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Low Testosterone Therapy
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: Your doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy if the level of testosterone in your bloodstream is significantly lower than normal. Testosterone is a male hormone, also called an androgen, which is produced in your testicles. Testosterone promotes the development of male sexual characteristics and supports masculine functions, such as sperm production and sexual desire. This hormone is also essential for maintaining bone density, red blood cell level, muscle mass, and a sense of well-being. Low levels of testosterone in your blood may result in a condition called androgen deficiency, or hypogonadism, which may include increased body fat, reduced muscle size and swollen breasts. If your testosterone level is low, you may experience reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and low sperm count, leading to infertility. A deficiency in testosterone affects all parts of your body, and may also cause: loss of body hair, increased body fat, decreased muscle mass, diminished bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis, mild anemia, swollen or tender breasts, hot flashes, decreased energy, and depression. Testosterone replacement therapy is the administration of man-made testosterone to raise the level of this hormone in your blood back to normal and to relieve your symptoms. You can take testosterone therapy via an injection, patch, gel, or tablet. If you have injections, you will receive one every two to three weeks. The testosterone will be delivered into the muscle of your buttocks. If you use a testosterone skin patch, you will place a patch on your arm, back, abdomen or upper buttocks. You will change the patch daily. If you use testosterone gel, you will apply it daily to the skin on your shoulder, upper arm, or abdomen. If you use buccal tablets, you will place one tablet on your gumline twice a day.