What Kind of Testosterone Therapy Is Best?
When you decide to up your testosterone levels, there’s no shortage of ways to do it. In fact, just turn on any radio station or open any website geared toward men, and you’ll see ads for testosterone injections, pellets, creams, gels, or patches.
Each one of these types of therapies has pros and cons, and some are better for certain uses than others. Here’s a primer on the types of testosterone therapy available and why you might (or might not) want to choose each one.
Oral Testosterone Pills
Oral testosterone is available either as pills or as an adhesive patch that’s applied to the roof of the mouth twice a day. You’ll want to use a form that isn’t swallowed but instead dissolves in the mouth. One such form is called BLA tablets. The reason is that pills that are swallowed are metabolized by the liver. The liver converts them into byproducts that are linked to liver toxicity, gallstones, high cholesterol, and other risks.
Pros: Oral testosterone is convenient. Doses can be changed easily. You can stop using it immediately if you have issues with it.
Cons: Pills need to be taken two to three times a day, and they need to be taken with a high-fat meal. The adhesive patch can irritate the gums and mess with your taste buds. In addition, you might accidentally transfer the testosterone to your partner through kissing.
Testosterone injections are by far the most commonly prescribed way to get testosterone.
Pros: You’re in control of your dosing. Depending on the form, you only have to do it between a few times a week and twice a month. It’s inexpensive.
Cons: Injectable testosterone is synthetic, not bioidentical. That means that the testosterone has been chemically modified to make it soluble. The problem with that is that synthetic forms of hormones bind more strongly and for longer periods of time than bioidenticals. That can lead to the negative side effects we so often associate with testosterone, like mood disturbances and libido changes.
Another problem with injectibles is that they cause major ups and downs. Your testosterone levels will skyrocket right after the injection and then crash over the next week or so. These spikes can also cause your estrogen levels to spike, and that’s not something the male body wants or needs.
Topical Testosterone Cream and Gel
Testosterone can be applied directly to the skin as well, with testosterone cream or gel.
Pros: These forms tend to be bioidentical, meaning they bond properly with the body’s hormone receptors. This allows the hormones to behave just like those the body produces. Creams and gels also tend to provide a much more steady concentration of testosterone.
Cons: It’s hard to remember to put them on twice a day. They’re messy. You’ve got to wait about five to 10 minutes before you can get dressed or you’ll just rub it into your clothes. Plus, there’s a risk of transferring the hormones to people you come into skin-to-skin contact with.
Testosterone patches are another popular mode of delivery. These patches are applied to the back, abdomen, thigh, or upper arm once a day.
Pros: They tend to use bioidentical hormones. The infusion is steady, so you won’t have the ups and downs caused by injections.
Cons: You have to remember to apply them each evening. Sweat can make them peel off. It’s not uncommon to have an allergic reactions to the adhesives.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Pellet (BHRT) Therapy
Our preferred form of testosterone replacement is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Pellets Therapy. It’s the one we recommend in most cases because we’ve seen it work so well, time and time again.
Pros: Incredibly convenient. You only need to get them once every four to six months. Dosing is based on your own individual needs. We are experts at assessing your current hormone levels and creating the exact right treatment to get you back to your ideal physiologic levels. Reasonably priced compared to options you have to purchase more frequently.
Cons: The pellets need to be inserted under your skin at our office. It’s not feasible to remove them once they’ve been put in.
Testosterone Therapy—Making the Right Choice for You
If your testosterone levels are not where you want them to be, you have plenty of options. Testosterone replacement therapy is readily available and can be incredibly effective. If you’re ready to get your energy levels, libido, and strength back to where they used to be, contact us today to see how we can help. We’ll help you select the right testosterone therapy to match your body’s unique needs.