What are the treatment options for low testosterone (Low-T)?
Treatment of low testosterone in hypogonadism is a fully accepted therapy. Treatment in older men is more controversial. Discuss your testosterone levels, symptoms, and side effects of treatment with your doctor to establish whether you should receive therapy and what form of therapy.
There are several ways that testosterone therapy can be administered:
- Transdermal (skin patch): Usually applied once a day (for example, Androderm). Tends to be clean and easy to apply. There is an available mouth patch which sticks to the upper gums and is applied twice daily.
- Gels: Applied directly to the skin and then absorbed through the skin (for example, Androgel, and Axiro)n. Dosing is more difficult although these gels are available in single applications packages or premeasured pumps.
- Injections: Testosterone can be delivered by direct injection.
- Pellets: Pellets can be implanted into the soft tissue and release the testosterone.
Why no pills? Testosterone is available as a pill but some experts believe long term oral delivery of testosterone can have negative effects on the liver. These other delivery methods bypass the liver (as they don't involve a pill being absorbed through the stomach/intestine) and go directly into the blood stream.