Doing anything for the first time can be nerve wracking and intimidating. In an effort to ease your mind you may find yourself scouring the internet for videos, blogs, and websites about what it is like to do the thing you have never done before.
Going to a men’s testosterone clinic is something that many people do, but few talk about so you may be wondering what it is like and what you should know before you go so that you can have the best experience possible.
Keep reading to learn things you should know before going to a men’s t clinic such as the doctor you will see, what the appointments will be like, tests you may have to get, and even more.
Who Will the Doctor Be?
When you arrive at a men’s testosterone clinic the doctor you will see is likely specialized in testosterone therapy. They will have the knowledge and experience to recognize the signs and symptoms that indicate low testosterone, how to confirm the diagnosis, and of course how to treat it.
The credentials of these doctors or healthcare providers may vary, but some options are an endocrinologist, family medicine doctor, internal medicine doctor, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner. All of these providers can be versed in hormone replacement therapy.
An endocrinologist is a specialized doctor with extra years of training in hormones and glands of the body. Internal medicine and family medicine doctors are trained in all of the human body and its conditions, including those of the endocrine system. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners typically work under physicians and can still have the special training needed to provide safe and effective testosterone replacement therapy.
What Will the First Appointment Be Like?
Your first appointment at a men’s T clinic will vary based on the location you go to, but generally the format is the same. You will begin by filling out paperwork online before you come or when you get into the office. This will include your past medical and surgical history, medications you are currently taking, family history, current symptoms you are experiencing, and consent forms for treatment.
Next, you will likely have your vital signs taken, such as your blood pressure and heart rate. Afterwards you will begin your consultation with the healthcare provider where you will discuss your concerns and they will ask you any questions that they have.
Then, they will likely recommend lab tests for you to take so that they can better understand your hormone levels. After collecting your hormone levels you can ask any additional questions you have and will set up a follow up appointment.
What Will the Following Appointments Be Like?
Your follow up appointment will likely be soon after your initial appointment. This will be after your lab results come in with your hormone levels and they are reviewed by the doctor. At this appointment they will review the results of the hormone test with you so that you know exactly where you are at.
Next, they will review the treatment options they have or follow up tests that need to be completed prior to initiating treatment. However, if they begin with treatment options you will be taught the risks and benefits of each option and helped to make the best decision for you. Once a decision is made you will get a prescription for your medications or they can provide it to you right in the clinic.
Going forward, throughout the treatment process there will be additional appointments that are needed. At these appointments there will be further hormone level tests to track your progress and adjust the treatment plan if needed. For example, if the dose is too high the levels will show as elevated and it may be a good idea to reduce the dose.
Hormone Level Testing
Hormone level testing has been mentioned many times, but what exactly is it? There are certain tests that can measure the amounts of certain hormones in your body. They may be looking for the active or “free” hormones in the body, or they could be looking at metabolites or the waste products of hormones. Both of these help to tell the whole story of your hormone status.
These tests can be in the form of blood, urine, and saliva testing, each have their own pros and cons. In a testosterone clinic there will likely be testing for testosterone, estrogen, DHEAs, DHT, and more. Understanding these hormones help providers to create the most individualized care plan possible.
Do You Have To Go Into an Office?
In today’s day and age it seems like you can do everything online from buying a car or a house to getting groceries delivered in under an hour. The medical system has also taken a turn for this technologically savvy society and can offer telemedicine or telehealth visits. These visits offer the opportunity to have healthcare visits with your provider on a phone, tablet, or computer so that you can schedule them at your convenience.
Elite HRT is a hormone therapy provider that offers in person and online visits so that you can choose whatever is easiest for you. When it comes to lab work you can either take some tests at home and mail them to a lab or you can go to a local lab near you where they can send the results to you and your provider.
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
To begin, it should be clear that you will not receive positive effects of testosterone therapy unless you have a diagnosed case of low testosterone or hypogonadism. If this is the case then you can understand that there are many benefits to testosterone replacement therapy including increased sex drive, increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, increased bone density, assistance with erectile dysfunction, mood balancing, increased energy, hair growth, and more. Having a balanced testosterone level can help so many body systems and help to boost quality of life.
Risks of Testosterone Therapy
Just like with any treatment there will always be risks involved and some have more than others. When it comes to testosterone replacement therapy it is generally safe, but there are some risks that occur. Testicular atrophy, decreased sperm production, and worsening sleep apnea could occur however there are steps that can be taken to reduce these risks. Enlarging breasts and acne are other physical risks that could happen and need to be considered when deciding if treatment is right for you. As always, talk with your doctor for an extensive list of risks and benefits to create an informed decision regarding your health.
Common Medication in Testosterone Therapy
You may be surprised to know that medications other than testosterone are included in testosterone replacement therapy. Aromatase inhibitors, also known as estrogen inhibitors, and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are also commonly used in the treatments as well. These two medications can help to increase the positive effects of testosterone replacement therapy while also reducing potential risk factors. In males there is a process that occurs called aromatization.
Aromatization is the process of testosterone breaking down into estrogen, which occurs more and more as men age. This is possible because estrogen is a first step ingredient before testosterone is able to be made. Aromatase inhibitors reduce this process from happening and therefore increase the amount of testosterone that is in the body by preventing it from becoming estrogen.
Human chorionic gonadotropin is similar in men to luteinizing hormone which is released by the pituitary gland. Luteinizing hormone in men is responsible for the production of testosterone in the testicles. Without taking HCG with testosterone replacement therapy there is a possibility for the testicles to shrink and atrophy because the regular levels of hormones are being disrupted. Taking HCG is a great way to reduce these risks that can come with prolonged testosterone therapy. Having a provider that understands the needs of a comprehensive testosterone replacement therapy is vital to your health and success.
Testosterone replacement therapy in a men’s T clinic is something that hundreds of men do every day. Knowing what to expect in the process can make it much less overwhelming and feel more familiar. Not every clinic will be the same so if you have specific questions you can always call the office or company to get detailed responses. The process of testosterone replacement is relatively simple, but should always be done under the guidance of a licensed healthcare professional.