Androgen replacement is given in the form of testosterone. Although this can be given by injection or by implant the more usual route is topically to the skin as a patch or gel to rub in. Your doctor would discuss with you the most appropriate dose and route.
What will happen if I start androgen/testosterone therapy?
At your initial visit, an assessment will be made of your symptoms by the specialist as well as assessing your blood pressure and a physical examination including prostate assessment will be performed depending on the mans age. Investigations will be arranged that will include a morning blood test for testosterone levels as well as a blood test for the prostate and cholesterol levels, an ultrasound of the prostate will be organised.
Your doctor will advise you of the benefits and side effects of treatment as well as the mechanism of follow up to allow you to decide if you wish to proceed with treatment. If it is felt from your symptoms and blood results that you would benefit from testosterone therapy and that there are no contraindications to treatment, a prescription will be arranged, and a repeat appointment made for 3 months. Prior to this follow up visit bloods for testosterone level and prostate hormones will be arranged.
These blood tests are repeated prior to your first and second follow up and then at yearly intervals. Follow up visits will be at three monthly intervals for an assessment of your symptoms, checking on any side effects such as reduced urinary flow, skin and hair changes and routine screening before a repeat prescription is given.