Dr. Harry Fisch answered:First off, there are things a guy can do to raise his testosterone (T) levels naturally:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Lose some weight (fat -- especially belly fat -- acts like a testosterone "sponge")
- Quit smoking
Testosterone replacement isn't a cure-all, and it shouldn't be used unless a guy has true hypogonadism. But I've seen it work for many of my patients, who report having more energy and a renewed interest in sex.First off, there are things a guy can do to raise his testosterone (T) levels naturally: Exercise regularly Eat a healthy diet Lose some weight (fat -- especially belly fat -- acts like a testosterone "sponge") Quit smoking A guy with... More
RealAge answered:If you think that your sex life could use a little boost and that increasing testosterone might be for you, here's what you and your doc need to do:
If you think that your sex life could use a little boost and that increasing testosterone might be for you, here's what you and your doc need to do: Try old-fashioned options first. Being physically active (exercise can boost testosterone... More
- Try old-fashioned options first. Being physically active (exercise can boost testosterone production), sleeping well, and engaging in sexual fantasies can all increase your testosterone in natural ways.
- Rule out other causes of low libido. Mood, medications, and relationship issues can also play a role in igniting or dousing passion. Mad at your spouse? Taking a new blood pressure med, antidepressant, or birth control pill? Feeling blue? Discuss these with your doc, who may refer you to a specialist.
- Be sure your testosterone blood test is accurate. Get it done in the a.m., when testosterone levels are naturally the highest, and expect to have the test repeated a few times since testosterone levels fluctuate. If you're only sent for one test, ask why.
- Know your treatment options. Men can choose between twice-a-month injections, twice-a-week abdominal-patch applications, or daily rub-ins of a gel or cream. There are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved versions for women, so your doctor will either prescribe one of the male products ("off label" use) and instruct you to use a much smaller amount (typically, about one-tenth the male dose) or will order a custom preparation made by a compounding pharmacy.
- Be patient. You won't begin to reap the rewards of treatment for 6 to 8 weeks, and not everyone sees benefits. If you don't within 6 months, stop.
- Get monitored. Men, your doc should schedule regular blood tests (about every 3 months) to check your testosterone levels, high density lipoprotein (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, hemoglobin, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) -- testosterone may not cause prostate cancer, but it can speed up a preexisting condition. Women, you also need regular blood tests, mainly to check your testosterone levels. Under-dosing won't help your libido (or muscles, bones, and brain). Overdosing can trigger side effects, such as acne or unwanted hair on the face, chest, or back. Don't worry -- adjusting the dose reverses these effects.
- Keep it up. The effects of testosterone only last as long as you take it.