Since you were a teenager, you probably heard all sorts of locker room chatter about testosterone. Maybe you suffered through endless cold showers during high school because someone said it would boost your sex hormones. You might have been scared to masturbate for years because of those myths. And let’s not get started on that internet spam promising you insane growth for your penis if you only buy their untested, unregulated products.
All of those beliefs are indeed myths. But how do you know what’s actually true about testosterone? How can you get reliable guidance when you become concerned about your own testosterone levels, maybe after an embarrassment in the bedroom or after a worrisome injury?
That’s why we’re here. Yes, we’ve heard all the myths. And we can help you sort them out from the truths and help you make any decisions that might make your life better. At Texas Men’s Health Group, we believe men in Dallas deserve to know the truth. So let’s sort out some myths from the facts.
Myth #1: Having a Vasectomy Lowers Your Testosterone Levels
Nope. If your partner has been pushing you to consider a vasectomy and you’ve hesitated because you’re worried it might affect your sex life, you can rest assured. A vasectomy has no effect on your testosterone levels at all.
Myth #2: You Can Treat Yourself With Online Supplements
Okay, technically, you can buy online testosterone supplements — or at least supplements that claim to be delivering testosterone. But don’t pretend you’re actually treating any kind of condition in a safe or effective way if you choose this risky route. You have no idea what’s really in those unregulated supplements you can buy online. You could cause some real damage to your body by taking whatever it is that’s in those pills.
Let’s face it; those ads for supplements are going straight into your spam folder for a reason. Don’t waste your money, and don’t risk your health. Not when you can get actual medical care from real health care professionals at a licensed men’s health care clinic. When you get the testing, individualized treatment and medical supervision that testosterone requires, you know you’re safe and you’ll see the results you hope to see — and you’ll also get a proper diagnosis so you get the actual treatment your body needs.
Myth #3: Low Testosterone Is All About Sex
Yes, if you have low testosterone, you’re likely to experience a dive in your sex drive, and many men also find their issues with erectile dysfunction are linked to low testosterone levels. But unlike the impression you may have gotten in high school “health” class, testosterone isn’t just about sex.
Men with low testosterone experience a wide range of symptoms that don’t always seem to be connected to each other in any obvious way. Some of them aren’t even obvious at all — for instance, did you know that you’re likely to lose bone density and develop osteoporosis if your testosterone levels are low? (Most men find that out only when they break a bone.)
Testosterone also affects your brain. You might find yourself struggling to remember where you put stuff, or what you were about to say, or who you’re supposed to call first thing in the morning. You’re likely to find it tougher than it used to be to concentrate or stay focused for long periods. And you may find that your sleep is more often disturbed.
In addition, you might not understand where these odd mood swings are coming from — the ones that have you snapping at people for no discernable reason or keep you in a permanent state of irritability. Some men experience depression and anxiety when their testosterone levels drop.
And, of course, yes, there are plenty of physical symptoms associated with low testosterone levels. You get tired faster than you used to. You gain weight — and that belly fat doesn’t seem to go away no matter how much time you spend at the gym. Speaking of the gym, you’re also likely to see that your muscle mass is decreasing and your workouts are getting harder. When you go to the doctor, suddenly, you’re discussing things like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease — conditions that have never been on your radar before.
Myth #4: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Leads to Prostate Cancer
This myth simply has no scientific evidence to support it. Although, if you actually have prostate cancer, your doctor will tell you to stay away from testosterone therapy.
And by the way, it’s also a myth that testosterone treatment increases heart disease. In fact, there’s evidence that it may decrease your risk for heart disease.
Myth #5: Low Testosterone Only Happens to Other Guys
It’s easy to think that testosterone deficiency only happens to someone else. And it might be rare, right? Because you never hear guys talking about it.
Not true. At any given time, approximately 13 million men suffer from low testosterone across the United States, with the number spiking to 50% of all men by the time they reach the age of 80. Symptoms start to show up in your 30s, with the likelihood of low testosterone increasing with each year. If you’re experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, it’s worth getting a blood test to find out exactly what’s going on.
