Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
What is TRT? Is TRT safe? How much does TRT Therapy cost? In this page, we answer your most pressing TRT questions. Discover TRT.
Before delving into exactly what testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is and how it can help you, let’s take a look at the dynamics of testosterone itself. Testosterone is an androgen hormone that’s present in both males and females and is produced by the adrenal cortex (the testes in men or the ovaries in women), but the amount produced in the female body is of a much smaller quantity.
TRT Muscle Gain
Males who are healthy and have already gone through puberty have an average of 20 times the levels of testosterone as compared to a healthy female who has also gone through puberty. In women, testosterone plays a role in egg development and ovulation, but testosterone is most widely known to be the body’s natural hormone that makes men more manly, and is predominantly responsible for masculine characteristics such as a healthy libido and erectile function, fertility, male puberty and sperm production, male pattern hair growth of the face and body, muscle strength and mass, and a deep voice…but is lesser known to many outside of the medical profession for its significant role in the production of red blood cells, cognitive behavior and mood, bone density, fat distribution, and even healthy sleep patterns.
While many men don’t notice when exactly they started to lose some of their energy, started to gain weight or to lose muscle mass, or even noticed their more recent feelings of depression or overall sour-mood, others take notice of the hormonal change more evidently. Since a testosterone imbalance (typically low levels) can also cause infertility in men, many men don’t think to seek treatment until they and their partner experience difficulty getting pregnant. Medical professionals have many terms for this condition related to low testosterone levels in aging men, including testosterone deficiency, androgen deficiency, andropause, late-onset hypogonadism, and even male menopause.
Whether your body naturally produces low levels of testosterone or your levels have declined due to the biological aging process, low levels of the hormone seem to consistently lead to impairment of various physiological functions. The team of medical professionals at PeakPerforMax understands that low testosterone levels will affect men in a widely varied nature and that each individual will require an individualized and personalized treatment regimen in order to restore their levels to peak performance.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
Since testosterone levels, as well as some other hormone levels in both men and women, generally peak during adolescence and early adulthood, the amount of these hormones that the body produces tends to drop off after the age of about 25 – 30 years old, depending on the individual. Testosterone levels gradually decline at a rate of about one to two percent per year, making it sometimes difficult to notice the decrease on a day-to-day basis, but making the difference very noticeable by the time most men reach the age of 50 or 60 years old. TRT, better known as testosterone replacement therapy, is a means to restore low testosterone levels which typically occur with age, as a result of a medical or psychological condition, or due to long-term use of some prescription medications such as those prescribed to treat certain fungal infections (ketoconazole), those used to treat certain heart related disease (spironolactone), chemotherapy drugs, and certain antidepressants.
To find out if your testosterone level is low, and by how much, the administration of a simple blood test is typically required by most health care providers before prescribing TRT, no matter what your age may be.
Blood tests are commonly taken a minimum of twice before TRT is prescribed since testosterone levels are often affected by a variety of factors, such as:
- Diet: Specific foods including some nuts, mint, licorice root, alcohol, etc. are thought to artificially or temporarily boost or decrease testosterone levels.
- Fitness level: Certain types of exercise can temporarily boost testosterone during, and for a short period after, your workout.
- Time of day the test is performed: Mornings are recommended since testosterone levels are generally highest between 7:00 am and 10:00 am.
- The presence of certain medications in the body: See below
Blood testing is easy when under the care of PeakPerforMax, – simply bring your script and photo ID to a LabCorp lab, and they’ll collect the specimen in a safe, quick, and comfortable manner while safeguarding your dignity and privacy. No payment to the lab is necessary for PeakPerforMAX patients.
Your doctor may request that you stop taking any prescription medications that can affect your current testosterone levels before administering the blood test. Pharmaceuticals, as included in the partial list below, may cause your levels to be artificially high or low, depending on the drug, quantity, and frequency used:
- Steroids: artificially high
- Barbiturates: artificially high
- Anticonvulsants: artificially high
- Estrogen: artificially high
- Opiates: artificially low
What are the Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
Although TRT can provide real, life-changing results and deliver a greater overall sense of well-being, the number 1 reason that many men choose to speak with their doctor about TRT is to enhance sexual performance and to increase libido and sexual function, but there is an array of additional benefits to remedying low testosterone levels, such as:
- Weight loss
- Increased fertility
- Increased muscle mass for bodybuilding
- Higher energy levels/better mood
- Increased athletic endurance
- Stabilized blood pressure
- Lower likelihood of heart attack or high blood pressure
- Gain a competitive edge in athletics depending on TRT dosage
Optimum testosterone levels vary depending on a variety of factors including the obvious: age, so the exact level that each male should strive for is often up for debate, even within the medical community. Your optimum level will also vary depending on the medical professional to whom you speak and your own medical history for heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid function, protein status and other related ailments, as well as your goals for the therapy itself. In general, the normal range in males, age 19 and up, is somewhere between 250 – 1000 ng/dL (nanogram/deciliter), with an average level of about 675 ng/dL, but some even suggest that the healthiest men have testosterone levels ranging between 400 – 600 ng/dL. The male testosterone level typically peaks at about age 20 before leveling off and getting ready for its slow descent. Again, depending on the opinion of the medical professional to whom you wish to consult, TRT can be a real possibility for those men whose levels have dropped below about 250 ng/dL and are otherwise healthy individuals.
