I see all the advertisements for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), and as always, when there’s money to be made at the expense of the masses, I’m suspicious of advertised claims, let alone motives. Testosterone is an extremely powerful hormone. Before I delve into the effects of actual TRT (that is, using prescription testosterone) I need to point out that NONE of the Over The Counter (OTC) supplements can legally contain testosterone, which is a federally controlled substance!
If you read the fine print for all of the OTC product you will see the standard disclaimer regarding FDA approval. As far as I’m concerned, all of these products are Snake Oil! I do not believe any of these companies have your health and well-being as their first, second, or even third consideration. Their three primary goals are making Money, Money, and more Money – specifically, by taking yours and keeping it for their own enrichment.
The reality is, unless you have a competent level of education and understanding of human physiology, you are probably a target for advertising claims which superficially seem to be reasonable, and which are designed to play on your fears and insecurities. With men, when you start talking about sexual desire, desirability, and performance, let alone the stereotypical masculine characteristics of muscle, strength and endurance, you likely have a hot button topic. Believe me, these supplement manufacturers/marketers know all the hot buttons, and will shamelessly employ them to sell their products.
OK, so the TV ads are bogus when it comes to testosterone replacement. But, what about the prescription TRT. First, what does testosterone normally do? Next, with TRT: What does it do? Is it safe? Does it increase sex drive or performance? What about use with women?
What does testosterone normally do? (excerpted from Wikipedia)
- Development of male sexual characteristics (males)
- Gender formation – masculinization of the fetus
- Adult Body Odor
- Increase in skin and hair oils
- Pubic hair
- Axillary hair (arm pits)
- Increased growth rate
- Facial hair
Puberty to Adulthood:
- Sebaceous (oil-producing) glands grow larger
- Increased penis size
- Increased sex drive and frequency of erections
- Decrease and redistribute body fat
- Increase in muscle and strength
- Development of Adult facial bone structure
- Increased shoulder width
- Increased size of the rib cage
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
- What does TRT do?
TRT’s approved use is to treat hypogonadism (underdeveloped/poorly functioning testicles in males). The treatment goals include improving function, further development of secondary sexual characteristics, increased fertility, to name a few.
- Is it safe?
Current research indicates increased risks for strokes, and heart attacks for men over 60, especially if there’s a previous history of either. The possible risks and benefits need to discussed frankly and in-depth with your health care provider. TRT is not to be undertaken lightly. Given your health history there can be significant, and even life-threatening risks.
- Does it increase sex drive or performance?
The most current research indicates marginal to no improvement in either sexual drive or performance.
- What about use with women?
As with men, it may be part of a prescribed therapy for hypogonadism in women. And again, ONLY with a frank and in-depth discussion of risks and benefits with your health care provider.
NurseBob – Stay Well!
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition, or to replace the advice of a doctor. NurseBob disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.