- After a Low Testosterone Diagnosis: What to Expect
- How Long Does it Take for Testosterone to Work?
- How Long Does it Take for Testosterone to Work?
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy, when does it work?
- Timeline for Testosterone Injections to Work
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy
- How Testosterone Benefits Your Body
- 1. Effect of testosterone: Your sex drive jumps
- 2. Effect of testosterone: It’s easier to build muscle
- 3. Effect of testosterone: Your energy levels can soar
- 4. Effect of testosterone: Your mood can improve
- 5. Effect of testosterone: Your testicles may shrink
- 6. Effect of testosterone: Your feet and ankles may swell
- 7. Effect of testosterone: Your skin type may change
- 8. Effect of testosterone: In rare cases, your breasts may enlarge
- 9. Effect of testosterone: The link between testosterone and serious risks is still murky
- Long-term testosterone therapy improves urinary, sexual function and quality of life
- Low T and Testosterone Replacement Therapy
- Hypogonadism, or Low Testosterone
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT): Is It for You?
- Low Testosterone
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy Options
- Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy
- Benefits of Magnesium Alternative Treatments
- How Long Does Testosterone Take to Work?
- How Long Does Testosterone Take to Work: Timeline
- Important Reminders During Low Testosterone Treatment
After a Low Testosterone Diagnosis: What to Expect
A diagnosis of low testosterone, or low T, can be the answer to a number of concerns you’ve been having — your low energy, the decrease in your sex drive, or feeling depressed. But it also presents questions: Mainly, what happens next?
There’s no quick fix, but your first step is to follow up with your doctor, who may recommend treatment for low testosterone. Aside from causing a drop in your sex drive and energy levels, low testosterone can increase your risk for heart disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.
How to Treat and Manage Low Testosterone: First Steps
If your low testosterone is caused by an underlying health condition, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, or sleep apnea, treating that condition may help improve low testosterone, says Ahmer Farooq, DO, assistant professor of urology at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.
Many doctors also recommend an overall healthy lifestyle as a first approach. But even if you’re prescribed testosterone treatment, diet, exercise, stress management, and other healthy habits are important to keep symptoms of low testosterone at bay as well.
“Eat foods that are low in saturated fat and exercise regularly,” Dr. Farooq says.
A 2013 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men who engaged in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for more than 3½ hours each week had greater improvement in testosterone levels, sexual function, and losing weight and belly fat than men who got less than 2½ hours of physical activity a week.
Treatment Options for Low Testosterone
Treatment for low testosterone may involve hormone replacement therapy. “Essentially, the body is being given the testosterone it’s lost,” says Farooq.
For some men, testosterone replacement therapy can help improve sex drive, ease symptoms of depression, and increase energy levels. Treatment may also boost muscle mass and bone density.
Testosterone replacement therapy is available in several different forms, Dr. Farooq says. The most common form is a topical gel. About 70 percent of men on testosterone replacement therapy apply these gels daily.
“Gels are used in places where men are less likely to come into contact with women or children, such as the inner thigh, shoulder, or armpit,” Farooq says. And the gel should only be applied to areas of the body covered by clothing to avoid contact with others.
About 17 percent of men treated for low T receive testosterone injections every 7 to 22 days. Testosterone levels peak two to three days after the injection and then slowly drop until the next dose of the hormone is given.
There are also testosterone patches that men can use. These patches can be placed on areas of the body such as the back, stomach, upper arm, or thigh. About 10 percent of men with low testosterone use the patches. The skin absorbs the testosterone, which is slowly released into the bloodstream.
An uncommon option, used by no more than 3 percent of those men being treated for low T, is implanted testosterone pellets. Over the course of three to four months, the pellets slowly release testosterone into the body. The procedure must then be repeated.
Only rarely are oral medications used to treat low T because these medications have potentially harmful side effects to the liver.
When Will Treatment for Low Testosterone Start Working?
For men who are prescribed testosterone replacement therapy, it usually takes three to six months to work, Farooq says.
“Some men may see improvement sooner, but for most men it’s a gradual process,” Farooq says. “Don’t expect a miracle overnight.”
Research published in 2011 in the European Journal of Endocrinology, however, suggested that the effects of testosterone replacement therapy on men’s libido and symptoms of depression may begin after three weeks.
Treatment for low testosterone is an ongoing process and usually will continue long term. As with many other chronic conditions, if you stop the therapy, the problem returns — your testosterone levels will drop back down to below-normal levels.
Potential Risks of Low Testosterone Treatment
The number of men using testosterone replacement therapy in the United States has increased dramatically over the past several years. Several short-term studies have shown it to be an effective treatment in appropriately selected individuals, but the long-term effects remain unclear.
Like any other medication, testosterone replacement therapy carries certain risks. Although research has shown mixed results, it could possibly stimulate growth of existing prostate cancer. Men who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or prostate cancer aren’t candidates for testosterone replacement therapy, Farooq says.
Testosterone replacement could also contribute to sleep apnea. Farooq says that men should be screened for sleep apnea before receiving treatment for low testosterone. Treatment for low testosterone could also limit sperm production, cause your body to make too many red blood cells, or lead to acne or enlargement of the breasts.
“It’s important to look at a man’s low testosterone levels and weigh the risks and benefits of treatment,” Farooq says. He also says that bringing your spouse or partner with you to checkups can help if you feel apprehensive about discussing your concerns or symptoms with your doctor.