PeakPerforMAX specializes in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to correct hormone imbalances with the goal of restoring youthful, optimal hormone levels and relieving the symptoms of hormone imbalances and deficiencies. The term “bioidentical” means that the hormones prescribed/provided are chemically identical to those that your body naturally produces.
How Much Does TRT Cost?
The cost of TRT will vary depending on a number of factors such as the facility or doctor you choose for treatment, your health insurance plan coverage, your location, the specific type of medication prescribed, the method of administration (injection, cream/gel, patch, implanted pellet, tablet/pill), and if there is a generic version of the medication available on the market.
Tallying the cost of medications, lab work, and medical services/doctor visits, you should expect for treatment costs to average anywhere between $100 to $1,500 per month for the first year and about half that amount for every year of TRT thereafter if continuous treatment is medically necessary. Many health insurance providers will cover the majority of the cost of testosterone replacement therapy as long as you can demonstrate a need, but the amount covered by your insurance will certainly vary depending on your provider, plan, deductible and co-pay.
When considering the cost, keep in mind that although TRT will boost your testosterone level, it will not treat the underlying cause of your low levels, so treatment may be a life-long matter depending on the cause.
PeakPerforMAX offers 4 different TRT packages at varying prices for men, and 4 for women, prescribed according to your individual testosterone performance issue and medical counsel. All PeakPerforMAX Packages include an initial medical consultation, access to our medical team, follow up testing, and medical monitoring to track progress/results.
What Type of Results Can I Expect from Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
Testosterone replacement therapy is thought to work relatively quickly, with the majority of men noticing an improvement in related symptoms such as increased energy and libido, within the first 4 to 6 weeks of treatment. But, while some men see dramatic changes within a few short weeks, some, including those who are looking to increase muscle mass, may not see noticeable results for up to 6 months. Although results will vary from individual to individual being prescribed the same medication, many men begin to experience a revived sense of youth and vitality return within the first month, depending on the treatment regimen administered.
What are the Side Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
Testosterone replacement therapy has various benefits, but also the chance to encounter various risks. For example, while some studies indicate a possible association between TRT and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (acute non-fatal myocardial infarction, known as MI, in particular) and an increased incidence of stimulation or development of prostate cancer, other studies show conflicting results with no correlation between TRT and the above-mentioned diseases at all. Until additional research is completed with more definitive and conclusive results, the exact risk of testosterone replacement therapy is not yet clear.
Although there are quite a few websites selling what they call over-the-counter (OTC) testosterone supplements and boosters, many of these supplements don’t work and can be downright dangerous to take. It is NOT advised to attempt to supplement testosterone on your own. Medical administration of all related drugs, assistance, and monitoring are highly advised when treating any testosterone level issues due to the serious side effects that improper and self-administration can possibly cause.
Other potential side effects include the possible triggering, or initiation, of:
- Sleep apnea
- Acne or other skin reactions
- Enlarged breasts
- Decreased sperm production or testicle shrinkage
- Blood clot formation in a deep vein known as deep vein thrombosis
- Liver function issues (depending on how TRT is administered
If you suspect that your testosterone levels are low or you follow a strict regimen of regular physical exams, it has been suggested by doctors to have testosterone levels checked about once every five years, starting at about age 35. If it’s found that levels have fallen too low or if you are experiencing one or more symptoms of low testosterone, TRT may be the right treatment for you. Keep in mind that once you start TRT, levels should be more closely monitored to make certain that the testosterone level does not get too high, resulting in some of the risk factors listed above.
Achieving the right hormonal testosterone balance is possible – the medical team at PeakPerforMax will show you the way.
Although there may be some risk factors associated with TRT, many men are opting to undergo therapy due to the high likelihood of receiving benefits associated with a better quality of life. Speak to a medical professional about the benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy before starting any type of treatment and ask if TRT may be right for you. Under the direction of Dr. Pamela Tambini, PeakPerforMAX Medical Director, PeakPerforMAX provides onsite testosterone replacement therapy, erectile dysfunction therapy, and thyroid therapy for men of all ages, as well as other therapies, and is dedicated to providing quality products and innovative services so you can reach all your wellness goals. The medical team at PeakPerforMax is here to support you through your journey to better health – feel free to contact us by calling (561) 600-5003 or emailing us at info@peakperforMAX.com with questions or more information about TRT.