If you are a man who is noticing some symptoms of low testosterone levels, then you will want to have a conversation with your doctor about male hormone replacement. This is not to say you will necessarily end up taking testosterone supplements, but you should at least have a chat about it so that you know what's involved, what the pros and cons are, and what your options are.
Having this conversation with your doctor can seem a little awkward and intimidating at first, so here are some tips and pieces of advice that will help.
1. Be specific about what's bothering you.
The more specific you are in describing your symptoms to the doctor, the better able they will be to accurately determine whether or not trying hormone replacement is the right approach. It is often helpful to sit down and write down a list of the symptoms you're experiencing. Keep in mind that low libido is not the only symptom of low testosterone. If you're suffering from any of the following, mention it to your doctor:
- Low energy levels
- Loss of muscle mass
- Trouble building muscle mass, even with workouts that served you well in the past
- Hair loss
- Gaining fat around the midsection
- Feeling depressed and blue a lot
- Trouble staying focused, especially at work
2. Directly ask about hormone replacement therapy.
After describing what's ailing you to your doctor, don't be afraid to directly ask if hormone replacement therapy would be a good solution. Some doctors may recommend this automatically after hearing about what you're going through, and others may take a more conservative approach, waiting for you to ask about hormone replacement. It's perfectly okay to ask whether they think male hormone replacement would be a good choice for you.
3. Be prepared to discuss side effects.
Male hormone replacement can make a huge difference in many men's lives. However, there are side effects to consider. Some men develop oily skin, breakouts, and mood swings. Do not be surprised or turned off if your doctor brings up these possibilities. It's their job to ensure you understand the risks before starting hormone replacement. Rest assured that for most men, side effects are mild and manageable. If you do have a problem, stopping the process usually resolves it.
Talking to your doctor about hormone replacement is usually easier than you'd assume. There's no reason to be embarrassed; doctors have had these conversations before and can have them again.