TRT comes in several different forms. We provide TRT in the form of injections given from 2 to 10 weeks apart or more. They are inexpensive compared to other treatments. If you have an abnormally low T, boosting your testosterone levels with TRT can help bring your energy levels back to normal.
It can also restore your sex drive. You may notice a drop in body fat and a buildup of muscle mass after TRT.
What is TRT?
TRT is an acronym for testosterone replacement therapy, sometimes called androgen replacement therapy. It’s primarily used to treat low testosterone (T) levels, which can occur with age or as a result of a medical condition.
But it’s becoming increasingly popular for non-medical uses, including:
- enhancing sexual performance;
- achieving higher energy levels;
- building muscle mass for bodybuilding.
Some research suggests that TRT may in fact help you achieve some of these goals. But there are some caveats. Let’s dive into what exactly happens to your T levels as you get older and what you can realistically expect from TRT.
Why does T decrease with age?
Your body naturally produces less T as you age. According to an article in American Family Physician, the average male’s T production goes down by about 1 to 2 percent each year.
This is all part of a completely natural process that starts in your late 20s or early 30s:
- As you age, your testicles produce less T.
- Lowered testicular T causes your hypothalamus to produce less gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
- Lowered GnRH causes your pituitary gland to makes less luteinizing hormone (LH).
- Lowered LH results in lowered overall T production.
This gradual decrease in T often doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms. But a significant drop in T levels may cause:
- low sex drive;
- fewer spontaneous erections;
- erectile dysfunction;
- lowered sperm count or volume;
- trouble sleeping;
- unusual loss of muscle and bone density;
- unexplained weight gain.
How is TRT used medically?
TRT is traditionally used to treat hypogonadism, which occurs when your testes (also called gonads) don’t produce enough testosterone.
There are two types of hypogonadism:
Primary hypogonadism. Low T results from issues with your gonads. They’re getting signals from your brain to make T but can’t produce them.
Central (secondary) hypogonadism. Low T results from issues in your hypothalamus or pituitary gland.
TRT works to make up for T that isn’t being produced by your testes.
If you have true hypogonadism, TRT can:
- improve your sexual function;
- boost your sperm count and volume;
- increase levels of other hormones that interact with T, including prolactin.
TRT can also help to balance unusual T levels caused by:
- autoimmune conditions;
- genetic disorders;
- infections that damage your sex organs;
- undescended testicles;
- radiation therapy for cancer;
- sex organ surgeries.
What are the non-medical uses of TRT?
Many countries, including the United States, don’t allow people to legally purchase T supplements for TRT without a prescription.
Still, people seek out TRT for a range of non-medical reasons, such as:
- losing weight;
- increasing energy levels;
- boosting sexual drive or performance;
- raising endurance for athletic activities;
- gaining extra muscle mass for bodybuilding.
But TRT has few proven benefits for people, especially younger males, with normal or high T levels. And the risks may outweigh the benefits. A small 2014 study found a link between high T levels and low sperm production.
Plus, using TRT to gain a competitive edge in a sport is considered “doping” by many professional organizations, and most consider it grounds for termination from the sport. If you’re interested in more information concerning TRT and testosterone levels testing, please get in touch!