If you are a male who often feels tired, has trouble concentrating, or – especially – finds that your sex drive is not what it used to be, you may be suffering from low testosterone (low T).
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testicles, and when your level of the hormone is low, it can cause symptoms such as the aforementioned lower sex drive, lack of energy or fatigue, reduced muscle strength or endurance, and – most significantly – weaker erections and possibly male infertility.
While low T is quite common, affecting approximately 40 percent of men over the age of 45, and is usually nothing to be overly concerned about, it can prove to be an impediment if you and your partner are planning to have children.
If that is the case, you should talk with your doctor about having your testosterone level checked and consider your options for treating your low T.
Factors Contributing to Low T in Men
Medically referred to as hypogonadism, low T is associated with andropause, the male equivalent of menopause in women. A man’s testosterone levels naturally tend to decline with age. The problem is that testosterone influences more than just muscle growth and sex drive, it also plays an important role in the health of vital organs, such as your brain, kidneys, bones, and liver.
Low T can also be caused by any of the following factors:
- Testicular injuries
- Testicular cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hormone disorders
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
Fortunately, there are testosterone replacement options for men with low T. There are testosterone injections administered in a clinical setting every one to two weeks. In addition, there are testosterone pellets that can be inserted under the skin (usually into the hip) or patches that can be applied to the skin. Also, there are testosterone topical gels that you can rub into your skin daily, as well as oral testosterone tablets that you apply to your gums twice per day. There are also some lifestyle changes you can make to improve your overall health, which has an influence on your hormones.
In Phoenix, Arizona, board-certified and fellowship trained urologist Dr. Desi Avila of Ironwood Urology can determine the cause of your low T and help regulate the testosterone levels in your body. By undergoing treatment, you can increase your sex drive, boost your energy, reduce fatigue, and help enhance your fertility.
Treatment options for low-T include:
- Testosterone injections
- TESTOPEL® testosterone pellets
- Topical testosterone gel prescription medication
- Weight loss programs
- Aggressive lifestyle changes
It is important to note, however, that while any of these treatments will help restore your testosterone to a normal or high level, some may have the unintended side effect of reducing the amount of sperm your testicles produce. The longer you receive testosterone replacement treatment, the lower your sperm count may become and,unless properly managed by an experienced urologist, prolonged treatment could result in permanent sterility.
So, if you are exhibiting symptoms of low T and you and your partner have not started or finished having children,you should discuss male infertility and testosterone supplementation with your provider before starting testosterone treatment.
Low T Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona
If you think you might have low testosterone and are concerned about fertility, don’t hesitate to call (480) 961-2323 to arrangea private consultation with Dr. Avila at Ironwood Urology in Phoenix, or you can request an appointment online.