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Does TRT Influence Life Span? An In-Depth Look Into Hormone Treatments

MD Bodybuilding

MD Bodybuilding

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2021
Testosterone plays a vital role in men's health and overall well-being. But aging and certain medical conditions may lower an individual's testosterone levels. Those clinically diagnosed with hypogonadism and already on andropause may undergo testosterone restoration called Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).

According to some studies, TRT does not only treat testosterone deficiency. It may also provide health benefits that can improve overall well-being, leading to a better quality of life and increased lifespan.

In this article, we'll look into how TRT can worsen or benefit a person's lifespan, its risks and benefits, and other alternative treatments if the patient disagrees with TRT.

Understanding Testosterone and Aging​

Testosterone is an essential male hormone for developing the male reproductive system, muscle size and strength, bone growth, and psychological health. Women also have these male hormones, which are not as high as those found in men.

This hormone also works in metabolism, regulating insulin sensitivity and fat distribution. Because of this, people who have normal testosterone levels may have a better body composition, reduced visceral fats, and improved insulin sensitivity.

Changes happen to our bodies as we age. As for men, they enter andropause or hypogonadism, where testosterone levels get lower. They may also experience testosterone deficiency due to some underlying medical conditions.

A man with low testosterone levels may experience sexual complications, decreased energy levels, loss of muscle mass, and lower bone density.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT): An Overview​

Healthcare professionals usually use Testosterone Replacement Therapy in endocrinology, which provides exogenous testosterone to patients suffering from testosterone deficiency. Its main objective is to restore the hormonal balance or improve the patient's quality of life.

Prescription and Administration​

Since TRT is only available under prescription, individuals with normal testosterone levels should not take the treatment. Doing so may lead to potential health risks and several side effects.

Healthcare professionals may prescribe them in topical form or as an intramuscular injection. Depending on the patient's needs, they may be required to take TRT daily, weekly, or every three months.

Treatment Course of TRT​

Before doctors prescribe TRT, they evaluate the patient through a blood test and their symptoms. The most common symptoms they look at are muscle weakness, fatigue, and low bone density. These will be their basis for setting the objectives of the treatment course.

A doctor may prescribe TRT with different routes of administration, whether a patient needs an injection, gels, pellets, or patches. The administration of TRT depends on the patient's convenience or how their body reacts to these administration routes.

They monitor testosterone levels regularly to evaluate if the treatment works. Adjusting the dosage and frequency of medicine is possible depending on how the testosterone levels increase.

Exploring The Connection Between TRT and Life Span​

How TRT affects a patient's lifespan is still debatable. It is proven to help men suffering from testosterone deficiency, but people believe that TRT can shorten a patient's lifespan by affecting cardiovascular health.

According to a study from The New England Journal of Medicine, the effects of TRT on patients' cardiovascular health depend on how their bodies react to the treatment. But in general, TRT does not provide risks to cardiovascular health. Instead, it is an excellent relief to those who suffer from the symptoms of low testosterone.

A urologist from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago stated that this study answers people's concerns regarding cardiovascular health risks and TRT.

Though TRT provides better quality of life to hypogonadism patients, another study in 2014 claimed that older men who undergo TRT are more prone to experience heart attacks. It shows that although it presents more benefits to hypogonadism patients, older men may experience metabolic burdens and be unable to tolerate other effects.

Weighing The Risks and Benefits​

TRT is proven to be beneficial for people with clinically-diagnosed testosterone deficiency. But like any other medical treatment, there are associated risks that a patient needs to consider. Here are the common risks and benefits of the treatment.

Benefit: Improved Sexual Function​

As we all know, testosterone is a hormone from the male reproductive system. Once the TRT returns to normal levels, men can enhance their libido, improve erectile function, and increase their sperm count.

Benefit: Improved Muscle Mass and Strength​

Better muscle mass and strength are one of the most prominent benefits of testosterone therapy. It is why many bodybuilders often take testosterone. They want to gain muscle mass and enhance their strength to prepare for a competition.

Benefit: Better Psychological Health​

TRT reduces the risks of irritability and mood that come with low testosterone. TRT improves testosterone levels, and alleviates these symptoms, leading to a better mood and greater well-being. It may also reduce anxiety symptoms and promote relaxation.

Risk: Prostate Health​

Some people experience elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels from using TRT, a protein the prostate gland produces. High levels of PSA may indicate an infection, inflammation, or symptoms of prostate cancer.