When to Schedule Follow-Ups With Your Doctor
“During the first year of treatment for low testosterone, men are usually seen every three months to check their blood and testosterone levels,” Farooq says. Among the tests you can expect are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test for prostate cancer and blood tests to measure lipids, liver function, and red blood cell count.
“If you’re healthy after one year, follow-up visits may be spaced out to every six months,” Farooq says. “It’s important to make sure you’re not developing any of the potential side effects of treatment.”
How Long Does it Take for Testosterone to Work?
How Long Does it Take for Testosterone to Work?
The age old question of, “how long does it take for testosterone to work?” It’s something we hear all of the time. Testosterone Replacement Therapy can be used when a patient is suffering from low testosterone or hypogonadism. Men suffer from symptoms such as fatigue, concentration problems, mood swings, poor libido, weight gain or a hard time losing weight, and more. But the question still stands, how long do I wait to see if TRT works? Stick around, learn more about how long you should be waiting to experience results and even maybe why you aren’t getting the results you want.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy, when does it work?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is a medical treatment performed by trained medical staff in the endocrine industry. It treats people suffering from low testosterone, also known as ‘low t’ or hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism refers to the condition that simply means that your sex hormones are no longer being produced at normal levels for the age or activity level.
The problem is, most men will not visit a doctor when experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone, the truth is, that 1 in 4 men live with low testosterone, and those over 40 are even more at risk of having low testosterone. Each year after that passes after 40, men on average lose 1% per year, you do the math…
Most people are informed on the loss of hormones in women, so the education process for men is generally quite a bit longer. The loss of testosterone in men is known as andropause, which causes an onslaught of symptoms known as low testosterone or low t. The reduction in estrogen and progesterone in women is known as menopause.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
While not all men can experience all of the symptoms that low testosterone can bring, there’s a few more common symptoms that almost all men experience including: lower libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, reduced muscle mass and strength, changes in mood, poor concentration, lack of sleep or a hard time sleeping, and weight gain.
Because of these symptoms, testosterone replacement therapy has become a movement across the world in both male and females, but sometimes, people don’t experience all of the benefits that TRT has to offer.
Does that mean that it doesn’t work in some people? The simple answer is, everyone has a different expectation of what testosterone will do for them, therefore, it “feels” like it may not be working. But there are a few common reasons that testosterone isn’t working in the body.
Reasons why Testosterone may not be working in your body
The body is the immaculate route to any medical treatments, whenever we decide that we want to perform any sort of medical procedure, we should mimic how the body processes everything, including hormones.
Here’s an example:
Men and women both produce testosterone, their levels differ within the body, therefore dosing should be dependent on a mixture of factors. A man should always have blood work done before performing any sort of treatment for hormones. This allows the provider to determine if it is in fact, low testosterone. If you begin to treat a person for low testosterone who doesn’t need it, not only will they not feel the positive effects of the treatment because they did not need it, it can actually bring on more problems. There is no “one-size fits all” testosterone treatment for men.
Every man has different levels, and even two with the same levels metabolize medication differently. Some men can metabolize medication and nutrients quickly which means that their liver is able to metabolize medication and hormones quicker than other men. This means that men should understand that their next-door neighbor shouldn’t have the same prescription dose as they do, unless they are the identical person.
But this also means that not only will their dosing be different, but how the treatment is performed can also differ.
The number one cause of men not understanding testosterone replacement therapy and why it isn’t working in their body is because their provider is dosing incorrectly. Simply put, you may not be taking enough testosterone for your personal needs.
This is where testosterone replacement therapy becomes difficult, because there is no one way to treat men suffering from low testosterone. This means each person will be dosed differently depending on how their lab work reads. There are two basic rules with TRT, never start treatment without having blood work and results first, and always be upfront about your symptoms and side-effects.
Knowing what we know, providers have to start somewhere to learn the person’s metabolism and optimal dose for testosterone. It does not always happen on the first try. Which means that there is a period in which blood work should be pulled consistently to see how the current dose is working in their body.
You should never have to personally re-evaluate your testosterone dose on your own, this should always be done by a medical provider and consulted with your current provider. But there is one thing you should always consider, there are two portions of testosterone, your free testosterone and your total testosterone. Make sure your dose is optimized with your physician for both free and total testosterone.
How Testosterone is Administered
While dosing is the number one priority for testosterone replacement therapy, how testosterone is administered is another priority when understanding why testosterone may not be working for you.
There are four routes for administering testosterone:
1. Gels & Creams:
This route of testosterone therapy is performed by rubbing a gel or compounded cream into the skin which then is absorbed into the bloodstream for your body to utilize. This was one of the first methods available for testosterone replacement therapy, which means there were problems that came about as we learned more and more about the endocrine system.
Because everyone has a different metabolism, this brings us to the reason why gels and creams sometimes do not work. Absorbing through the skin means that people absorb at different rates, sometimes men are getting as little as 25% of the medication they’re actually rubbing on their skin. Because their body isn’t absorbs the medication at different rates, they’re not getting the amount of medication they need.
Additionally, testosterone is a fat soluble hormone, and absorbed through the skin, certain carriers are required to make the transition, some of these carriers can cause reactions to people, both on their skin and internally. While testosterone gels & creams can provide easy treatment, there are also outside risks for friends, family, and loved ones.
