Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Keywords:Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Hypogonadism, Muscle hypertrophy, Sexual function
Over the last few decades, the discussion surrounding men’s health issues has sparked an increased interest in the treatment of male hypogonadism—the deficiency of testosterone in the body—through testosterone replacement therapy, in order to improve patients’ quality of life. This makes it a worthwhile consideration for further research as many studies do not sufficiently explore the long-term benefits and drawbacks, which may tip the scales on whether it should be prescribed to patients moving forward. It is worth weighing the effects that the treatment offers, as well as examining which patients are most suitable for the therapy and why, from a health cost-benefit analysis. Many of the benefits that this review will touch on relate to the symptoms of hypogonadism, most notably decreased libido, muscle mass, and emotional well-being. This review will also consider the potential side effects of treatment through the investigation of short- and long-term studies that include observational, surveyable, and empirical data. Some of the drawbacks include increased risk of various organ cancers and systemic tissue damage. Holistically, this review will provide insight on the basics of testosterone replacement therapy, who benefits most, who is at risk, and how its understanding can be improved moving forward.
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