What it means
Testosterone replacement therapy usually starts working before you start seeing physical results, which means you don’t have to wait until your sleeping patterns or energy levels improve to know the treatment is working.
On the contrary, its effectiveness starts to show when your hormones begin to balance, which can be long before you start seeing the physical results.
For most people, the tangible results will start to show within a few weeks or days, depending on the factors mentioned above.
Importance of testosterone to the body
The benefits of testosterone are usually seen and felt by men more than girls. The hormone helps in their transition by promoting the growth of hair on the body, the development of testes and penis, and the deepening of the voice. It also helps them grow taller.
The amount of testosterone in the body also determines whether they can produce enough sperm to have children.
For all this to happen, enough hormone must be produced by the testes and the process is triggered by the pituitary gland in the brain.
After production, the hormone moves to various parts of the body to trigger the various responses.
The level of testosterone usually changes in the body with time. For instance, it is higher in the morning and lowest at night.
The difference is also driven by age. Those within the age of 20 to 30 tend to have higher levels of testosterone than those past the 35-year mark.
Several factors can cause the amount of testosterone to increase or decrease. The imbalance can result in a lot of health complications whose severity will differ depending on age and other present medical conditions.
Before the TRT treatment, you will take a blood test to ascertain that the levels are low enough to warrant the treatment.
What to expect from TRT
When the treatment begins, your body will reduce the level of the natural male sex hormone (testosterone) it makes. Lower levels before the treatment will continue to decline because of its effects on your pituitary gland.
For people with normal levels of testosterone, the pituitary gland usually produces a luteinizing hormone that triggers the testes to produce testosterone whenever there is a need. This cycle ensures the right amount of the hormone is maintained throughout.
Once you start the treatment and get testosterone supplements from other sources, your body doesn’t feel the need to produce its hormones. Because of this, your testicles will become smaller.
There will be fewer luteinizing hormones and no synthesis taking place, which renders the testes useless and causes shrinkage of the testicles.
This may also affect your sperm production, which is why the treatment isn’t usually recommended for males hoping to have children.
This process can be averted with HCG injections. Make sure to discuss the option during your blood test before TRT.
Effects on erection
Not being able to maintain an erection or having none can be frustrating, which makes this the most important reason why most men seek TRT.
However, your sex drive is one of the first effects of the treatment. According to these findings, TRT has the potential to last over 30 years when done correctly. You will start to experience the relief within three weeks or a month.
TRT can also help with erectile dysfunction that comes from poor blood flow. In most cases, endothelial dysfunction is caused by swelling, and TRT increases nitric oxide and C-reactive protein within a maximum of four weeks, which helps with blood flow restoration.
Effects on lipids or insulin
Testosterone can improve your insulin sensitivity levels, which improves the way your body manages carbohydrates.
The higher your insulin sensitivity is, the more you will have enough to combat the effects of high levels of carbs in your system.
You will also manage other conditions like type 2 diabetes and hypertension better when you have high insulin sensitivity.
Testosterone replacement therapy will change your insulin sensitivity within the first week. It will also reduce your cholesterol levels within the first four weeks, and those effects will remain effective for up to one month.
The lipids in the form of triglycerides will also start to reduce within a month and last up to three months after the treatment.
Effects on body mass
The anabolic nature of testosterone also makes it an excellent product to increase your lean body mass because it can increase your athletic abilities.
Various studies have already done research on the subject, with some proving that the hormone encourages the growth of lean body mass.
You will start feeling the effects of this within two weeks up to three years. However, you may only see the results one year after starting the therapy.
You can adopt some lifestyle changes like exercising and eating healthy foods to speed up the process. There have been reports of some people seeing an increase in muscle tone within three months after the treatment.
Even so, you should stick to the treatment plan for at least a year if you want the best results. Your doctor will assess your situation and recommend the right treatment depending on your circumstances.
The duration of testosterone replacement therapy also depends on the mode of medication used. For instance, TRT injections give the fastest results of all the other medication methods.
Effects on muscles
The hormone can also boost the growth of muscles through protein synthesis. This effect is essential for development during puberty, but it can also be used by bodybuilders for rapid muscle growth.
Studies have been done to prove that testosterone levels increase naturally in males who exercise and use the hormone supplement than those who don’t.
Men with frailty can benefit more from the TRT treatment because of the muscle growth that also improves physical strength. The treatment will likely start being effective within a couple of weeks to a month.