Because the gels and creams require a carrier to absorb into the skin, they are an oily substance which poses the risk of rubbing off onto another person. Even if hidden by a shirt sleeve or on the inner thigh, your clothing can absorb the medication and rub off on furniture and other places.
2. Pellet Medication
A pellet is medication that administers testosterone into the bloodstream to be absorbed by the body, it’s done so directly through the muscle. The pellets are bb-like beads that dissolve in the body, they’re placed by making a small incision in the upper glute muscle and it’s placed within the muscle. While sometimes considered painful, the bigger issue is that there is no way to fully know how much is dissolved by the body throughout the 3-6 month pellet life. This means people can be in testosterone excess, meaning symptoms of high estrogen such as mood swings, rage fits, holding on to excess water, and more, can be apparent.
3. Oral Testosterone
Oral testosterone is a medication used to treat testosterone replacement therapy. It dissolves under the tongue and is metabolized into the bloodstream. The issue is that with oral testosterone, they’re metabolized through the liver which can be harsh on the liver causing issues down the road with liver damage.
4. Testosterone Injections
Known as the safest and most effective way to perform testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone injections are are compounded testosterone medication in an FDA approved pharmacy. This treatment bypasses transdermal (skin) absorption and is delivered into the muscle tissue. There are multiple types of testosterone, some with short half-lives and cypionate which has an 8-day half-life. Because of this, you’re able to administer testosterone one time weekly and while it may seem like a larger quantity at once, your body, because it is delivered into the muscle, is able to utilize this over a week time span. While there are multiple options, ensure that your provider is taking consistent blood work and producing acceptable results.
As with any medical treatment, there are multiple medications available for most medical issues. Be sure that you give each of them time to pan out and see how your levels fall.
How long you perform TRT
As stated above, with any medical treatment, things can take time to adjust. Understanding that testosterone replacement therapy is the same. Understanding that no two treatments are the same is what helps develop the idea that there is a titration period, things take time.
To understand what treatment looks like, you must first have an overall perspective in their health. A full lab panel include their Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), Complete Blood Count (CBC), testosterone, and free testosterone, will show that dosing takes quite a bit of time. They also require different doses for each individual person.
Some people may wait just a few weeks to notice effects of testosterone, but it can take up ot 15 weeks for dose titration. Understanding that this is a marathon and not a sprint is what makes this medical treatment so effective.
The reason testosterone replacement therapy takes time is because we are avoiding negative side-effects by titrating your dose slowly and understanding how your body works.
Timeline for Testosterone Injections to Work
Testosterone therapy is not a quick fix that will end or reverse all symptoms of low testosterone overnight, but that does not mean that someone will have to wait months and months before he or she starts to notice positive improvements in their life. How quickly testosterone injections work in the body is going to be subject to how each individual’s system responds to the hormone.
The Scientific Affairs team at Men’s Healthcare in Germany recently asked that same question, and their results were quite interesting.
With testosterone replacement therapy, effects on sexual interest appear after three weeks and plateau at six weeks, with no further increments expected beyond. Changes in erections/ejaculations may require up to 6 months of testosterone replacement therapy. Effects on quality of life manifest within 3-4 weeks, but maximum benefits take longer.
Effects on depressive mood become detectable after 3-6 weeks with a maximum after 18-30 weeks. Effects on erythropoiesis (the process by which red blood cells are produced) are evident at three months, peaking at 9-12 months. Prostate-specific antigen and volume rise, marginally, plateauing at 12 months; further increase should be related to aging rather than testosterone replacement therapy. Effects on lipids appear after four weeks, maximal after 6-12 months. Insulin sensitivity may improve within few days, but effects on glycemic control become evident only after 3-12 months. Changes in fat mass, lean body mass, and muscle strength occur within 12-16 weeks, stabilize at 6-12 months, but can marginally continue over the years. Effects on inflammation occur within 3-12 weeks. Effects on bone are detectable already after six months while continuing for at least for three years. Read the full study here.
These results show that while the effectiveness time with testosterone replacement therapy varies from symptom to symptom, it does take only a short time to see improvements compared to dealing with the effects of low testosterone for a lifetime. (Tweet this!)
The information highlighted in this article is a guideline of what to expect but is not set in stone. Some people may experience certain results at a faster pace while others may find it takes a little longer to see positive changes. How quickly testosterone therapy works for each person is also, in part, dependent on the steps taken to assist the process by making subtle changes in one’s lifestyle. Getting proper sleep, eating well, and exercising will all help improve the effectiveness of testosterone treatment.
Most patients asking how soon testosterone injections work are anticipating tangible results they can see, whether in energy, muscle growth, reduction of stiffness and joint pains, or improved libido. The first result is not one that can be seen, but it is the most important as this is the body achieving balance with testosterone levels becoming normalized within a few days of the first injection.
Most individuals will start to notice significant changes within 4 to 6 weeks of beginning treatment with testosterone injections, but some changes may actually be felt and seen much earlier. The next section will feature a timeline of what to expect, and when – but please remember this is a generalization and each person’s results may differ.
It helps to have a visual in terms of how quickly testosterone injections start to kick in. The timeline below best illustrates when many of the benefits of treatment for low testosterone levels will begin to be noticeable in one’s life.
