Low Testosterone: Fact vs. Myth Module

Fact or Myth

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Low testosterone, or hypogonadism, is a normal part of getting older.

Symptoms of low testosterone can be both physical and emotional.

Once my testosterone level is normal, I no longer need to take my testosterone replacement therapy medication.

I should ensure that women and children are not exposed to my testosterone replacement therapy.

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This is a myth

This is a fact.

Testosterone levels do naturally decrease as men age, but when, in addition to low testosterone levels, symptoms such as low energy, low mood, or low libido (little or no interest in sex) impact your quality of life, it may hint at a more serious condition, hypogonadism.

Hypogonadism can also cause loss of muscle mass, body hair loss, and decreased bone density. Simple blood tests can determine if you need testosterone replacement therapy, which can increase testosterone levels back to within a normal range.

Your doctor can help choose the best testosterone replacement therapy for you. Visit the Doctor Discussion Guide to help you prepare for your discussion with your doctor about low testosterone. Learn more about your testosterone replacement therapy options.

Testosterone is an androgen, a "male hormone" that the body makes naturally. It helps with muscle strength, sex drive, and bone strength. Low testosterone can cause you to feel tired and weak, lose muscle mass, have low libido, experience erectile dysfunction, and even develop breasts. Low testosterone can cause emotional symptoms too, including feeling depressed, irritable, and unmotivated.

Although it may feel intimidating or awkward to raise these subjects with your doctor, it is an important first step to getting back to your old self again. Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to help you be ready to talk with your doctor about low testosterone.

The goal of testosterone replacement therapy is to supplement your unnaturally low testosterone level to return it to a normal range. Stopping your treatment without first consulting your doctor may cause you to return to an unhealthy low testosterone state and to experience symptoms again. This means that you should always continue your medication as prescribed by your doctor. Discuss with your doctor which testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.

Testosterone replacement therapy is currently only approved to be used in adult men with low testosterone, as it can cause serious negative side effects in women and children who are exposed to it. The risk of exposure for women and children largely depends on the type of testosterone replacement therapy used.

It is important to ensure that, as with other medications, the only person taking or exposed to your medication is you. If you are concerned about transference risk, ask your doctor about which testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.