Low Testosterone Treatments & Medications: What’s Right for You?

As puberty hits, boys usually begin to develop their male bodily features, such as a deeper voice, bigger muscles, and taller height. All these necessary physical changes happen thanks to a male hormone called testosterone.

Typically, testosterone levels will start to increase during one’s teenage years (10 to 14 years old) and peak at adolescence (18 or 19). It will maintain its high levels during early adulthood, then gradually decline by 1% per year once you turn 30.

Unfortunately, in some men, testosterone decline may occur more rapidly than at a gradual pace. Some may even experience extremely low hormone levels, which can be detrimental to one’s overall health. Luckily, here’s where low testosterone medications can intervene and provide medical help.

But before diving into the different low testosterone treatment options, let us first discuss the causes and symptoms of testosterone deficiency.

What Is The Role of Testosterone in Males?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone primarily produced by the testicles. It greatly influences the male appearance and sexual development. Some of its specific roles include:

  • Stimulating sperm production
  • Maintaining sex drive
  • Helps build muscle mass and bone health.
  • Development of reproductive organs.
  • Development of male characteristics, such as body hair and height.

Normally, testosterone levels in the blood should be at 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter. But as men get older, their bodies will start to produce less of it, which is just a natural part of aging.

Furthermore, health experts agree that getting a testosterone level slightly below (200 to 300) the normal range shouldn’t cause any concerns. However, if you start experiencing some symptoms, then it’s time to consult your doctor.

What Is Low Testosterone?

Low testosterone (Low-T) can also be referred to as male hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency syndrome. This condition happens when you have a total testosterone level below 300 ng/dl together with physical symptoms that affect your health. Specific examples include:

  • Low sex drive or libido
  • Low frequency or quality of erection 
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sperm production or ejaculation volume
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Loss of muscle mass or strength
  • Reduced bone density
  • Loss of body hair (e.g., pubic or underarm)
  • Hot flashes

Some patients with this condition may also experience depressed feelings, concentration difficulties, and memory problems.

According to the American Urological Association, doctors should only diagnose a Low-T if signs and symptoms are present. Thus, physical symptoms should ALWAYS support low blood testosterone levels.

How Common is Low Testosterone in Men?

It is fairly common in men since testosterone production tends to decrease by the age of 30. Furthermore, research suggests that this male hormone can decrease by 100ng/dl per ten years.

Currently, studies estimated that 40% of males age 45 and 50% of men in their 80s have testosterone deficiency. In addition, 1% of younger males can also experience this hormone deficiency, especially those with underlying medical conditions.

Thus, it’s not only common in aging males but also in younger men who are predisposed to this condition. 

What Causes Low Testosterone in Men?

Before deciding to take any medication to increase testosterone levels, it’s vital to know what’s causing your low testosterone first.

A lower than normal male hormone happens when the testicles produce a reduced amount of testosterone levels. Another reason is when the hypothalamus or pituitary gland fails to secrete the specific hormones needed to stimulate the testicles to release testosterone.

Now, these mechanisms may be caused by both natural factors and underlying medical conditions. This includes the following:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • A side effect of certain medications, such as antidepressants
  • A side effect of therapies, like chemotherapy and radiation
  • Infection or damage to the testicles
  • Genetic conditions, like Klinefelter syndrome and Noonan syndrome
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Metabolic syndrome, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels)
  • Other chronic illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, cirrhosis, and chronic kidney disease.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Doctors can diagnose patients with suspected Low-T through physical examination and medical history. After that, they will order a blood test called total testosterone level to measure the amount of male hormone in the blood. 

Since testosterone levels change throughout the day, this blood test should be done twice on different days, preferably between 7 am to 9 am (peak hours of male hormone production). If the two results yielded a reduced amount of male hormone, your doctor would then evaluate your symptoms to confirm whether you have a testosterone deficiency.

Other blood tests that can help confirm a Low-T diagnosis include:

  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Blood prolactin level
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone

What Are the Different Low Testosterone Treatment Options?

Treatment options for testosterone deficiency heavily focus on its underlying medical cause. So, for instance, if your diabetes causes your Low-T, your doctor will then focus on treating your diabetes to cure your reduced testosterone levels.

But for men with testosterone deficiency solely due to underproduction of hormones, then here are your treatment options:

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the most common treatment option for men with symptomatic Low-T. It works by supplying the body with testosterone to make up for the hormone that isn’t produced by the testicles. TRT may be given in different ways based on what you and your doctor discussed:

  • Topical or Transdermal 

This type of TRT may come in different forms, such as gels, patches, or creams. Topical TRTs are made to be applied on the skin and be absorbed directly by it.

  • Injection 

Intramuscular testosterone injections are usually given by doctors on a weekly or monthly basis.

  • Oral or Buccal 

These low testosterone medications are administered through the mouth. 

  • Pellets 

Pellet forms must be administered by a doctor since they should be implanted under the skin.

All types of TRTs differ in cost, ease of use, and administration frequency, but all are considered effective in increasing testosterone levels. But like any other medication, it has its own set of side effects, which may vary from one person to another. Some common side effects include:

  • Acne
  • Breast growth or tenderness
  • Problems in urination due to prostate stimulation
  • Shrinking of testicles
  • Swelling of the ankles
  • A worsening sleep apnea

Other Low Testosterone Medications

Besides testosterone therapy, another common medication to increase testosterone levels are estrogen blockers and aromatase inhibitors.

Physicians may prescribe estrogen blockers for men with testosterone deficiency who want to start a family. Unlike TRT, this medication does not cause infertility or reduced sperm count, making it a viable option for young men.

Estrogen blockers may also be a good option for older men with heart disease or prostate cancer, preventing them from undergoing TRT.

Aromatase inhibitors prevent an enzyme called aromatase from converting testosterone to estrogen. Doctors may prescribe this medication for people with obesity or excess weight since aromatase occurs naturally in body fats. 

Can Testosterone Deficiency be Prevented?

Although commonly caused by aging, you can still prevent your testosterone levels from dipping low by implementing specific lifestyle changes. Healthy behaviors can either help increase the male hormone levels or manage the symptoms of testosterone deficiency. Some examples include:

  • Regular exercise to prevent obesity and other diseases that will increase your risk of developing the condition.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight to ward off the body fat enzyme called aromatase.
  • Eating a balanced diet, specifically foods rich in zinc and vitamin D.
  • Managing stress to avoid stimulating the release of cortisol一a stress hormone that inhibits testosterone production.
  • Avoid drugs and other chemicals that can decrease male hormone production. This includes opioids, alcohol, nicotine, and anabolic steroids.

Where to Get the Best Medications to Increase Testosterone?

Are you a patient looking for suitable low testosterone treatment options for yourself? Or are you a medical practitioner who needs HRT medications for your clinic? 

Either way, we at Seven Cells Pharmacy can provide you with high-quality medications or deliver them right at your home or clinic doorstep!

Seven Cells Pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy that provides a wide range of products promoting wellness and life longevity. Some of the medications and therapies we offer include:

If you or your patients can benefit from our supplements and therapies, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 561-467-5333. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.