Within a few days of beginning testosterone injections:
- Improved insulin sensitivity
3 weeks after treatment begins:
Improved sex drive, sexual thoughts, fantasy, satisfaction, and libido
Increase in morning erections in men
Reduced anxiety, aggression, and improved sociability
Better perceived quality of life
Reduced inflammation in the body between 3 and 12 weeks
4 weeks after the start of testosterone injections:
Improved lipid profile – decrease in triglycerides and total cholesterol
Increase in full erections and sexual performance in men and women
6 weeks after beginning treatment for low testosterone:
Decreased depression symptoms
3 months (12 weeks) from the start of testosterone treatment:
Better glycemic control (3 – 12 months)
Improved erythropoiesis – formation of red blood cells
Decline in blood pressure (3 – 9 months)
Increased exercise capacity is shown in men with chronic heart failure
Decrease in LDL cholesterol and increase in HDL cholesterol (3 – 12 months)
Noticeable change in lean body mass, fat mass, and muscle strength by months 3 through 4
6 months into treatment with testosterone:
Increased bone density
Possible rise in PSA levels in men
- Possible prostate-specific antigen and volume rise
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Low testosterone can be easily diagnosed with a simple blood test and treated with testosterone replacement therapy to bring your testosterone levels back to normal. The testosterone replacement therapy options available are:
- Intramuscular injections
- Sublingual troches that are taken daily
- Testosterone cream that is applied daily to the shoulders, upper arms, or abdomen
Each of these options provides adequate levels of hormone replacement. Each has side effects and advantages and disadvantages. The choice of hormone replacement therapy is best made with a thorough discussion between you and Dr. Bird. This can be discussed at the free testosterone replacement therapy consultation.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM TESTOSTERONE INJECTIONS AFTER ONE YEAR OF TREATMENT
By the end of the first year of treatment for low testosterone, here is what to expect from testosterone injections:
Peak effects of erythropoiesis – red blood cell formation
Improved glycemic control
Stabilized muscle strengthening
Brighter, happier mood and outlook
Improved lean body mass – reduced fat
Sharper brain functions
Plateauing of prostate-specific antigen and volume
Lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels
Increased exercise capacity
The results of testosterone injections can be truly life-changing for someone who experienced debilitating symptoms associated with low testosterone.
HOW FAST DO TESTOSTERONE PILLS/TROCHES START TO WORK?
Testosterone pills are rarely recommended for two reasons:
Testosterone pills go to the stomach, where the digestive enzymes begin to tear apart the medicinal properties of testosterone.
The balance of testosterone pills winds up in the liver, where toxicity can build up and cause health problems.
For these reasons, it isn’t a treatment we recommend.
HOW FAST DOES TESTOSTERONE GEL/CREAM START TO WORK?
We know that most are eager to see and feel positive changes, which is why the question – when will I see results from testosterone? – is the most frequently asked.
Those patients who choose not to use injections tend to opt for testosterone gel or cream. The timeline for the gel/cream to work is roughly the same as with the testosterone cypionate results timeline. The benefits may come a bit slower because, unlike testosterone injections where the entire dosage is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, there is no way of knowing exactly how much testosterone is absorbed through the skin.
The initial benefits of improved sex drive, better perception of quality of life, and reduced anxiety will most likely still occur during the first month – just perhaps not to the same degree. Some men and women do feel effects of testosterone quicker with the gel or cream. There is no way of knowing until the treatment is started. Each person’s body processes the various forms of testosterone in a unique way.
To receive further information about how quickly testosterone therapy works, what you can expect from treatment, how to get tested for low testosterone, and what the best type of testosterone for your needs will be, contact us. We offer confidential consultations at no charge to men and women. Call today to learn about our affordable hormone replacement options.
How Testosterone Benefits Your Body
1. Healthy heart and blood
A healthy heart pumps blood to the rest of the body, providing muscles and organs with the oxygen needed for peak performance. Testosterone helps red blood cell production through the bone marrow. Low testosterone levels are linked to a variety of cardiovascular risks.
But can testosterone replacement therapy help with heart disease? Study results are mixed. Small studies in the early 2000s found that men with heart disease who underwent testosterone therapy saw only slight improvements. Some were able to increase their walking distance by 33 percent. Another study found that hormone therapy only widened healthy arteries but had no effect on angina pain.
A more recent, larger study of 83,000 men found that men whose testosterone levels returned to normal were 24 percent less likely to have a heart attack and 36 percent less likely to experience a stroke.
Read more: Signs of low testosterone in men under 30 “
2. Less fat, more muscle
Testosterone is responsible for increased muscle mass. Leaner body mass helps control weight and increases energy. For men with low testosterone, studies show that treatment can decrease fat mass and increase muscle size and strength. Some men reported a change in lean body mass but no increase in strength. It’s likely you’ll see the most benefits when you combine testosterone therapy with strength training and exercise.
3. Stronger bones
Testosterone plays a huge role in bone mineral density. Bone density decreases as men age and testosterone levels drop. This raises the risk of weak bones and osteoporosis. Strong bones help support your muscles and internal organs, which can boost athletic performance.
Research shows that bone density increases with testosterone treatment as long as the dose is high enough. Clinical trials on the effect of testosterone on bone density found increases in spinal and hip bone density. Another study of females transitioning into males found that testosterone increased bone mineral density. But it’s unknown if testosterone can help with reducing fracture risk.
4. Better verbal memory, spatial abilities, or mathematical reasoning
Research shows that men with higher ratios of total testosterone have a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. There’s also evidence for a strong correlation between testosterone and thinking abilities such as verbal memory and faster processing speed. Testosterone treatment for men 34 to 70 years old has shown an improvement in spatial memory.
