Treatment Options for Hormone Deficiency
Male hormones play an important role in the development and maintenance of the reproductive system, muscle mass, bone density, red blood cell levels, and several other important body functions. When hormone levels are unnaturally low, there is a negative impact on a man’s physical and mental well-being. In such instances, treatment with hormone replacement can play a significant role in boosting overall health and quality of life.
Treatment of hormone deficiency in men generally consists of testosterone replacement. The treatment options for testosterone replacement include:
- Intramuscular Testosterone Injection: Testosterone is injected into the muscles of the buttocks, thighs, or shoulders from where it is absorbed into the blood stream. The injections are typically administered by a doctor or nurse every 3 weeks.
- Oral Testosterone Therapy: Testosterone tablets or pills may be taken orally in divided doses throughout the day. These should be taken along with food to increase the absorption by the body.
- Testosterone Patch: You can apply the patch every day to your back, abdomen, arms, or buttocks. The testosterone gets absorbed through the skin into your body. The application sites should be rotated to prevent skin irritation.
- Testosterone Gel: The testosterone gel can be applied daily to the skin of your shoulders, arms, and abdomen each morning after a bath.
- Testosterone Cream: The testosterone cream is ideally applied to the scrotum daily for better absorption. It can also be applied to the torso, arms and legs.
- Testosterone Pellets: This is a long-acting form of testosterone replacement. The pellets are implanted under the skin in the buttocks or abdomen. There is a constant release of testosterone from the pellets over a period of 3-4 months, maintaining consistent hormone levels within the body.
- Gonadotrophin Injections: If the cause of decreased testosterone levels is located in the pituitary gland, gonadotrophin injections may be used to stimulate testosterone and sperm production.
While on testosterone therapy, it is important to get regular check-ups as recommended by your doctor because there is an increased risk of speeding up the growth of undiagnosed prostate cancer.