Testosterone injections tend to be more effective than any other option and may start showing results within a week.
TRT injection timeline
Some people don’t like testosterone injections, but it is one of the most effective treatment options because it reaches the blood system faster.
This method also minimizes the peaks and valleys that some people experience when on the treatment. It gives more stable results, and you will be free to engage in other activities while you’re still on the treatment plan.
On the downside, TRT injection is difficult to administer without experience, which means you may be forced to go to the clinic frequently for the injection. Disposing of the needles is also hectic, and you will have to keep them properly in a sterilized surrounding to ensure their safety.
In most cases, you will start improving your sensitivity to insulin within a few days after starting the injections.
After 3 three weeks, you will experience:
- Better sex life: Your sex drive and libido will increase, which will improve your perception of sex and make it more enjoyable.
- Better and longer erections in the morning
- Improvement in mood, especially if you were irritable or aggressive before the treatment. Your social life will improve tremendously.
- Reduced swelling in your body, which will increase your quality of life
After one month, the cholesterol levels in your body will start to reduce. Your sexual experience will also continue to increase as you get full erections for longer.
Depression and bad moods will continue to reduce in the next one and a half months after starting TRT. You will feel happier, and your sleeping patterns will also improve.
Within 12 weeks, you will have:
- Better digestion and absorption because of improved glycaemic control.
- More red blood cell production resulting from improved erythropoiesis. It’s important to have your blood levels checked to ensure you only retain enough for your body. If the levels become too high, you may be more susceptible to clotting, which can endanger your life.
- Lower blood pressure, which reduces hypertension
- A boost in energy, which will increase your desire to exercise. If you have a chronic heart condition, you will be able to sustain more workout pressure.
- A reduced LDL (low-density lipoprotein)) and increased HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
- A more pronounced lean body mass and increased muscle strength
Higher bone density and increased prostate-specific antigen are also possible after 6 months, with the PSA continuing to rise for the next year.
Testosterone injections will continue to be effective even after one year. You can expect:
- Your red blood cell formation will be at the peak, which may result in symptoms associated with increased blood levels.
- Optimal glycaemic control.
- Stability with the stronger muscles and bones
- Better moods and visible happiness. Others will be able to tell that you’re happy when they interact with you.
- Better sex and more satisfaction
- Low body fat, resulting in a better physique
- Improved sleep
- Better cognitive abilities and sharp memory capacity
- Low pressure and cholesterol
- Improved desire to exercise
What to expect after starting TRT
It’s important to note that, like every other treatment, TRT may have some negative side effects in addition to the positive effects.
Therefore, it’s important to understand how the treatment will affect your bodily functions and the changes you may experience. The positive effects above can be categorized as short-term and long-term.
Short term effects include:
- Better sex drive
- Improved erection quality, especially in the morning
- Better concentration and energy levels
- Improved sleep cycles
Long-term benefits are:
- Quick recovery from injuries
- Improved confidence and better quality of life
- Hair growth, especially on the face
- Better bone health, including joints
- Increased red blood cell production
Some people will experience these benefits after a smaller dosage, while others will need a higher dosage. It depends on your health, lifestyle choices like working out, and genetic composition.
As such, you shouldn’t compare your reaction with someone else’s, even if you start the testosterone replacement therapy at the same time. Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about the delayed response.
Potential risks of TRT
Since TRT affects every person differently, there are some effects that most people don’t experience, but you might. Knowing them will keep you from panicking, but you can also get help from your doctor anytime.
For most men, testosterone replacement therapy causes:
- Increased acne
- Improper breathing when sleeping at night
- Larger breast mass that may also be tender
- Inflammation on ankles
For those on treatment for a long time, health issues such as cardiovascular problems like stroke and other heart-related conditions can occur. This is only prevalent in older men.
There have also been concerns that prolonged use of TRT can lead to prostate cancer, though this was disqualified by some experts. The treatment can enhance the growth of the cancer cells if they already exist, but it won’t cause cancer if you don’t have it.
You should note that the benefits usually outweigh the potential risks, especially if you have very low testosterone levels.
Most TRT clinics in the UK also do enough tests to determine your risk levels before giving you the first dose. You can also reduce the risks further by:
Checking your health
Many other reasons can cause symptoms of low testosterone levels. Make sure nothing else is causing your decreased sex drive, fatigue, or any other symptom you’re experiencing before rushing for a testosterone replacement treatment.
