Side Effects

10 TRT Side Effects to Talk to Your Doctor About

While TRT can be an effective treatment for men with low testosterone, there are several potential side effects and risks that your doctor may not have fully explained to you. Here are ten things you should know about testosterone replacement therapy:

  1. High hematocrit levels: Testosterone can stimulate the production of red blood cells, which can lead to an increase in hematocrit levels. High hematocrit levels can increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. Regular monitoring of hematocrit levels is necessary during TRT. I am a regular at the local blood donation centers because it helps me keep my hematocrit levels low. Win-Win!
  2. Hair loss: TRT can lead to an increased risk of hair loss in men who are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness. If you are concerned about hair loss, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments or medications that can help. Speaking of…
  3. Side effects of medications for hair loss: Medications commonly used to treat hair loss, such as finasteride, can have sexual side effects such as decreased libido, gynecomastia and erectile dysfunction.
  4. Gynecomastia: TRT can lead to an imbalance of hormones that can cause the development of breast tissue in men. This condition, known as gynecomastia, can be treated with medications or surgery if it becomes a concern.
  5. Side effects of medications for gynecomastia: Medications commonly used to treat gynecomastia, such as tamoxifen, can have side effects such as hot flashes and mood changes.
  6. Testicular shrinkage: TRT can lead to testicular shrinkage due to a decrease in natural testosterone production. This is typically a temporary side effect and may be reversed by discontinuing TRT.
  7. Infertility: TRT can suppress the production of sperm in the testicles, which can lead to infertility. If you are interested in preserving fertility, talk to your doctor about options such as sperm banking before starting TRT.
  8. Increased risk of prostate cancer: TRT has been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, particularly in men over the age of 65. Regular prostate exams and monitoring are necessary during TRT.
  9. Skin irritation: TRT can lead to skin irritation at the application site of topical testosterone gels or patches.
  10. Cardiovascular risks: TRT has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, particularly in men with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Your doctor should carefully evaluate your cardiovascular risk factors before prescribing TRT.