Testosterone is one of the male sex hormones—or androgens—responsible for the development of masculine characteristics. During puberty, testosterone initiates the enlargement of the penis and testes, growth of facial and pubic hair, deepening of the voice, increases in muscle mass and strength, and growth in height. In male adults, testosterone is involved in the maintenance of sex drive, production of sperm cells, male hair patterns, muscle mass, and bone mass.
Testosterone levels decline naturally in men as they age over the years . Certain conditions can also but certain conditions can also lead to an abnormally low level.
Symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Fatigue and poor energy level
- Decreased muscle mass
- Body and facial hair loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low sense of well-being
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is an option to improve testosterone levels.
There are different delivery methods of TRT for clinically low testosterone levels in otherwise healthy men, such as injections, patches or gels, and a tablet that adheres to the gum surface and, long-acting pellets the doctor places under the skin every 3 months. TRT might benefit men who suffer the symptoms of low testosterone in a number of ways, including:
- Increasing sex drive
- Restoring erectile function
- Improving mood
- Increase bone density
- Maintaining beard growth
- Maintaining muscle mass
If you are considering this therapy, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential harms and benefits.