You can also try other natural remedies, such as exercising, getting adequate sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet.
If your only symptom is low sex drive, consider other possible causes, especially psychological ones. Make sure you explore all the possible options other than low testosterone.
Get a comprehensive assessment
If you’re still convinced that low testosterone is your problem, get a comprehensive test from a qualified clinic before the TRT process.
The best time to test testosterone levels is between 7 and 10 am, but your doctor might do the test at different times of the day to get a more accurate reading.
You can also get a second opinion if you want to ensure you get the correct interpretations of the test.
Going for a regular check-up after the therapy is also crucial in maintaining good health and avoiding risks that could affect your health.
You still have to undergo tests to ensure the treatment isn’t interfering with your natural system negatively.
Most doctors will test the blood level to ensure it doesn’t exceed the normal standards.
Make sure you understand all the risks associated with TRT, regardless of how minimal or rare they are.
The information will allow you to determine whether your chances of developing complications are high or low.
For instance, if you’ve had heart issues like stroke before, or you have a history of prostate cancer in your family, you will be able to avoid causing your body more harm with the treatment.
Make sure you know how to identify signs of danger and what to do if you start experiencing them.
Do the effects of TRT stop after stopping treatment?
Since TRT is used to treat low testosterone, the chances of the hormone reducing and symptoms recurring are high.
In most cases, the effects will continue to last for weeks after stopping, but sometimes they go on until 3 months.
The ability of the pituitary gland to signal the LH and FSH plays a role in how well your testosterone levels remain normal after stopping the therapy.
Your doctor will discuss the viable options you have if you want to stop TRT. You can try other treatment options that will relieve the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Getting TRT with NHS
Although it’s possible to get TRT through the NHS, you will have to undergo a long and tedious process to qualify. Most patients often get turned away because of the regulations that surround the NHS.
The first step is to talk to your general practitioner and get a test. They have to be convinced that the symptoms you’re experiencing are related to low testosterone before ordering the test, which can be done multiple times. If the tests confirm your suspicions, you will be referred to an endocrinologist.
The endocrinologist will conduct more tests and prescribe medication, depending on what they find.
Typically, your levels must be below 6 nmol/L to get a prescription.
Medication often depends on the test results and not your symptoms. Your testosterone levels have to be extremely low for the professionals under NHS to give you supplements.
You can avoid the long processes by coming to our clinic, where you will get personalized attention as quickly as possible.
We also rely on blood tests to show us the best action, but we won’t make you jump through many hoops to get the help you need.
TRT and anabolic steroids
TRT uses bio-identical testosterone to give continuous relief to people suffering from low testosterone.
Anabolic steroids, on the other hand, are manufactured based on testosterone molecules and are not androgenic. These steroids are mostly used to treat several conditions that cause muscle degeneration, during injuries, or episodes of illnesses.
Testosterone used during TRT is usually similar to the one the body produces naturally. It is both anabolic and androgenic, and it gets metabolized into dihydrotestosterone and oestrogen that the body also uses.
It’s not a good idea to use anabolic steroids where androgenic testosterone is also required. There have been cases where steroids were used to supplement TRT, but it’s never used as a substitute.
What to do if there are no effects
Most people usually start experiencing the effects of TRT within a couple of weeks, but in others, it could be a month.
It’s generally difficult to know whether your body is reacting to the treatment the way it should without blood tests, which is why you shouldn’t rely on your outward appearance and other symptoms like sexual appeal only.
You must go for a check-up regularly to find out whether the treatment is providing asymptomatic relief.
Depending on what the test reveals, you may have the dosage increased or continue with the same dose within shorter intervals.
You may also have other medications used together with the treatment to enhance its effectiveness. Don’t take any medication before talking to your doctor first.
To reduce the chances of the testosterone replacement therapy not working, avoid taking it in intervals. You have to be steady and take the prescribed dosages if you want stable results.
TRT has many benefits, including lean muscles, the ability to withstand vigorous training, and reduced anxiety.
You still have to remember that you won’t experience them at the same time as someone else.
The benefits may also appear gradually and not all at once. You have to be patient and stick to the recommended dosage as you follow the instructions issued by your doctor.
The studies that have been done show that this treatment is very effective, but they don’t define the rules to using TRT, which means your experience may be different.
If you’re concerned, ask the doctor for another test to determine how much your testosterone has improved. Do your research on the processes and benefits as well. If you need professional assistance, feel free to call us at Project Alpha.