If you have low testosterone due to an illness or the natural aging process, then your doctor may suggest the use of hormone replacement to help boost your testosterone levels. There are a wide variety of products and hormone types that you can choose from. Find out more about how to best choose what is right for you.
Consider the Side Effects of the Hormone Type
There are two types of hormones that pharmaceutical companies make, including bioidentical and synthetic options. Bioidentical hormones are ones that are chemically exact to the natural hormones that your body already produces. Many of the products are made from natural sources that include animals and plants. While this is true, the hormones still need to be processed in a laboratory facility, so this does not mean that you are getting a completely natural product in the long run.
Synthetic testosterone products are created, derived, and processed using synthetic means. While they act like testosterone when absorbed into the body, they are not chemically identical. The chemical makeup differs by a small amount.
Speak with your physician about the various side effects and how they vary between the bioidentical and synthetic options. In theory, the bioidentical products should create fewer side effects as the hormones bind to receptor sites in the same fashion as testosterone. However, there is not as much research available about bioidenticals as they are newer than synthetic products. Your doctor will know how the bioidenticals have worked for other patients and what you may be looking at as far as side effects.
Think About the Application
Testosterone replacement products come in a few different forms and you can choose the application that is best for you. Typically, the testosterone is offered in a topical form, unless you are given an injection. However, injections are more common for adolescents who have low testosterone problems.
Most adults can choose from gels, patches, or creams. Gels are extremely popular and are placed on the shoulder or chest and work in a similar fashion as cream products. They are rubbed in and then covered by a shirt or other piece of clothing. You will need to understand that creams and gels can transfer to another person. So, if you have a young child or are sexually active, then this should be considered.
Patches reduce transfer issues and are another option available to you. Patches are applied to the abdomen or elsewhere and are changed once a day and they provide consistent medication. For more information about hormone replacement therapy, contact a medical center.