Everything You Need to Know About Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Jun 21, 2023 | Blog, Hormone Replacement Therapy

What is testosterone replacement therapy?

Testosterone replacement therapy, abbreviated TRT, is a treatment used to replace the testosterone that is no longer produced naturally in the body with age. As we age, our body becomes less efficient at producing hormones like testosterone, and our hormone levels begin to decline, which can lead to a variety of potential symptoms and issues. But, TRT can be used to combat those symptoms and optimize your wellness.

What are the benefits of testosterone therapy?

The biggest benefit of TRT is the management of symptoms, like low libido, hair thinning, or loss of muscle mass, but it can also be an effective tool in optimizing your system without the presence of symptoms. 

For example, an increase in testosterone in the body can help you burn fat and gain muscle more efficiently while improving bone density, which all leads to a stronger, more balanced body. Additionally, even if you don’t feel like you’re having issues with your libido, TRT can help improve sexual performance. 

Are there any potential risks associated with TRT? 

The key to effective hormone therapy is giving your body a very precise dose that only replaces what your body needs to return to its normal level, which is why it’s crucial to find a TRT provider that has significant experience administering TRT and effective ways to measure hormone levels, like consistent blood testing. 

As with any wellness treatment, it’s important to share details about your health history before beginning TRT so that your provider can help you weigh the risks with the benefits. For example, if you have a family history of cardiovascular diseases or prostate cancer, TRT may not be right for you. But, your provider can help ensure your safety during treatment.

What different types of TRT are available?

There are three main types of testosterone that may be used in TRT depending on your unique situation and goals:

  • Enanthate: this form of testosterone is used for men who don’t produce enough testosterone on their own and is usually given via intramuscular injection every five to seven days.
  • Cypionate: this type of testosterone is considered “long-acting” because it stays in your system a bit longer, so it’s usually injected every seven days.
  • Propionate: this form of testosterone is only used in special cases because it must be administered frequently to keep testosterone at the desired level, but it is very fast-releasing and can peak in the blood within hours.

How much does TRT cost?

An effective TRT program requires significant personalization in determining and administering each dose, so the cost of TRT will differ from person to person. Things like your current hormone levels, how much testosterone is needed to return your body to the optimal level, your goals, and your health history will all play a role in the ultimate cost of TRT. 

Safe administration of TRT is not something to “penny pinch,” and investing in a TRT provider that has the experience and knowledge required to help you reach your goals is essential. 10X Health takes personalization and safety very seriously, and we dedicate significant time and attention to each of our TRT clients to fully understand the current state of their hormones, their goals, and any concerns that come up along the way. 

Is TRT safe? 

In general, TRT is very safe when administered in precise doses by an experienced professional. When looking for a provider to start on your TRT journey, there are a few key things you need to know before your first injection.

Make sure the provider has a way to precisely measure your current testosterone levels to avoid the risk of injecting too much and putting you past the optimal level. Also, ensure the provider is using only prescription-grade testosterone and has trained professionals administering the treatments. 

Who should consider testosterone replacement therapy?

Most often, people seek help from a wellness professional in order to manage the symptoms of a hormone imbalance, but TRT may also be a good choice for people looking to optimize their wellness. Low testosterone is much more common in older men, but any number of things can cause low testosterone at any point in adulthood, so if you think you may be suffering from a testosterone imbalance, it’s best to seek the advice of a hormone specialist. 

What are the symptoms of testosterone imbalance?

Testosterone imbalance or deficiency can sometimes cause symptoms because of the important role testosterone plays in key biological functions. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Chest tenderness
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Weaker bones
  • Mental health disorders

How do you test for a testosterone imbalance?

TRT relies on precise doses of hormones to replenish your body to the optimal level, and it’s important to know where your current levels are and how your levels are responding to the therapy throughout the course of treatment. 

