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What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

In general, testosterone replacement therapy is a process for treating various conditions which lower testosterone to suboptimal levels.  This therapeutic approach can be used for women and men to treat a variety of conditions.  This brief article will cover the history of this technique, how it works, and discusses the use of if by Nation Medical Male Clinics.

History of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

The notion that people deficient in some compound that their body normally makes can be cured by taking an external form of the compound is an old concept.  This is the

principle behind blood transfusions, insulin injections for diabetes, growth hormone injections, and more.  Testosterone replacement therapy follows this same conceptual approach.  In fact the concept of incorporating the other animals’ sexual organs or prowess into human bodies is an ancient idea that exists in numerous cultures.

Early research in Germany in the mid 1800’s led to the discovery that castrated roosters lost their ability to mate and other characteristics that were unique to roosters – such as crowing in the morning.  When the roosters’ testes were replaced, their normal behavior returned.  Subsequently, during the late 1800’s, an elderly French scientist injected himself with animal testicular extract (from guinea pigs and dogs) and reported at a scientific conference in Paris that he felt rejuvenated as a result.  This early experiment revealed some of the benefits of testosterone which are seen in patients today – increased strength, concentration, and energy.  This event triggered growing interest in the notion that features of younger male behavior and body characteristics, particularly those associated with sexual abilities, could be captured and used to help older men regain their younger selves.  In the 1930’s testosterone was synthesized.  This discovery began the pharmaceutical industry’s journey towards making testosterone for replacement therapy.  Not long after this, clinicians began prescribing testosterone.  In 1944, a couple of Detroit physicians demonstrated in a Journal of the American Medical Association study that some men appear to have shrinking gonads or internal reproductive organs as they age.  This discovery demonstrated that these men were similar to younger men who had an illness called hypogonadism (small testes resulting in low levels of testosterone) and therefore might benefit from any treatments the younger group required.  The physicians also demonstrated that men who had this problem improved with testosterone.  Later discoveries revealed that women having their ovaries removed who also had declines in sexual functioning also improved after receiving testosterone.  Hence the therapy was useful for men and women.

Until recently the best approach for getting testosterone into the human body has been a challenge. Early oral testosterone pills caused liver toxicity and remain a challenge to create today.  An implantable form of testosterone that was placed under the skin worked well and is still used today.  However, this method requires minor surgery which can present some small risks of infection and irritation of the implantation site.  The most common method of testosterone replacement therapy remains injections.  However, newer technology has led to the creation of testosterone patches which are less invasive than injections

yet more inconvenient for many men as they are often placed on the scrotum of men.

How Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy Work?

The goal of testosterone replacement therapy is to replace the testosterone that a person would normally have without whatever condition is causing abnormally low levels.  The therapy works best when testosterone is delivered to the body at an appropriate level.  For all methods of injection, testosterone levels rise, sometimes to above normal levels, then declines.  Thus appropriate monitoring is needed in order to make sure that the rise and decline are actually happening in a manner which is beneficial to a patient and not harmful.  Excessive testosterone can cause a number of side effects, including shrinking of testicles, acne, enlarged prostate, and hair loss.  Different types of testosterone administration have unique concerns associated with them.  For example, injections pose a risk of infection.  Testosterone patches and gels pose a risk of allergic skin reactions.  If the method of administration is appropriate, testosterone replacement therapy should offer all the benefits of the body’s normal testosterone which include: increased concentration and focus, normal sperm production, normal bone density, increased sex drive, increased energy level, increased lean muscle mass, better sleep, better memory, improved mood, mental clarity and more.

National Male Medical Clinics offers testosterone injection and a gel (topical application).  Injections have a 100% success rate in providing testosterone that is used in the same ways as to the body’s normal testosterone.  It is usually provided once a week.  The gel is useful for men who are sensitive to the effects of testosterone.  It is administered daily in low doses.