Testosterone Treatment For Male Hypogonadism
Posted By: Dr. Gary Bellman on March 16, 2016
Several testosterone delivery methods exist to treat reduction or absence of hormone secretion or other physiological activity of the gonads (testes or ovaries in women)-- The medical term for this is hypogonadism.
Choosing a specific therapy depends on your preference of a particular delivery system, the effects and the cost. Methods include:
Implantable pellets. Testosterone containing pellets (Testopel) are surgically implanted under the skin and need to be placed approximately every three months. TESTOPEL is a testosterone pellet (about the size of a tic tac) that is inserted underneath the skin, below the belt line.
The pellet provides a slow, steady release of testosterone over 3 months.
TESTOPEL is FDA approved for testosterone deficiency in men. In lower doses it is used “off-label” in women for low libido, menopausal symptoms, and fatigue.
Injection. Testosterone injections are given in a muscle. Your symptoms might fluctuate between doses depending on the frequency of injections.
Patch. A patch containing testosterone (Androderm) is applied each night to your back, abdomen, upper arm or thigh. The site of the application is rotated to maintain seven-day intervals between applications to the same site, to lessen skin reactions.
Gel. Depending on the brand, you either rub testosterone gel into your skin on your upper arm or shoulder (AndroGel, Testim), apply with an applicator under each armpit (Axiron) or pump on your inner thigh (Fortesta). As the gel dries, your body absorbs testosterone through your skin. Gel application of testosterone replacement therapy appears to cause fewer skin reactions than patches do. A potential side effect of the gel is the possibility of transferring the medication to another person. Avoid skin-to-skin contact until the gel is completely dry or cover the area after an application.
Gum and cheek (buccal cavity). A small putty-like substance, gum and cheek testosterone replacement (Striant) delivers testosterone through the natural depression above your top teeth where your gum meets your upper lip (buccal cavity). This product sticks to your gumline and allows testosterone to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Taking testosterone orally isn't recommended for long-term hormone replacement because it might cause liver problems.
* If testing shows that you have low testosterone, talk to a specialist to ensure that the cause is determined. If testosterone replacement is an option for you, discuss with your doctor the risks, benefits and treatment monitoring plan.
Dr. Gary Bellman will be able to put you at ease with his knowledge in the field of hormone optimization. He will work side-by-side with you to create a customized treatment plan to help you maintain healthy hormone levels.
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