5. Better libido
Testosterone levels naturally rise in response to sexual arousal and activity. Men with higher levels of testosterone usually have greater sexual activity. Older men need more testosterone for libido and erectile function. But it’s important to note that erectile dysfunction is often due to other conditions or medications rather than low testosterone levels.
Studies show that testosterone therapy can benefit your sexual health and performance. It also shows that there is a maximum level of testosterone before there’s no increased response. For men who don’t have hypogonadism, increasing your testosterone may not benefit your libido.
Read more: Can testosterone supplements increase your sex drive? “
6. Improved mood
Lower testosterone levels are associated with poorer quality of life. Some of the symptoms of low testosterone levels include depression, fatigue, and irritability. But some research shows that this may only be for men with hypogonadism. Men whose bodies follow the normal decrease of testosterone over time didn’t show an increase for depression.
The effects of testosterone replacement therapy on mood can vary. Men with hypogonadism reported improved mood and well-being, and reduced fatigue and irritability. Research suggests that this treatment may also be an effective anti-depressant treatment.
Testosterone replacement therapy can sound a little like the fountain of youth. Replace lost levels of the hormone, travel back in time to your younger years?
As guys age, their levels of testosterone tend to decline. And that’s a big problem: Testosterone binds to proteins throughout your body and brain called androgen receptors, which help control and regulate a whole range of different bodily functions, explains Ronald Tamler, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
If there’s not enough testosterone to go around, those androgen receptors all over your body and brain stay silent, leading to symptoms like low libido, weak erections and orgasms, inability to build muscle mass, low energy, or just feeling a little blue. A condition called hypogonadism —low testosterone—develops when your body can’t produce enough of it.
Related: 8 Sneaky Signs Your Testosterone Is Too Low
That’s where testosterone replacement therapy—a treatment that raises your low testosterone levels—comes in. Testosterone can be supplemented in the form of an injection, a gel, a suction cup on your gums, and even a deodorant. It comes down to personal preference and what your insurance covers, says Dr. Tamler.
Now, testosterone therapy is just for guys whose levels are actually low, usually under 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl) on a blood test. If you’re in the normal range, T-therapy isn’t on the table—and wouldn’t do you good anyway, he says.
If you are prescribed testosterone therapy, you’ll likely start to see some changes, big and small, pleasant and not-so-pleasant. You may not see them all, and they may not all appear right away, but here are 9 benefits and drawbacks of testosterone therapy you should watch for.
1. Effect of testosterone: Your sex drive jumps
When you’re low on testosterone, you might notice your sex drive begin to dip. Androgen receptors are located in the parts of your brain that influence sexual desire, so if you don’t have enough T to activate them, you may notice a drop in wanting to get it on, says Abraham Morgentaler, M.D., the director of Men’s Health Boston and author of Why Men Fake It: The Truth About Men and Sex and Testosterone for Life.
When you replace your lost testosterone, that can activate those androgen receptors in the part of your brain that controls desire. In fact, regaining a healthy sex drive is one of the biggest benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, says Dr. Morgentaler.
In addition to upping libido, T-therapy can possibly make your erections more satisfying, too. “You need to have testosterone to work on the receptors in the penis to help it trap blood to keep it ,” says Dr. Tamler. “Receptors help steer that process, and if you don’t have enough T then the process is impaired.”
This isn’t the only piece of the puzzle, though—erections also rely on healthy nerves and blood flow. So that means that testosterone therapy by itself isn’t a cure for erectile dysfunction itself.
Related: 5 Ways Happy Couples Deal When Their Sex Drives Diverge
2. Effect of testosterone: It’s easier to build muscle
“Muscles are extremely responsive to testosterone—one of the most reliable things we see is an increase in muscle mass,” says Dr. Morgentaler.
This is because androgen receptors are found in muscle tissue, so testosterone activates them to stimulate growth. Of course, to make the most of this benefit, you’ll need to be doing your part by strength training as well.
In addition to an increase in lean muscle mass, some men report fat loss as well. While testosterone doesn’t directly incite fat loss itself, part of it may be thanks to the uptick in muscle mass—the more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate (or BMR) will be, which means your body will burn more calories at rest. (Want to max out the process even more? Try The 21-Day Metashred from Men’s Health, the at-home workout plan that will help you build lean muscle and burn fat at the same time.)
Jed Kaminetsky, M.D., a clinical assistant professor in the department of urology at NYU Langone Medical Center also notes that this may be partially because testosterone improves overall motivation to get up and sweat it out, so if you’re motivated to put in the work again, you’ll see results.
Related: 7 Reasons You’re Not Building As Much Muscle As You Could
3. Effect of testosterone: Your energy levels can soar
“It’s very common for men to come in with low T and one of their primary symptoms is fatigue,” says Dr. Morgentaler. “And when we treat them, a lot of men will say that their energy has improved.” Many men also report an improvement in the “brain fog” that can come along with low testosterone, adds Dr. Tamler.
While researchers aren’t exactly sure how exactly testosterone plays a role in energy yet, Dr. Morgentaler says one of the thoughts is that it has an effect on your mitochondria, which produce energy within cells. This case isn’t closed on this yet, but the theory is that “testosterone turns them on so they’re more productive in terms of creating the energy that the cells need.”
Dr. Tamler also notes that it may be tied back to androgen receptors as well. “If they don’t get sufficient input, that can cause fatigue,” he says. So bringing testosterone levels back up can help reverse this.
