Why Should I Avoid Testosterone Replacement Therapy?



 

There are several reasons why you should not use testosterone replacement therapy. There are some transgender men, Women who may become pregnant or who are nursing, and older men. Some of these situations are listed below. For more information, please contact to Regenics your health care provider. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to testosterone replacement therapy.

Transgender men

While it may be tempting to think of testosterone replacement therapy as a birth control option, there are many reasons why transgender men should not take it. Most transgender men, AFAB individuals, and women who are pregnant should use additional forms of contraception. While testosterone may reduce the risk of pregnancy, transgender men should still follow strict birth control procedures.

Transgender men often face difficulties in conception and pregnancy. While there are no definitive studies on whether testosterone causes or decreases the risk of these problems, there are harmful narratives that continue to spread. One such narrative is that testosterone can make transgender men aggressive. This fear leads many transgender men to delay gender affirming hormone therapy in fear that the treatment will alter their personality or make them violent. In addition, prescribing doctors frequently tell transgender men they will not be able to become pregnant while taking testosterone, or that it will make them infertile. Many of these providers fail to engage transgender patients in discussions about family planning.

Women who could become pregnant

There are risks for pregnancy associated with taking testosterone replacement therapy. Some people who are transgender may not experience periods while taking testosterone, and there is a risk of unintended pregnancy for trans men who are not using contraception. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends all forms of contraception for trans men and cisgender women, including hormonal birth control.

Testosterone can also cause the blood to thicken, which can cause heart disease or stroke. If you are already taking testosterone and are pregnant, you should stop immediately. Otherwise, your fetus may develop birth defects or require additional medical intervention.

Women who are nursing

In addition to reviving sexual desire in women, testosterone therapy may also help protect against cardiovascular disease. Heart disease has become the leading cause of death worldwide, but women are disproportionately affected. While it was once thought of as the province of the middle-aged, cigarette-smoking men, women are now at high risk of heart disease. Fortunately, testosterone therapy may provide a solution.

Older men

Although testosterone replacement therapy has been proven beneficial for treating many of the common symptoms of aging, it is important to recognize that the risks of the therapy may outweigh the benefits. Older men who are not suffering from hypogonadism should consider assessing their risk for cardiovascular disease and other health risks before starting testosterone therapy.

A large multicenter NIH-sponsored study is ongoing to better understand the benefits and risks of testosterone therapy for older men. The study also identified a few indications that should not be treated with testosterone therapy. These include significant erythrocytosis, untreated sleep apnea, prostate cancer, and a high risk of cardiovascular events. Because of the limitations of current evidence, this therapy is not appropriate for all aging men with low testosterone levels.

Women at high risk for prostate cancer

The use of testosterone replacement therapy in women is controversial, especially as some studies have found that it may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Testosterone is a male hormone that is naturally produced in the testes of a man, but it is produced in much smaller amounts in women's bodies. While low levels of testosterone can affect a man's quality of life, it is possible to treat the condition to improve overall health and quality of life.

The risk of prostate cancer is greatest in older men with low levels of testosterone. Researchers have found that men with low levels of testosterone have an increased risk of developing the disease, particularly metastatic disease. The reduction in testosterone may be the cause of this increased risk of cancer.