TDS occurs when the body is unable to produce enough testosterone. Although it can be caused by genetic or medical conditions, low testosterone is also caused by age. As men age their testosterone levels naturally decline.
Low testosterone affects 1 in 10 men at the age of 50, increasing to 1 in 4 men over the age of 70.
The likelihood of testosterone deficiency and associated symptoms is greater in patients with:
High blood pressure
How you feel
Lack of energy
Loss of concentration
How you look
Loss of muscle mass
A loss of strength
Increased body fat
Loss of bone mineral density / bone strength
Loss of body hair
Changes in sexual function
Reduced sex drive
Problems with getting or keeping an erection
Difficulty in achieving orgasm
Some men with TDS have all of these symptoms, while others may only have a few, or even just one. None of these symptoms are specific to low testosterone so it is important to talk to a doctor to make sure that low testosterone is not confused with other medical conditions.
If the GP or specialist suspects low testosterone he should conduct a simple blood test to gage whether or not the patient’s testosterone levels lie within the normal range (300-1000ng/dL). If below normal, a TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) may be prescribed. In addition, the patient may benefit from making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy diet , getting sufficient sleep and keeping active.
1. TRT aims to replace the testosterone that is deficient and therefore restore testosterone levels to a normal range
2. TRT may be administered as a gel, injection, patch, or buccal table
3. Gels are self-administered on a daily basis
4. Alternatively, injections may be received from a healthcare professional on a monthly/two monthly basis
TRT is a long term treatment and should be assessed 3, 6 and 12 months after the onset of treatment, and thereafter annually. Some men will require TRT indefinitely.
The relationship between TRT and fertility is complicated. Both low testosterone and testosterone replacement therapy may cause a reduction in sperm production.
If infertility is an issue it should be discussed prior to treatment, as there are options available to address this.