Millions of North Americans are suffering from low testosterone, a condition that is part of the normal aging process or secondary to another medical condition, and can significantly affect a man’s life. Low testosterone levels have been associated with decreased sexual pleasure, erection problems, low mood, increased fat (especially around the waist), and increased incidence of osteoporosis and decreased muscle mass and contour.
One way to introduce more testosterone in the body is by using testosterone replacement therapy in the form of implants.
Testosterone implants are inserted subcutaneously (under the skin) typically into an area not involved in too much movement or an area rich with blood supply, which is ideally in the abdominal wall or the buttock. Insertion of the implant has to be done by a healthcare professional under local anesthetic. The testosterone implants are usually small cylindrical shape, with a diameter and length of around 5-6 mm. Unlike other testosterone products, the implants consists of pure testosterone without any other ingredients. The doctor will create a small incision and will introduce the implant under the skin. The wound is then covered with a sterile patch or can be also sutured. The implants should be inserted relatively superficially where they can be felt under the skin, which makes them easy to locate when they have to be removed or replaced and this is also done under local anesthetic. The implant is usually replaced every 4 to 5 months, which makes this form of therapy extremely convenient for patients as other forms such as gels, patches, sticks or tablets have to be taken daily. The implant also does not cause exposure to testosterone to other people as is the case with testosterone gels and creams where the skin must be washed after the testosterone product is applied, because a child exposed to testosterone can develop virilization, and would also not be safe for a female partner.
The testosterone implants are effective and also has a good safety profile- the most common side effects being bleeding at the site of the incision, infection, bruises and protrusion of the implant).
This product has to be kept in the original box, because it should be protected from light, and in a cool place below 30 degrees C before being taken to a healthcare professional and inserted under the skin.
Similar to other testosterone products, the implants should be avoided in cases of breast or prostate cancer and rare, but possible side effects of using this hormone include itching, acne, digestive complaints such as nausea, muscle pain, fluid retention in the tissues, painful erections, or high blood pressure. Testosterone based supplements may interfere with other medications, including anticoagulants and anti-diabetic medicines (both oral drugs and insulin).
The dose of testosterone should be adjusted according to the response of the individual patient, but generally speaking should be between 100-600 mg. Individuals suffering from low testosterone can optimize the level of this hormone after 4 or 5 months of using testosterone implants. Afterwards, a blood test will help the doctor to determine whether or not the dose for the next implant should be adjusted.