Related: The 8 Best Foods to Keep You Energized All Day Long
4. Effect of testosterone: Your mood can improve
Similar to its effects on energy, experts don’t have a definitive answer to why testosterone impacts mood so deeply—after all, “the brain is a complicated thing,” says Dr. Tamler—but they do see it as a potential life-changing benefit.
“In some ways, the impact on mood is one of the most profound benefits of T that we see,” says Dr. Morgentaler. “Not everybody has that, but when we see it, it’s remarkable. In my practice, patients will say, ‘Oh, my mood’s OK, maybe I just feel a little bit tired or blah.’ And they come back and they say things like, ‘I wake up in the morning and I’m optimistic about my day. I haven’t felt that way in years.'”
In fact, a 2012 study published in The Aging Male found that after 12 months of testosterone therapy, the percentages of guys with moderately severe to severe depression symptoms decreased from 17 percent to 2 percent.
And more recent research also backs that up: “The largest randomized control trial for T was just completed a year ago, called the T Trials, and it showed that men who received T had a greater improvement in mood than men who received placebo,” notes Dr. Morgentaler.
Related: 7 Surprising Symptoms Of Depression In Men That Prove It’s Not All About Sadness
5. Effect of testosterone: Your testicles may shrink
This is one of the most common side effects of testosterone replacement theory.
Normally, when your pituitary gland senses that there’s not enough testosterone in the bloodstream, it sends down a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) to signal your testicles to start producing more testosterone, and a hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to signal sperm production.
Related: Why Your Balls Might Feel Like a Bag Of Worms
When you take outside testosterone, the pituitary gland gets the memo that there’s enough T in your bloodstream, so it stops sending these signals. This essentially puts the testicles to sleep (read: little or no sperm and testosterone production), says Dr. Kaminetsky.
“Most of the size of the testicle is dedicated to making sperm, so when you’re making less sperm, the testicles get smaller,” says Dr. Morgentaler. This also means it can hamper fertility, acting like birth control, so if you’re planning on having kids, testosterone replacement therapy isn’t an option.
6 Things Every Man Should Know About His Penis:
And production doesn’t always go back to normal afterwards, either says Dr. Kaminetsky. A 2017 study in Fertility & Sterility found that increasing age and longer length of T-therapy was linked to less chances of normal sperm recovery. (Here are 7 things you do every day that might be messing with your sperm.)
6. Effect of testosterone: Your feet and ankles may swell
Some people notice a little swelling in their feet and ankles because testosterone can encourages your body to hold onto excess fluid, says Dr. Morgentaler.
This isn’t a big deal for most people, he says, and its more common to see it if you’re taking a non-daily treatment like an injection, where you’re getting a higher dose of T in one sitting. You may notice a pound or two of difference on the scale, but it should melt away after a few days.
Related: Tom Brady Drinks 25 Glasses Of Water a Day. Should You Drink That Much, Too?
7. Effect of testosterone: Your skin type may change
Going on testosterone replacement therapy may change your skin type—for better or for worse, says Dr. Morgentaler.
Like other hormones, testosterone can increase oil production, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s important for healthy skin, so you may actually end up with a better complexion. However, too much oily buildup can lead to breakouts.
Thankfully, this isn’t that common, says Dr. Morgentaler, and it’s typically seen in men who have a history of acne. (If you shudder at the reminder of your teenage skin, this might be a more likely side effect.)
Similar to the fluid retention, this is mainly seen with treatments like injections, when you’re getting a higher dose all at once.
Related: 5 Reasons You Still Get Acne As a Grown-Ass Man
8. Effect of testosterone: In rare cases, your breasts may enlarge
In all men—whether you’re taking T or not—some testosterone is converted into the hormone estradiol, a form of estrogen. And in men who have more breast tissue by nature, the T they’re taking that’s naturally converted into estradiol could stimulate this breast tissue to grow.
This is called gynecomastia, says Dr. Morgentaler, and it’s relatively uncommon—he says he doesn’t even see one case a year.
If this does happen, though, your doctor will likely stop treatment for a month or two to allow your breast tissue to go back to normal, and then start you back up with T along with a drug that blocks the conversion of testosterone to estradiol.
Related: How to Get Rid Of Man Boobs
Testosterone replacement therapy has traditionally come along with serious warning labels that your risk for heart attack, stroke, and prostate cancer could rise, but this is still very controversial—and recent evidence has begun to debunk some of these fears.
In the case of heart attacks and strokes, the concern is that testosterone thickens blood because it binds to androgen receptors that stimulate bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. Thicker blood is linked to a greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
But there isn’t strong evidence to connect these cardiac events to testosterone itself, and some more recent studies actually suggest that normal testosterone levels might actually protect against these risks, says Dr. Morgentaler.
One mechanism at play here could be that reduced body fat is linked to overall better health, and testosterone replacement therapy can encourage this, says Dr. Morgentaler. More research is needed, he says, and to be safe your doctor will monitor your red blood cell count throughout your treatment.
As far as prostate cancer goes, this is fuzzy, too. Because there are androgen receptors in the prostate, testosterone can make it grow. So if you already have an enlarged prostate that makes it difficult to urinate, testosterone could exacerbate the issue, says Dr. Tamler.
Related: Should You Get the PSA Test to Screen For Prostate Cancer?
