Treatment of low testosterone is quite straightforward. Once the decision has been made to increase testosterone levels, low testosterone can be replaced by using one of a number of treatment options. All of these treatment options require a doctor’s prescription. An ideal preparation of testosterone will bring testosterone levels back into the normal range to reverse the symptoms of low testosterone. It will also be safe and offer a convenient dosing schedule and means of administration.
Several months of treatment may be required before changes are apparent. The general recommendations are to raise the blood testosterone level only into the middle of the normal physiological range. As testosterone therapy is long term, it is important that it is convenient, safe and effective.
Once the decision has been made to treat testosterone deficiency, low testosterone can be increased by using one of a number of treatment options. All of these treatment options require a doctor’s prescription.
An ideal form of testosterone treatment will increase testosterone levels to a point within the safe normal range that will result in disappearance of your bothersome symptoms.1-7
Treatment differs from patient to patient. Elevating testosterone levels with testosterone treatment could help symptoms disappear.8
It may take 6-12 months of uninterrupted testosterone therapy for your symptoms to disappear.9 In fact, symptoms can continue to improve for 2 years, and erectile dysfunction can continue to improve for as long as 9 years with uninterrupted testosterone therapy.10
The most common reason for lack of response to testosterone therapy among men who report that “it didn’t work” is sub-optimal dosing resulting in failure to achieve a large enough elevation in testosterone levels (within the safe normal range), or that they stopped the treatment too soon. Regular monitoring of testosterone levels and changes in symptoms (or lack thereof) will tell if any dose-adjustments of given testosterone medication are needed.
Types of testosterone treatment available
The benefits of testosterone replacement
The benefits of testosterone replacement on sexual function, fat and lean body mass and bone density in men with low testosterone are clear. The potential benefits of testosterone replacement in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes are still being investigated.
Benefits of testosterone treatment
The benefits of testosterone treatment on sexual function, body fat loss, muscle (lean body mass) gain and increase in bone mineral density in men with low testosterone are well-documented.2,3,11 The potential benefits of testosterone treatment in reducing the risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes is an active area of scientific research.
- Prevents anaemia
- Controls sexual function (sex drive, erectile function, orgasm)
- Reduces lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)
- Improves mood, energy, wellbeing and quality of life
- Prevents depression
- Increases muscle mass
- Increases strength
- Decreases overall body fat mass
Health and well-being – quality of life
Improvements in signs and symptoms of low testosterone, such as libido, sexual, physical and mental functioning and mood, can be expected over time and will show you that the treatment is working.
Testosterone replacement in men with low testosterone increases lean body mass and strength and decreases fat mass.
Testosterone therapy may also have metabolic benefits in men with diabetes and/or metabolic syndrome. Men with diabetes have been shown to have substantially lower testosterone levels than men in the general population, yet low testosterone in many remains undiagnosed and untreated. It is not yet fully known whether diabetes is a cause or a consequence of low testosterone.
Low testosterone can lead to thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) and men with hip fractures tend to have low testosterone. Testosterone replacement increases bone density.
If low testosterone occurs during adulthood, you can make some lifestyle and dietary changes to help prevent osteoporosis. Regular exercise and adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D help to maintain bone strength and are important to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Salonia A, Bettocchi C, Carvalho J, et al. 2020 EAU Guidelines on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Return to content
- Morgentaler A, Traish A, Hackett G, Jones TH, Ramasamy R. Diagnosis and Treatment of Testosterone Deficiency: Updated Recommendations From the Lisbon 2018 International Consultation for Sexual Medicine. Sex Med Rev. 2019;7(4):636-649. Return to content
- Hackett G, Kirby M, Edwards D, et al. British Society for Sexual Medicine Guidelines on Adult Testosterone Deficiency, With Statements for UK Practice. The journal of sexual medicine. 2017;14(12):1504-1523. Return to content
- Dean JD, McMahon CG, Guay AT, et al. The International Society for Sexual Medicine's Process of Care for the Assessment and Management of Testosterone Deficiency in Adult Men. The journal of sexual medicine. 2015;12(8):1660-1686. Return to content
- Khera M, Adaikan G, Buvat J, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Testosterone Deficiency: Recommendations From the Fourth International Consultation for Sexual Medicine (ICSM 2015). The journal of sexual medicine. 2016;13(12):1787-1804. Return to content
- Morales A, Bebb RA, Manjoo P, et al. Diagnosis and management of testosterone deficiency syndrome in men: clinical practice guideline. CMAJ. 2015;187(18):1369-1377. Return to content
- Lunenfeld B, Mskhalaya G, Zitzmann M, et al. Recommendations on the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of hypogonadism in men. The aging male : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male. 2015;18(1):5-15. Return to content
- Morgentaler A, Traish AM, Khera M. A Critique of the AUA Guidelines on Testosterone Deficiency. The journal of sexual medicine. 2020;17(4):561-564. Return to content
- Saad F, Aversa A, Isidori AM, Zafalon L, Zitzmann M, Gooren L. Onset of effects of testosterone treatment and time span until maximum effects are achieved. Eur J Endocrinol. 2011;165(5):675-685. Return to content
- Saad F, Caliber M, Doros G, Haider KS, Haider A. Long-term treatment with testosterone undecanoate injections in men with hypogonadism alleviates erectile dysfunction and reduces risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, prostate cancer, and mortality. The aging male : the official journal of the International Society for the Study of the Aging Male. 2020;23(1):81-92. Return to content
- Traish AM. Benefits and Health Implications of Testosterone Therapy in Men With Testosterone Deficiency. Sex Med Rev. 2018;6(1):86-105. Return to content