Although the decline in testosterone production as men age (sometimes
referred to as "andropause") is not as dramatic as the
drop in women's estrogen production with the onset of menopause,
testosterone decline is a serious issue for many older men. Among
other problems, declining testosterone production is strongly
associated with impotency and libido problems.
Anti-aging benefits that have been associated with testosterone
replacement therapy may include increased libido and sexual potency;
improved erectile function; improved mood and increased feelings
of well-being; decreased fatigue; increased red blood cell count;
reduction of LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol levels and
strengthening of the bones.
Distribution: Testosterone replacement needs to be managed
by a physician to ensure that a patient receives only enough of
the hormone to replenish lost levels.
Many forms of administering testosterone have been developed,
including intramuscular injections, suppositories, a transdermal
patch attached to the scrotum, oral micronized capsules and sublingual
lozenges. Oral administrations seem to be the least effective
Side Effects and Contraindications: If testosterone replacement
is administered to men with normal, or near-normal levels, of
the hormone, any number of dangerous side effects may occur. Most
notably, excess doses of testosterone may inhibit the body's ability
to produce testosterone.
Testosterone replacement carries with it the risk of stimulating
both benign and malignant prostate tumor growth.
In addition, because it can reduce HDL cholesterol levels, testosterone
replacement may be associated with an increased risk of coronary
to Anti-Aging Medicine Index