If you have existing prostate cancer, theoretically, testosterone could make it grow in the same way, says Dr. Kaminetsky. However, there isn’t evidence to suggest that T actually causes prostate cancer.
Alexa Tucker Alexa is a Denver-based contributor who covers all things lifestyle, wellness, travel, home, and beauty.
Long-term testosterone therapy improves urinary, sexual function and quality of life
These findings appear in the Journal of Urology.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone involved in the regulation of sexual function, urinary health and metabolism as well as a number of other critical functions. For most men, testosterone concentration declines slowly with age and may not cause immediate major symptoms. However, some men may experience a host of signs and sumptoms constituting a clinical condition called Testosterone Deficiency (TD), or male hypogonadism, which is attributed to insufficient levels of testosterone. As a result, they experience symptoms as varied as erectile dysfunction, low energy, fatique, depressed mood and an increased risk of diabetes.
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Public Health (BUSPH) collaborated with a group of urologists in Germany to investigate the effects of long-term testosterone replacement therapy on urinary health and sexual function as well as quality of life in men with diagnosed, symptomatic testosterone deficiency. More than 650 men in their 50s and 60s enrolled in the study, some with unexplained testosterone deficiency and others with known genetic and auto-immune causes for their hypogonadism.
“It is thought that testosterone treatment in men may increase prostate size and worsen lower urinary tract symptoms,” said Abdulmaged Traish, PhD, professor of urology at BUSM.
However, he and Gheorghe Doros, PhD, professor of biostatistics at BUSPH, discovered that despite increased prostate size in the group that received testosterone therapy, there were fewer urinary symptoms such as frequent urination, incomplete bladder emptying, weak urinary stream and waking up at night to urinate.
In addition to these subjective improvements, the researchers conducted objective testing that showed that those men treated with testosterone emptied their bladders more fully. Finally, testosterone treatment also increased the scores patients received on assessments of their erectile/sexual health and general quality of life.
The findings of this study are of great significance to men suffering with symptomatic testosterone deficiency. Traish emphasized the value of this treatment option, stating that, ” is well-tolerated with progressive and sustained improvement in urinary and sexual function and overall improvement in quality of life.”
Low T and Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Hypogonadism, or Low Testosterone
Hypogonadism, also known as low testosterone or “low T,” can lead to symptoms of:
• A decreased energy and libido
• Trouble building lean muscle mass
• Difficulty concentrating
• Loss of bone density
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT): Is It for You?
You must have some or all of these symptoms and have low testosterone levels verified by a blood test in order to be considered for TRT.
Evaluation & Choice: The First Steps
Before TRT, you’ll need an evaluation by your doctor for risk factors, like prostate and breast cancer.
Of the main options for TRT, each has its benefits and disadvantages. The decision about which one is right for you will depend on your personal preferences and a discussion with your doctor. In some cases, different insurance companies may cover one option and not another, which we’ll help you take into consideration.
Monitoring Your Treatment
While undergoing TRT, you’ll be monitored regularly (usually every 3-6 months) to confirm symptom control, measure your testosterone levels and check for potentially dangerous side effects.
The follow-up regimen usually consists of:
• Physical exam every 6 months, including digital rectal exam to assess for signs of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer
• Blood work every 3-6 months for testosterone levels and other hormones
• Blood work every 6 months for lipids, hemoglobin and hematocrit and PSA (prostate-specific antigen)
If the desired effects aren’t achieved with your initial choice, we can try a different option to see if it’s a better fit for you, your health and your lifestyle.
Types of TRT
You and your doctor can choose from a range of TRT options.
- Altered sleep patterns
- Low libido
- Emotional changes, such as depression or lack of motivation
- Reduction in strength
- Unexplained weight gain
- Premature ejaculation
Get a total body assessment to diagnose your sexual issues!
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Options
Testosterone therapy can be done in several ways. Clomiphene for men is a drug in pill form that aids your body in producing its own testosterone. Bear in mind that clomiphene for men has several side effects — such as tenderness in pectoral muscles, acne, irritability, changes in your vision and acceleration of prostate cancer, if you already have it.
Other options for testosterone therapy delivery include:
- Gels. Applied to your skin, the gel is easily absorbed. To maintain dosage consistency, it comes in either individual packaging or it’s delivered by a premeasured pump.
- Transdermal patches. You apply a testosterone skin patch once a day or as directed by your doctor.
- Testosterone injections. Testosterone injections are administered into your body’s soft tissue. Typically, your doctor injects it into your gluteal muscles. If your doctor allows you to self-inject, you likely target your testosterone injections in your thigh muscles.
- Pellets. Your doctor implants these pellets in your body’s soft tissue. The testosterone is released from them automatically over time.
- Testosterone cypionate. Testosterone cypionate is a prescription drug that comes in the form of testosterone shots. These testosterone shots are self-injectable and can be done at home.
The timeline of testosterone replacement therapy’s effects varies from person to person. Some men respond quickly to the treatments, while others take a little longer to experience a change in their testosterone levels.
Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy
If you suffer from low testosterone levels, proper treatment can improve your quality of life tremendously. There are, however, side effects to testosterone replacement therapy that may include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Painful or difficult urination
- Swelling in your ankles or feet
- Rapid weight gain
- Liver complications
- Increased or decreased interest in sex
Benefits of Magnesium Alternative Treatments
If other methods of increasing testosterone aren’t right for you, you may be eligible for another treatment option. Low testosterone is often a side effect of a magnesium deficiency. To eliminate that magnesium deficiency, your physician may advise you to take 500mg daily. Magnesium benefits are wide-ranging, as they increase bone health, improve calcium absorption, lower your risk of diabetes and improve the muscular function of your heart. Magnesium benefits you by preventing or relieving migraine headaches. The treatment may also dispel your anxiety.