Risk: Allergic Reactions​

Allergies from TRT use usually come from topical TRT because of its other ingredients. Some people may be allergic to stabilizers and emulsifiers, which cause redness, itching, and rash. Sometimes, these allergic reactions may lead to more severe cases like anaphylaxis.

Risk: High RBC Count​

Testosterone plays a part in producing red blood cells in the bone marrow. Though it may seem reasonable, having excess red blood cells increases blood concentration, usually leading to reduced oxygen to tissues and an increased risk of blood clots. Unregulated TRT dosage may compromise cardiovascular health.

Expert Opinions and Controversies​

Medical experts agree that TRT can help people with clinically low testosterone levels in many ways. Some of these benefits are better libido, sexual function, mood, energy level, muscle growth, bone density, and quality of life in general. But they also stress that different people can react differently to TRT.

They still have split opinions about TRT use based on their expertise, clinical experience, and available studies.

Testosterone Controversy in Sports​

One of the well-known controversies surrounding TRT use is in bodybuilding since it can increase muscle gains and strength. Bodybuilders use it for a different purpose–as a performance-enhancing drug. All sporting organizations prohibit using PEDs in combat sports and bodybuilding.

Athletes must be aware of and comply with these regulations. Otherwise, sporting organizations may ban them from joining any future competition and may forfeit their previous titles. Athletes should only take these TRT if doctors clinically diagnose them with hypogonadism.

Testosterone Replacement Life Span

Patient Experiences​

A man shared his experience with TRT on a blog, stating that he experienced positive mental and mood changes. Other changes he noticed were increased libido, slight weight loss, and a spike in his energy. He did not experience any adverse effects. Instead, TRT helped his physical and mental state, which helped his relationship with his family.

In an interview with Dr. Stefaan Voseen, another male who used TRT experienced fatigue, weight gain, and always felt negative emotions. He thought that his busy life and aging brought these symptoms. He got tested and found out he had severely low testosterone levels, which made him decide to undergo TRT. Within four months of treatment, his energy reverted to normal, and he returned to his old self.

Alternative Treatments​

Patients who do not want to take TRT because they fear its cardiovascular health risks may try alternatives based on their condition. However, only some other options may work for some individuals. It is crucial to consult with a medical professional first before trying out these alternatives.

Lifestyle Changes​

Changing your regular habits can improve testosterone production naturally. Regular exercise, enough sleep and rest, stress reduction, and a healthy diet can significantly increase testosterone levels. Lifestyle changes are the safest alternative for people who think twice because of the cardiovascular health risks of TRT.

Other Medications​

The medications replacing TRT will depend if the cause of low testosterone levels is due to a medical condition. However, doctors may treat the underlying conditions first before treating testosterone levels. Sometimes, doctors provide different solutions to the symptoms of low testosterone, such as decreased libido or erectile dysfunction.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs)​

SERMs are the most common alternative treatment to TRT. These drugs can indirectly increase testosterone by blocking estrogen receptors that hinder testosterone production. However, SERMs also have side effects that may not be suitable for some patients.


The impact of TRT on an individual's lifespan will depend on the patient's current health condition. Addressing it at a younger age may maximize the benefits of TRT. However, existing studies still need to be more conclusive. There is still a need for further research studies on the connection between TRT and a person's lifespan.

Keep Your Testosterone Levels Normal With TRT​

If you're experiencing the symptoms of hypogonadism or andropause, it is best to consult an endocrinologist or urologist for personalized medical advice. For additional knowledge about TRT, several research studies are available for reading, which provide accurate information on how TRT affects the health of males of different ages.

Frequently Asked Questions​

Do younger men need TRT?​

In some cases, yes. Younger men who experience the symptoms of hypogonadism may seek help from an endocrinologist or urologist for diagnosis. If blood tests show low testosterone levels, the doctor may prescribe TRT.

How can a healthcare professional address my low testosterone levels?​

Doctors can evaluate the root cause of low testosterone levels. If it is not due to aging, other medical issues may cause it. A doctor can provide personalized treatment based on the patient's health condition, needs, and age.

Does TRT have adverse effects like anabolic steroids?​

No. Generally, TRT and testosterone are different things. Compared to anabolic steroids, TRT does not cause aggression or bulky muscles like those in individuals who misuse anabolic steroids.
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