Erectile Dysfunction: Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Quick GuideErectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes and Treatment

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes and Treatment

Who shouldn't take testosterone replacement therapy?

Men who have prostate cancer or breast cancer should not take testosterone replacement therapy. All men considering testosterone replacement therapy should undergo a thorough prostate cancer screening prior to starting this therapy with a rectal exam and PSA test.

What are the side effects of testosterone replacement therapy?

In general, hormone replacement therapy is safe. Possible side effects include:

  • Acne or oily skin.
  • Mild fluid retention.
  • Stimulation of prostate tissue, with perhaps some increased urination symptoms such as a decreased stream or frequency.
  • Breast enlargement.
  • Worsening of sleep apnea (a sleep disorder that results in frequent night time awakenings and daytime sleepiness).
  • Decreased testicular size.

Laboratory abnormalities that can occur with hormone replacement include:

  • Changes in cholesterol and lipid levels.
  • Increase in red blood cell count.
  • Decrease in sperm count, producing infertility (especially in younger men).
  • Increase in PSA

If you are taking hormone replacement therapy, regular follow-up appointments with your doctor are important.

Like any other medication, directions for administering testosterone should be followed exactly as your doctor orders. If you are unsure or have any questions about testosterone replacement therapy, ask your doctor.


The Hormone Foundation.

Edited by John M. Baird, MD, FACS on January 01, 2007

'Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2004

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