Normal testosterone level, at any age, is measured in a range of 300 to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter. "Testosterone level is not a high-low scale," explains Dr. Samadi. "If you're at the low end of the range it does not mean you need more testosterone."
Hormone replacement therapy for men is not new, but recent studies show there may be little effectiveness, and potentially more harm than good. In 2008, during the largest testosterone replacement study to date, researchers in the Netherlands found almost no improvement in quality of life, bone density, cognitive thinking, or muscle strength among those using testosterone.
There's also a myth that increasing testosterone level decreases erectile dysfunction (ED). In truth, testosterone has more to do with sex drive and nothing to do with erections. What's more, replacing a man's testosterone level ceases his own natural production of the hormone, causing significant withdrawal symptoms when the replacement is stopped.
Prostate Cancer and Testosterone
"It's important to be clear that male menopause does not cause prostate cancer, nor does low testosterone, but how men choose to manage those symptoms may impact their prostate cancer risk level," explains Dr. Samadi.
Testosterone is widely accepted as a prostate cancer fuel, and is regularly countered through androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer.
Most recently, an Australia-based study of men in their 70s and 80s showed an increased risk of prostate cancer among men with higher testosterone levels, both naturally high and replacement high. Testosterone replacement therapy is not recommended for men at increased risk for developing prostate cancer.
Little is certain about the long-term effects of hormone replacement. "Work with your doctor to explore all of your physical, social, and lifestyle factors that you may
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