Testosterone is a hormone made by the testicles in men. It is the most important androgen (male) hormone in the body. Androgens like testosterone are often called steroids or anabolic steroids
Testosterone is important for:
As you become older, testosterone levels slowly drop. This can lead to signs and symptoms, including:
To help assess if testosterone therapy is right for you, your doctor will likely do the following:
If your testosterone level is low, your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy and how this therapy may help you.
You should understand that many of the symptoms of a low testosterone level are thought to be a normal part of aging.
The medicine used is man-made testosterone. It can be given as:
Talk with your doctor about which form of testosterone is right for you.
Before taking testosterone, discuss these risks with your doctor:
Testosterone therapy may cause growth of the prostate gland. Discuss with your doctor the following:
You need to have a PSA blood test to screen for prostate cancer before starting.
You cannot take this therapy if you have had prostate cancer.
Symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate may become worse.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as children, should avoid contact with this medicine. Follow package instructions about other precautions for the type of testosterone you are using.
Bhasin S, Cunningham GR, Hayes FJ, et al. Testosterone therapy in adult men with androgen deficiency syndromes: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010;95:2536-2559.
Swerdloff RS, Wang C. The testis and male sexual function. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 242.
Updated by: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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