You may have heard a thing or two about testosterone replacement therapy. Over the last few decades, it has received a great deal of recognition as the main form of treatment for men that have low testosterone levels. But, there’s still a lot of confusion about who it is for.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that testosterone therapy is for the old men.
While it is certainly something that becomes more appealing for men with age, it’s not just an “old man’s” therapy.
In fact, testosterone therapy can be beneficial for men of all ages, even young men.
So, what is testosterone and why is it so necessary to have it in our body. Let’s briefly explore what testosterone is, why it drops, as well as dispel the number one misconception about testosterone replacement therapy.
- Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is good for treating men with low testosterone at any age.
- Testosterone levels can drop at any age and there are a number of reasons for why this happens.
- For the best chance at success, start by visiting a TRT clinic, where they specialize in testosterone therapy.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone naturally produced by both genders. The only difference is the quantities found in the body. Men have much higher levels than women. This is why it is often referred to as the “male hormone”.
Even before birth, testosterone plays an important role in development of a child. As a boy starts to grow older, testosterone levels will rise and continue to do so until he reaches his early 20s. After that, testosterone production plateaus for the next few decades.
What makes this hormone so special is that it is able to travel all throughout the body. It is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, produced in the testicles, and travels all throughout the body.
Testosterone and Age
Getting old tends to come with a number of perks, like less stress over small things, a more well rounded mindset, and hopefully, a more comfortable life. Unfortunately, it also comes with a few drawbacks – one of which is a decrease in testosterone levels.
This change in hormones is perhaps one of biggest changes that many men experience with age. Not to fear though, this testosterone drop is a natural part of aging for men and usually occurs slow and quite gradually.
David Paolone, a urologist at UW Health Men’s Clinic stated that roughly 39 percent of men ages 45 years and older have low testosterone (hypogonadism). Most doctors would agree that low testosterone is any value below 300 nanogram per decaliter (ng/dL).
By the time a man reaches his 70s or 80s, his testosterone levels have likely decreased by about 30 to 50 percent from what they were in his 20s.
Low Testosterone in Young Men?
Low testosterone, otherwise known as hypogonadism, is a common diagnosis in older men. This is due to the fact that the testis slowly lose the ability to produce sufficient levels of testosterone. Majority of the time, the cause is simply due to age.
However, testosterone levels can drop at any age for a variety of reasons. And, if left untreated, can lead to an increased risk for other more serious complications.
Here are a few of the most common reasons for low testosterone in young men.
There are other factors, apart from age, that can lead to drops in testosterone at a young age: genetics.
Some men may have genetic disorders which prevents their bodies from producing enough testosterone. For example, Kallmann syndrome is a genetic disorder that leads to hypogonadism. This is due to an abnormality in the hypothalamus, which is the portion of the brain that regulates testosterone production.
Other common genetic conditions that can also lead to testosterone deficiencies are hemochromatosis and Klinefelter syndrome.
Injury or infection
An injury to the testicles, such as what might occur during a car accident, can result in testosterone deficiency. This is because the testicles produce testosterone and when they are damaged, testosterone production can be impaired.
Another factor that could contribute to a decline in testosterone are autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Partly due to the role of testosterone and immune health that has been observed. 
Poor lifestyle choices
Sure, it might be fun to go out with friends, eat whatever you want, and party all night long but these choices can lead to some not-so-fun consequences – testosterone included.
Poor diet and lack of sleep can lead to low testosterone. This is especially common in young men who may not be as aware of the importance of taking care of their bodies.
One study that looked at obese men, found that even men who were moderately obese had decreased testosterone levels.
Some other factors that could lead to testosterone deficiency in younger men:
- Sleep apnea (a sleep-related breathing disorder)
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Use of certain medications, such as opioids or steroid abuse.
- Radiation from chemotherapy
- Varicoceles (enlargement of the veins in the scrotum)
When To Start Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
There is no magic age at which men should begin testosterone therapy. Each person’s body is uniquely built.
Here’s a list of some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone, so you can figure out when to visit a doctor to discuss testosterone replacement therapy as a possible treatment.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
The signs and symptoms suggestive of low testosterone include low desire and sexual activity, erectile dysfunction (ED), decreased spontaneous erections, loss of body hair, reduced bone mass, and loss of muscle mass.
Some other non-specific symptoms include low energy and motivation, depression, memory loss, and depression.
How can Testosterone Replacement Therapy help?
As you can see, you don’t have to be old to start testosterone replacement therapy – in fact, testosterone therapy for low testosterone levels is becoming more common for men of all ages.
According to the American Urological Association, testosterone levels have declined in the last two decades among adolescent and young adult men.
As a result, testosterone replacement therapy can be the best option for young men with low testosterone. However, it is important to make sure to speak with a hormone specialist first before starting any form of treatment. This is to rule out other potential contributing factors.
Otherwise, TRT will simply serve as a temporary solution that will not provide lasting results.
Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
If you haven’t guessed by now, testosterone is pretty important for guys. When testosterone levels are too low, it can lead to a whole host of issues – both physically and mentally. And of course, no one wants to deal with performance issues or embarrassing moments. Testosterone replacement therapy can help with that.
TRT can improve:
- Libido and sexual function
- Muscle mass and strength
- Bone density
Where to get TRT?
One of the best places to get testosterone treatment is at a TRT clinic, where you will see both doctors and nurses that specialize in helping men.
This also means they will be able to understand you and your needs better – something that is crucial when it comes to discussing such a sensitive topic.
You will most likely begin by speaking to a healthcare professional at a testosterone therapy clinic who will work to establish a diagnosis and prescribe the proper treatment, dietary supplements, and exercise regimens to help you regain your normal self.
In some cases, TRT clinics can offer services to help men maintain testosterone levels such as working with a certified personal trainer, a nutritionist, or even a therapist!
Remember, testosterone is a prescription medication so it is important that you speak to a specialist first.
Testosterone production declines with age—sometimes even earlier than you might think.
So, ultimately, the best age to begin TRT is the age at which you need it. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with low testosterone levels—such as fatigue or ED—reach out to your local TRT clinic about getting your hormone levels checked.
Can I take Testosterone if I am under 18?
While this is certainly something that can be done, you would need to be evaluated by a doctor first to determine any underlying causes of low testosterone (male hypogonadism).
Can I take Testosterone if I am >60 years of age?
Numerous studies suggest that testosterone replacement therapy is effective for men over 60; however, those with pre-existing conditions like cardiovascular disease or prostate cancer should be closely monitored while on the therapy, according to research. 
Can I stop taking Testosterone?
Testosterone therapy is generally a lifelong treatment. But, to keep a long story short, yes you can stop. However, there are numerous factors to take into consideration because it is not something that can be abruptly stopped. Talk to your doctor to help you decide how to stop if you would like to stop testosterone therapy.