Do You Need Treatment for Low Testosterone?

Drug companies that make testosterone have pumped more than $121 million into advertising in the past two years, but medical experts aren’t sure their products are an overall benefit for men.

The bad seems to outweigh the good, Consumer Reports says:

Risks include breast enlargement, reduced fertility, heart attacks, and possibly faster-growing prostate cancer. Women accidentally exposed to the hormone can develop male characteristics, and children can enter an early puberty. And the drugs can be expensive — up to $570 a month.

Additional established risks include blood clots in the legs, sleep apnea, and swollen feet or ankles.

Ad spending for the drugs went from $14.3 million in 2011 to $107.3 million, CR says, which paid off handsomely: Sales climbed from about $1.25 billion in 2010 to about $2.25 billion last year. The number of prescriptions rose about 2 million in the same period, CR added.

“Testosterone replacement has been shown to improve a man’s energy, libido, muscle mass, sleep, erections, energy level, and depressed mood,” the American Urological Association says. “It is important to realize that testosterone treatment is considered lifelong therapy.”

Lifelong means spending as much as $7,000 a year for a drug that may pose ongoing risks for you and your family.

There are many possible causes for low testosterone, including stress, lack of sleep or exercise, certain drugs, plus conditions such as diabetes, obesity and pituitary tumors, CR says.

Unless your physician has diagnosed you with hypogonadism and said otherwise, a healthier lifestyle could go a long way toward resolving the symptoms associated with low testosterone.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,217 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.