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Myth #6: Masturbation Lowers Your Testosterone Levels
Nope. Not true. (And yes, we hear that sigh of relief.)
In the very short term, yes, masturbation affects your testosterone levels. That’s because any sexual activity of any kind causes a temporary increase in testosterone (not surprising), with a concomitant drop after orgasm (also not surprising). But over the long term, masturbation has no effect on your baseline testosterone levels.
Myth #7: All Men Develop Low Testosterone With Age, and There’s Nothing You Can Do About It
There’s a shred of truth in this myth. Yes, all men do experience a decrease in their testosterone levels as they age, losing about 1% of their testosterone each year beginning in their 30s. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it or accept it as normal.
You don’t have to give up and just live with weight gain. Or erectile dysfunction. Or loss of your sex drive. Or a decrease in your mental acuity and concentration. Or fatigue and constant low energy. None of that has to be normal.
Yes, your testosterone is decreasing every year. That means if you’ve had your testosterone levels checked in the past, there’s a very good chance those numbers are now inaccurate. Because there is indeed something you can do about low testosterone numbers. The idea that you have to shrug and accept those low numbers is indeed a myth.
Myth #8: If Your Testosterone Levels Were Low, You’d Know It
Actually, you might not be aware at all. Low testosterone creeps up on you gradually, so you might start accepting symptoms, such as, say, flagging energy levels or brain fog, as a sort of “new normal.” And don’t count on your doctor to warn you about low testosterone levels. If you’re not being seen at a men’s health clinic, where we pay attention to these things, there’s a good chance your doctor will ignore your symptoms or just not recognize their connection to your testosterone levels.
The bottom line: If you haven’t had your testosterone levels tested, you really don’t know what they are.
So if all of the above are myths about testosterone, what are the facts? Time to take a look.
Fact #1: Low Testosterone Levels Are Associated With Heart Disease
As the American Heart Association has pointed out, low testosterone levels are correlated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, increased risk of congestive heart failure, abnormal EKGs, and increased incidents of angina and narrowing of the carotid artery. None of that is good news. The only good news here is that you can turn those very real risks around by seeking out treatment for testosterone deficiency.
Fact #2: Testosterone Levels Affect Your Sex Life
If your testosterone levels are low, you’re likely to lose interest in sex. You may not notice it at first, given your busy life, until you start wondering why you’re feeling so old. Some men also experience erectile dysfunction as a result of low testosterone levels (though this symptom can be related to many other causes as well). If you haven’t been feeling like yourself in the bedroom, it might be time to get some tests done.
Fact #3: Testosterone Treatment Can Help Your Physical Appearance and Strength
Those internet ads for testosterone supplements (the ones you shouldn’t respond to) make all sorts of promises about how you can bulk up by taking the hormone. And they’re not wrong. Testosterone does indeed help your body create and maintain lean muscle mass. In addition, loss of testosterone over time leads to that layer of belly fat you see on so many middle-aged men.
While you shouldn’t start testosterone therapy just to build your physique, it’s certainly a fact that this treatment does result in weight loss and stronger muscle mass — just like when you were younger and your testosterone levels were at their peak.
Fact #4: Testosterone Treatment Can Help With Brain Fog
If you feel like you’re swimming upstream every day, coming home exhausted, with your brain feeling muddled and tired, you may be seeing signs of low testosterone levels. Yes, testosterone treatment can make a difference here, too. While your body is getting stronger, your brain will also respond to an influx of the hormone you’ve been missing. Expect to experience greater ability to concentrate and focus, stronger memory and a boost in your overall energy.
Fact #5: If Your Testosterone Levels Are Low, Help Is Available
Are you experiencing a low sex drive? Loss of muscle mass? Brain fog? Fatigue? All these symptoms could be signs of the same underlying cause: testosterone deficiency. If that’s the case, we’re here for you. At Texas Men’s Health Group in Dallas, Texas, we’re the primary experts in dealing with men’s health, and we can help you get the answers you’ve been seeking.
We’ll test your testosterone levels and help you determine your best course of action. You have questions — and we have solutions. Contact us today to get to the bottom of all your questions about testosterone.