testosterone replacement therapy is a simple procedure that uses medicines, mostly in the form of injectables, to increase hormone production in the body. Before beginning the treatment, a specialist will review your health history and take a blood sample to assess your testosterone levels and determine whether low testosterone production is the real cause of your symptoms.
Intramuscular injections are the most common method for administering TRT and are often performed by the clinician, though they can also be administered at home. Injections typically need to be administered once every 10 to 14 days to ensure consistent, appropriate testosterone levels.
Consistent injections, and especially self-injections, can be a hurdle for some individuals, so many men are now turning to innovative procedures such as pellet therapy. For this method, the physician makes a placement in the hip region and inserts rice-sized pellets, which slowly release bioidentical testosterone over a period of 3 to 4 months. While some animal-derived and synthetic hormone replacement therapies can cause negative side effects, plant-based bioidentical treatments pose minimal risks while effectively mimicking the benefits of androgenic testosterone.
“As time has gone on and technology has improved, the options for TRT have become broader and the methods more convenient,” says Dr. Seit. “There truly is something for every man, and the therapies can be adjusted to suit each individual’s needs. If you are at all hesitant, consulting a professional can help you better understand what best suits your lifestyle.”
Examining The Pros and Cons
The benefits of TRT are wide-ranging and even evolve over time. The short-term benefits can be noticeable within only a month of treatment and are directly related to feelings of masculinity. They include more energy, increased libido, higher erectile quality, improved concentration, and more restorative sleep. All of these factors combine to encourage a generally healthier lifestyle and allow you to get more out of your workout routine.
The long-term effects of TRT can help slow the aging process and allow for better maintenance of overall health and vitality in the long term. In addition to more external factors such as fuller facial hair growth and generally increased confidence, TRT allows for more effective exercise recovery and higher red blood cell production, allowing you to maintain higher performance for longer. Whether you are a serious athlete or just trying to look and feel your best, these changes can be absolutely transformative.
It should be noted that TRT can come with certain side effects. Because your body is receiving an influx of testosterone from an outside source, it slows down its internal testosterone production. This can lead to a decrease in testicle size, as the testes are no longer taking on the main role in producing testosterone. It can also lead to a decreased sperm count, so caution should be taken if you are planning to have children. Fortunately, complementary treatments exist in order to counteract these effects.
“For many men, testosterone replacement therapy is not just a way to feel more confident and masculine, but a way to continue getting the most out of life as they age,” says Dr. Seit. “The physical and mental benefits of the treatment work together to help men excel in all areas of life, from fitness to careers to relationships. TRT isn’t just about restoring your masculinity; it’s about reinvigorating your vest for life.”
Feeling like you are losing some of your youthful vitality can be a distressing experience. Fortunately, it is far from final: you don’t have to simply accept things as they are. TRT can help you recapture your energy and confidence and take back control of your life. If you find yourself wanting to turn back the clock, this may be a sign that it’s time to ask your healthcare provider if TRT is right for you.