Risks & Benefits Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Benefits of Testosterone Replacement

Testosterone replacement therapy can affect any tissue with testosterone receptors. The benefits relate to improvement in the list of complaints of testosterone deficiency:

  • Depression
  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Sweating and hot flashes
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Bone loss
  • Aches and pains
Risks of Testosterone Replacement

The risks include the below adverse reactions that have occurred with testosterone replacement:

  • Genital/Testes: Excessive frequency and duration of penile erections, Decreased sperm count, Decreased size of testes, difficulty of urination
  • Skin and Hair: Increased hair growth, male pattern of baldness, oily skin, acne.
  • Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances: Swelling due to retention of fluid and electrolytes
  • Gastrointestinal: Nausea, jaundice, alterations in liver function tests, rarely hepatocellular tumors
  • Hematologic: Suppression of clotting factors II, V, VII, and X, bleeding in patients on anticoagulant therapy, and increased blood count (polycythemia).
  • Nervous System: Increased or decreased libido, headache, anxiety, depression, and generalized tingling
  • Allergic: Hypersensitivity, including skin manifestations and anaphylactoid reactions.
Although testosterone replacement does not cause prostate cancer, testosterone does accelerate the growth of an existing prostate cancer. It is important to have a baseline PSA (prostate specific antigen) and repeat it at a frequency recommended by the physician.