We've all seen the ads on television. A former sports superstar receives compliments on how good he looks for his age, and he suddenly launches into a spiel about how taking his new supplement has helped him increase muscle mass, lose body fat, given him more energy and improved his physical health. Of course, there is also a sideways nod to sexual desire with a phrase similar to, "and she'll like it, too."
Although these supplements claim to boost low testosterone levels, they are not a form of hormone replacement therapy. Instead, these over-the-counter products contain vitamin D, fenugreek, or ashwagandha. The manufacturers claim these products work, but more research is needed to discover their effectiveness. So how does a guy combat low testosterone? The answer is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Men, as well as women, experience natural drops in hormone levels as they age. For men, that means a decrease in testosterone. BHRT can effectively restore testosterone levels, especially in men who have undergone andropause, the male equivalent of menopause. Andropause occurs at relatively the same time, too, with most men reaching it between 40 and 55. When testosterone levels drop too low, men can experience various symptoms such as anxiety, depression, poor muscle tone, brain fog, weight gain and a decreased sex drive.
An estimated 20% to 40% of older men have a medical condition called hypogonadism and require testosterone replacement therapy. However, even if you don't have this condition, you can still benefit from testosterone therapy if you have low testosterone levels.
Benefits of Testosterone Pellets
Aging can take a toll mentally and physically on people due to the natural drop in hormone levels. Testosterone pellets are an excellent form of anti-aging therapy, as many patients experience optimal health and wellness when taking hormone pellets. Because it increases muscle mass, you're less likely to deal with flab and wrinkles. Not only will your energy levels increase, but testosterone pellet therapy will also help you get the most out of your workouts. You'll improve your bone density and muscle tone to help you have a healthy, strong body.
Of course, many men seek testosterone pellet therapy because they want to restore their sex drive and physical performance. With low testosterone levels, many men experience a low sex drive and poor sexual encounters. With a higher libido, you are more likely to increase sexual stamina and avoid impotence. Testosterone replacement therapy has the added advantage of improving your sperm count.
Other benefits that patients experience after starting testosterone therapy include:
- Better brain performance
- More restorative sleep
- Better mood and less anxiety
Safety and Side Effects
As with any therapy, testosterone pellets have possible side effects. These can include:
- Hair loss
- Irritability and depression
- Increased red blood cell production
- Fluid retention
- Oily skin
- Decreased urine steam
- Increased frequency of urination
- Smaller testicle size
- New or worsening sleep apnea
- Swelling of breath tissue and prostate
- Infection at the pellet insertion site
- Pellet extrusion following insertion
Adverse side effects generally result from incorrect dosage and unregulated testosterone levels. Nevertheless, many patients worry about an increased risk of prostate cancer, heart disease and cardiovascular problems.
A study by Harvard University urologist Dr. Abraham Morgentaler indicated that men with the highest risk of developing prostate cancer had a lower rate of the disease when placed on testosterone hormone therapy.
The American College of Cardiology also indicated that two studies failed to find a connection between testosterone therapy and an increased risk of heart disease or stroke.
Testosterone Pellets Versus Gels
Patients will find four main types of testosterone replacement therapies:
Injections and creams are the most popular, but others prefer gels or pellets. Gels are similar to creams as patients apply them directly to the skin once or twice a day. However, they are an outdated form of testosterone replacement therapy as they have reduced absorption and tend to irritate the skin. VIVAA uses pellet therapy because the pellets slowly release testosterone into a patient's body over several months, providing a more consistent and steady dose of hormone therapy.
Tiny testosterone pellets are placed under the skin with an instrument called a trocar. Typically, 10 to 12 pellets are implanted during the procedure. These pellets contain crystallized testosterone and deliver a steady, low dose of this hormone for up to six months.
What to Expect When Starting Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Before beginning treatment, you should thoroughly discuss the pros and cons with your healthcare provider. Finding the correct dose of testosterone replacement therapy can take time. Expect to undergo a pharmacokinetic evaluation to determine your current testosterone level and possible starting dose. Too much testosterone can result in the previously mentioned adverse effects.
Pellet implantation is a simple procedure performed in your doctor's office, taking only 10 minutes. Your healthcare provider will thoroughly clean the skin of the upper hip or buttocks and then inject a local anesthetic to reduce discomfort before making a small incision. Your provider will use a small instrument called a trocar to administer the subcutaneous testosterone implants. Each, about the size of a grain of rice, contains crystalline testosterone that will give your body a steady dose of the hormone. Typically, most patients receive about 10 to 12 pellets inserted during a single office visit. These subcutaneous testosterone pellets deliver a long-acting form of the hormone lasting up to six months. At this point, you'll need another round of testosterone pellet replacement therapy to continue effective treatment.
According to several studies cited by the National Institutes of Health, only about 13% of men chose testosterone pellet implants over other methods of testosterone replacement therapy. However, of those patients who chose this form of testosterone therapy, 70% were satisfied with their results. In addition, 64% would prefer this testosterone delivery method again over other forms because of its ease of use.
Learn More About the Benefits of Testosterone Implants
Stop living with the effects of testosterone deficiency syndrome or male hypogonadism. This simple procedure to replace testosterone can have you feeling better in no time. Contact VIVAA at 425-250-9999 to schedule your consultation.