Raise your testosterone levels for a healthier life!
How Long Does Testosterone Take to Work?
Your first round of testosterone is an important step toward achieving your dream body. But how long does testosterone take to work? Let’s find out!
One of the most common questions we receive from patients is: How long does testosterone take to work?
Unfortunately, there isn’t really a black and white answer to this question. Most physicians assert that patients will experience improvement within 4-6 weeks.
But, like most treatment procedures, Low Testosterone Treatment (TRT) is dependant on the individual.
Since this answer is a little ambiguous, we will discuss the signs of testosterone kicking in.
After TRT, patients typically experience similar responses from their bodies. When you start having these experiences, it’s likely your treatment is beginning to kick in.
Read on to learn what to look out for to know when your TRT is working.
How Long Does Testosterone Take to Work: Timeline
Improved Sex Drive and Better Quality Sleep
The first two signs to look for is an improved sex drive and the ability to sleep better at night.
The frequency of erection and ejaculation increases usually around the 3 week mark. However, sometimes it can occur a little sooner or later as well.
Around 12-21 weeks, men are expected to experience steady levels of frequency with ejaculation. Also, around the 3 week mark, men also experience a stronger libido and have more sexual fantasies.
Restlessness among men with low testosterone is common. It prohibits the brain from falling into a deep sleep cycle.
During the early stages of TRT, men typically feel less anxious and more relaxed. This allows them to fall into better sleep patterns.
After a consistent improvement in sex drive and sleep, a patient’s mood changes.
Low testosterone in men often causes them higher levels of depression than others. However, around the 6 week mark of TRT, patient’s mood increases significantly.
Men tend to continue feeling less anxious and unclear throughout this period. They are much less irritable and also experience greater levels of sociability.
Their sexual performance also continues to increase. This can cause greater levels of comfort to men, further curbing a bad-tempered mood.
Change in Body Structure
When patients ask ‘How long does testosterone take to work for body development?’, the answer varies.
But, after falling into a better mental state, men usually notice more changes within their bodies.
This is when they will begin to see changes in fat mass, lean body mass, and muscle strength.
Also, their exercising ability is expected to increase around this time. This also attributes to changes in body development.
These core changes will continue to develop over several months. However, patients see early developments in body structure around the 3 month (or 12 week) mark.
Men begin to experience internal benefits around the time their body structure adjusts.
They are able to have more control over their eating habits, and blood sugar levels.
Men begin to see a decrease in blood pressure. This leads to a decrease in serious health threats such as stroke or heart attack.
Cholesterol levels begin to balance out around this time. Patients experience lower levels of LDL Cholesterol and higher levels of HDL Cholesterol.
Several Months Into Treatment
Bone density will continue to develop several months after the initial treatment.
Patient’s Prostate-Specific Antigen (commonly referred to as PSA levels or prostate levels) will increase around this time as well.
Having too high of PSA levels is dangerous for men as it increases their risk for prostate cancer.
Often times, testosterone treatment is considered negative when examining prostate levels. (This is, in fact, inaccurate and shouldn’t dispel a person from receiving treatment.)
Low testosterone treatment helps find a steady balance within prostate levels.
A Year After Treatment: What Can I Expect?
After a year of TRT, men tend to experience the full benefits of treatment.
Patient’s mental state is much more balanced and their brains are able to think much clearer. They are much more positive, happier, and see an increase in their overall well-being.
Their sleep habits are fully restored. This also boosts morale and greater feelings of enjoyment.
Men’s sex lives reach a peak, and they continue to experience great levels of sexual intimacy. Not only does sexual desire increase, but their physical attractiveness continues to develop.
Men will see continued growth in their muscle strength and have much stronger bones.
Their lean body mass is much more developed than it was at the 3-month mark. This leads to a reduction in overall body fat.
Prostate levels do not continue to grow after its initial spike. They have leveled out at this point in treatment.
Blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels are also at a healthy state. Lastly, patients will see increased red blood cell formation.
Important Reminders During Low Testosterone Treatment
Upon receiving treatment, you must remember that TRT is not an overnight process. You aren’t going to wake up the next morning with increased body mass and a high sex drive.
Moreso, it’s a gradual process that requires frequent care and attention. Instead of asking “How long does testosterone take to work?”, ask “How is my body processing the treatment?”.
As you see above, most changes occur around the 3-week mark. However, it may not be as noticeable at first.
Remember to stay patient and trust that your body is developing as it should through TRT. Raising your testosterone levels shouldn’t be a race.
Also, it’s likely that treatment won’t be a consistent growth. There will be days and periods when certain elements will start to plateau.
It’s important to not get discouraged and to continue moving forward. It’s completely normal for things to slight infrequency.
Lastly, you need to be in tune with your emotions and what your body is going through. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and be weary if anything feels off (in a bad way).
You may have clicked “How long does testosterone take to work” and expected a direct answer. Unfortunately, this treatment will rely on the individual’s body and their ability to care for it.
Don’t be discouraged by this process. Trust that you are working with a physician who knows what’s best!
Are you interested in low testosterone treatment? Contact us to learn more about our TRT process!