By Dennis Webster
Are you experiencing low sex drive? One cause could be low testosterone levels, which can be accompanied by insomnia, sleep disturbances, decrease in motivation or maybe difficultly remembering things. You may be suffering from low testosterone levels.
It is generally agreed upon by doctors that a man with erectile dysfunction should have his testosterone level checked. Testosterone helps you with the following:
• Muscle Mass and Strength
• Sex Drive
• Sperm production
• Increasing the density of your bones
• Helping red blood cell production (important for transporting oxygen to the cells in your body)
• The distribution of fat through your body
Doctors have different opinions as to when testosterone therapy should be started and which “low level” requires replacement therapy.
Generally, the main complaint in men with low testosterone levels is low sex drive but there may be other symptoms such as less intense orgasms or changes in penile sensations and general mood and energy level.
Testosterone levels peak in adolescence and start decreasing by about one per cent per year after age 30. A reasonable guide that has been suggested by some urologists for starting testosterone replacement is a level of less than 300ng/dl. As I stated earlier, this number may be different depending on the urologist caring for you. Therapy usually aims to reach a target level between 500 to 600ng/dl.
There are different forms of testosterone replacement therapy including injections, topical patches and gels. Testosterone levels are generally checked every two weeks and you should not expect immediate results. Symptoms may take longer than two weeks to show improvement.
Newer formulations of testosterone are being developed that require less follow up visits because they control your testosterone level better over a longer period of time.
There are risks associated with taking testosterone replacement therapy. Some of these are:
• Can make your blood “thicker” so to say when increasing your red blood cell level. This can potentially cause a clot and clots if they become dislodged can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. This is however generally rare.
• Can increase the oiliness in your skin leading to acne
• Can be a problem for men with liver, kidney or heart problems (doctors generally take precaution in these situations).
• In men 50 and over (40 and over in the African American and African Caribbean population), checking for prostate cancer should take place before testosterone therapy is started. Cancer cells have been shown to be stimulated to grow by testosterone.
Testosterone replacement therapy can be very effective in the right situations. It is not uncommon for doctors to combine testosterone therapy with medications like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. There are testosterone replacement tablets on the market, but one has to be careful because some have been shown to cause liver problems. They are generally not advised because of this. Speak with your doctor as to what may be right for you.
Due to an overwhelming response to my last article on “Premature Ejaculation”, I will be starting an internet forum for you to anonymously post your questions and concerns. I will be the moderator of the forum and I will be assisted by two urologists specialising in areas like Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation and Testosterone Replacement therapy, among other things. If you would like to participate in this forum, please let me know by sending a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis Webster is an Oncology-trained nurse and cancer consultant with over 20 years’ experience. He has a keen interest in men’s health with a focus on prostate disease, prostate cancer and prostate cancer risk assessment.
Blog address: helpatrini.wordpress.com
This Information is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace consultation with healthcare professionals. Consult a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your individual medical situation.