Testing for a testosterone imbalance and testing hormone levels, in general, is done through a combination of blood testing and genetic testing. Blood testing will tell you exactly how much testosterone your body is producing, and a genetic test will help determine if there may be other causes for your symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms of a hormone imbalance and symptoms of nutrient deficiencies can look similar, so it’s important to identify the root cause of your symptoms — whether related to hormone levels or not. 

How often should you check your testosterone levels?

We recommend that our clients get a blood test to check their testosterone levels every 6 months because every person’s body will respond to TRT differently, and it’s important to ensure we’re not injecting too much testosterone at any point.

Can women benefit from testosterone replacement therapy?

While testosterone is the male sex hormone, women produce testosterone, too, and it plays a unique role in women’s wellness, too. Testosterone assists in growing and maintaining reproductive tissues, improving bone mass, and supporting a healthy sex drive. 

Women do not produce the same amount of testosterone as men do, but an imbalance in testosterone levels in a woman’s body can lead to a variety of symptoms, like low libido, irregular menstruation, or changes in breast tissue. 

TRT may help women maintain stronger bones, improve mood, and increase libido, and when paired with hormone replacement therapy (estrogen), some of the symptoms that come with menopause can be easier to manage, too. 

What should I expect during testosterone replacement therapy?

The 10X Health team understands that TRT can feel like a big investment — both in time and money —, which is why we are with our clients every step of the way. Our Wellness Advisors are dedicated to making sure each of our clients has the best possible experience, helping to answer questions, take note of side effects, and ensure we’re working toward goals. 

Every person experiences TRT in a different way, and every person’s body will respond differently. Some will experience side effects, and some won’t. Some will see results quickly, and others will take longer to see the benefits. Regardless, your Wellness Advisor can help ensure your safety and be a resource to answer questions when you have them. 

How is TRT administered?

In general, TRT can be administered in a few different ways, but, at 10X Health, we usually administer testosterone for our TRT clients as an intramuscular injection once or twice a week, depending on the dose and the specific recommendation of your provider. 

Are there any side effects of TRT? 

Side effects of TRT, when administered correctly and safely, are rare, and those who do experience symptoms usually find them to be mild. Some of the more common side effects include:

  • Increased aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gynecomastia 
  • More frequent urination
  • Acne or oily skin

TRT can also increase the risk of developing certain conditions, like stroke or heart attack, blood clots, or prostate abnormalities. These risks are all the more reason why it’s important to work with a reputable provider when doing TRT. 

How long does it take to see the benefits of TRT?

Since every person’s body will respond differently to TRT, and each person has different starting points for testosterone levels, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when you’ll see the results you’re looking for. But, in general, it can take anywhere from four to six months to see the benefits of TRT. 

Does TRT interact with any medications?

TRT is simply replenishing a hormone that already exists in your body, so drug interactions with TRT are not usually a concern. But, safety is our priority, so be sure you’re sharing any current medications with your provider before starting TRT, and they can help you decide if any possible interactions might occur. 

How to select a provider for testosterone replacement therapy

Choosing a provider for TRT should be a big decision. This is a person you are trusting with your wellness goals for potentially a long time, so don’t be afraid to do significant research and ask questions of any provider you consider. 

We recommend asking these questions when researching providers for TRT: 

  • Does the provider look at a comprehensive set of labs when making recommendations?
  • How much experience does the provider have in prescribing and administering hormone replacement?
  • Does the provider take a customized approach that is unique to you and your health?
  • Is the prescribed treatment based on precision dosing?
  • Is there a dedicated point of contact designated to guide you through the process?

Whether you’re looking to manage symptoms or simply optimize your well-being, 10X Health understands the importance of effective wellness solutions that help you reach your goals. That’s why we take a data-driven approach to our hormone therapy programs and invest in Wellness Advisors to ensure each of our clients is responding effectively to treatment.

If you think you may be experiencing an imbalance of testosterone in your system or are experiencing any of the symptoms we talked about above, you may be a good candidate for TRT. Reach out to the 10X Health team to learn more about our blood testing, genetic testing, and customized wellness programs to help you optimize your health and feel your best. 

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