Low testosterone is more common than most men realize, affecting 40% of all men aged 45 and older. The doctors at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists have extensive experience helping men overcome symptoms caused by low testosterone symptoms, such as a low sex drive and loss of muscle mass. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Bellingham, Washington, or book an appointment online.
Low testosterone naturally develops as men get older. Blood levels of testosterone peak during adolescence and early adulthood, then they slowly decline. Starting around the age of 30, testosterone levels drop at the rate of about 1% each year.
You can also develop low testosterone due to a condition called hypogonadism, which occurs when the testicles don’t produce a normal amount of the hormone. Hypogonadism arises from underlying health conditions, including:
Medications such as opioids can also result in hypogonadism.
Testosterone is responsible for male sexual characteristics, but it has many other roles. It helps regulate men’s sex drive, bone strength, and muscle mass and strength. Testosterone also stimulates the production of red blood cells. In other words, low testosterone has a far-reaching impact in your body, resulting in symptoms such as:
Men are often surprised to learn that low testosterone can also cause mental and emotional issues such as depression, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.
If an underlying health condition is identified, your doctor at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists treats that problem in addition to addressing the concern of low testosterone.
Treatment to restore hormonal balance and bring your testosterone back to normal levels depends on whether you want to maintain your fertility. While hormone replacement therapy is a good option, taking testosterone lowers your sperm production. As a result, your doctor prescribes pituitary hormones to stimulate your testicles if you plan to have more children.
If you decide to go with testosterone replacement therapy, you can choose from various forms, including an injection, a patch, gels, and implantable pellets. Pellets are the most convenient form because they’re implanted under your skin, then they continuously release testosterone for 3-6 months.
When you receive hormone replacement therapy, the bodywide problems associated with low testosterone are reversed. For example, you can restore muscle strength, boost your sex drive, prevent bone loss, and generally improve your energy.
When you notice changes in your sex drive, weight, or muscle mass, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or book an appointment online.