September 2, 2014
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Men's Health

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Andropause: treatment

Andropause occurs when the blood levels of testosterone become too low. Andropause treatment involves replacing testosterone until there is enough testosterone in the blood to relieve the symptoms.

Testosterone is available in a variety of different preparations, although availability depends largely on the country you live in. Common forms of testosterone include injections, pills, and skin patches. The most appropriate preparation for you will depend partly on your lifestyle, and you may need to experiment with different forms until you find the best one for you.

Testosterone skin patches deliver testosterone through the skin using a patch with a special glue that allows the patch to stay on your skin all day. You can carry on with your regular activities, including swimming and exercise, while the patch is on. The patch should be applied once daily to a clean, dry, area of skin on the back, abdomen, upper arms, or thighs. Testosterone patches most closely match your body's normal levels of testosterone, which vary throughout the day.

Testosterone gel is applied to the skin and then must be allowed to dry. Men should wait a few minutes for the gel to dry before dressing. The gel should not be applied to the genitals. Testosterone gel can be accidentally transferred to women and children through skin-to-skin contact with areas where the gel has been applied. To prevent this, cover the application area with a shirt or other material and wash hands with soap and water after applying the gel. Women, especially pregnant women, and children should avoid contact with the gel as it can cause masculinization (the development of more masculine features such as a low voice and facial hair). If contact occurs, the gel can be removed by washing the affected area promptly with soap and water.

Testosterone injections (testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate) are given into a muscle every 3 to 4 weeks. The injections are usually given in a doctor's office. They may cause mood swings due to changes in testosterone levels. Men with severe heart disease, severe kidney disease, or too much calcium in their blood should avoid testosterone cypionate. Men with severe kidney disease should not take testosterone enanthate.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

DHT is a hormone similar to testosterone that can be used to replace testosterone. The availability of DHT varies from country to country, however, there is a concern, as yet untested, that DHT preparations may not provide full stimulation to a man's bones. Because of this, DHT should be avoided until further research is available.

 

Andropause diagnosis and treatment


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