Testosterone therapy: Potential benefits and risks as you age
Considering testosterone therapy to help you feel younger and more vigorous as you age? Know the risks before you make your decision.
The promise of testosterone therapy may seem enticing, but there are a lot of misconceptions about what the treatment can and can’t do for you. As you get older, testosterone therapy may sound like the ultimate anti-aging formula.
Yet the health benefits of testosterone therapy for age-related decline in testosterone aren’t as clear as they may seem. Find out what’s known — and not known — about testosterone therapy for normal aging.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testicles. Testosterone helps maintain men’s:
- Bone density
- Fat distribution
- Muscle strength and mass
- Facial and body hair
- Red blood cell production
- Sex drive
- Sperm production
What happens to testosterone levels with age?
Testosterone levels generally peak during adolescence and early adulthood. As you get older, your testosterone level gradually declines — typically about 1 percent a year after age 30 or 40. It is important to determine in older men if a low testosterone level is simply due to the decline of normal aging or if it is due to a disease (hypogonadism).
Hypogonadism is a disease in which the body is unable to produce normal amounts of testosterone due to a problem with the testicles or with the pituitary gland that controls the testicles. Testosterone replacement therapy can improve the signs and symptoms of low testosterone in these men. Doctors may prescribe testosterone as injections, pellets, patches or gels.
Does a naturally declining testosterone level cause the signs and symptoms of aging?
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Shared from mayoclinic.org