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Understanding hormones

Forms of Testosterone Replacement Therapy


Like estrogen and progesterone replacement therapy, testosterone replacement therapy comes in a variety of forms. All of the following forms have their own pros and cons, and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. For all forms of testosterone replacement therapy, it may take anywhere from three to six months to see results and a reduction of symptoms.

 

Pills
While pills are one of the most convenient forms of testosterone replacement therapy, many physicians are hesitant to prescribe these due to the fact that they increase the risk of liver toxicity, and many may lower levels of HDL (the “good” form of cholesterol).
Pills are one of the most convenient forms of testosterone replacement therapy.
Lozenges
Lozenges usually contain a low concentration of testosterone, or a combination of testosterone and DHEA. They are taken orally.
Lozenges usually contain a low concentration of testosterone.
Patches
A patch is affixed directly to the skin which allows for a steady, slow release of testosterone. Skin irritation may occur.
A patch is affixed directly to the skin.
Gels
Like patches, testosterone gels allow for a slow and controlled release of testosterone into the body. They are usually self-applied once per day. Again, skin irritation may be a problem.
Testosterone gel is usually self-applied once per day.
Injections
Injected directly into muscle tissue at distinct intervals, testosterone injections release the highest concentration of testosterone in the body and thus are not used except in cases of severe testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone injections release the highest concentration of testosterone in the body.

 

With the use of any testosterone replacement therapy, there are risks. Testosterone levels should be monitored regularly by a doctor. If the risks outweigh the benefits, there are safer alternatives available to fix testosterone imbalance. Click here to learn about alternative treatments to testosterone replacement therapy.


Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy: Three Approaches

It is recommended to begin with the least aggressive approach and move to the next level of treatment only if necessary.

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Learn more: Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy

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