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You may be bombarded with ads and articles that have you worried about low testosterone, or low T. Several drug companies are making a lot of money convincing men that testosterone gels, patches or injections can save the male sex life and masculinity. The truth is that testosterone therapy is not the answer for every man. In fact, there are several possible reasons that you should not take testosterone therapy, and some men do not actually receive any benefit from taking testosterone.
There are health risks associated with testosterone therapy and those risks could outweigh the benefits of testosterone if you are not cautious about it. And there are many testosterone myths and misconceptions that you may want to consider (as well as side effects) before you decide to start testosterone therapy.
Before considering testosterone therapy, you should visit your healthcare provider to find out whether you actually have low T or simply the natural decline in testosterone level associated with aging. A man’s testosterone level begins to decline naturally after he turns 40 and that decline often accelerates after age 60. You also need to consider your health history, because that may affect whether you should take testosterone.
The conditions indicating that testosterone therapy may not be right for you include:
You Have Symptoms Of Low T But Normal Testosterone Levels
Many men experience symptoms associated with low T. These include low energy, erectile problems, lower libido and mood changes. But these symptoms can also be attributed to other issues and are not reason enough to start testosterone therapy. You doctor should do a blood or saliva test to measure your free testosterone level. If you have these types of symptoms and measure low in testosterone, then you may want to talk to your doctor about testosterone therapy or learn about how to increase testosterone naturally.
You Have Low T But No Symptoms
Some men actually have low T, but they do not have any symptoms of the condition. If you have a low testosterone level but have no symptoms, you don’t need to start therapy.
You Have Prostate Cancer
If you have prostate cancer you should not take testosterone. Even though testosterone does not cause prostate cancer, it may make prostate cancer grow. Though rare, testosterone may lead to breast cancer in men.
You Have An Enlarged Prostate
Testosterone causes your prostate to grow. Abnormal testosterone levels can increase symptoms of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH).
You Have Sleep Apnea
If you have untreated sleep apnea, testosterone therapy could make it worse. Men with sleep apnea experience frequent, but brief, periods of interrupted breathing while they sleep. Sleep apnea is often accompanied by loud snoring. If you have sleep apnea, you should consider getting a sleep study done so you can get properly diagnosed and treated. Sleep apnea and snoring can be early signs of heart trouble. Another reason to correct sleep apnea: You will get a better night’s sleep. Getting enough sleep is a natural way to boost your testosterone.
You Are Overweight
Obese men are more likely to have lower testosterone levels than men of normal weight. Having too much body fat affects your hormone balance of estrogen/estradiol and testosterone. Losing the extra weight can help you get your testosterone level back into normal ranges. Read more about testosterone and estrogen in men. Also, exercising more is another way to naturally boost your testosterone levels and maintaining a normal estrogen/T balance.
You Plan To Have More Children
If you still want to father children or are not done having additional offspring, you shouldn’t take testosterone therapy. Testosterone can lower your sperm count and decrease fertility. When you take testosterone, your brain shuts down the natural production of testosterone. You may get larger muscles but smaller testicles.
You Have Polycythemia
Polycythemia is a condition in which a person has too many red blood cells. Testosterone can stimulate the production of polycythemia and could make this condition worse. Testosterone therapy also thickens your blood, which puts you at risk for heart attack or stroke. Some men on T therapy have to take regular blood transfusions to reduce the “stickiness” of their blood.
You Do Not Want The Side Effects from Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone therapy has some side effects including acne, hair loss, breast enlargement, and skin reactions from the gels, patches, or injections. There are also some testosterone therapy cardiovascular risks. These side effects may be a sign that testosterone therapy is not for you. It is worth learning how to boost your own testosterone levels naturally before trying testosterone therapy,.
Supplements for Men’s Health
Whether or not you have decided that testosterone therapy is for you, you can still take charge of your prostate and sexual health with natural supplements, especially if you are concerned about hormones, prostate cancer, and enlarged prostate. Top prostate supplements contain clinical strength ingredients like vitamin D, zinc, DIM, quercetin, saw palmetto, and others that help your body keep dihydrotestosterone and estrogen levels in balance.
Tests Associated With Testosterone Therapy
If you do decide to start testosterone therapy, there are some tests you should have performed regularly. Your doctor should check your blood testosterone levels periodically. He or she should also check your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level and perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) to watch for signs of prostate cancer. Another important test is checking your red blood cell level, monitoring your hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. If you decide that testosterone therapy is the right move for you, it is important to work with your doctor so that you do not exceed your biological normal testosterone level.