The number of men who take testosterone has dropped dramatically in the past few years, in part because of growing awareness of the risks that may accompany it. Should you avoid it?
Testosterone, a hormone, helps men maintain muscle, bone health, libido, and the ability to perform in the bedroom. But beginning in their mid-30s, men lose an average of just under 2% per year. Eventually, that drop could lead to hypogonadism, or low testosterone. This happens to 1 in 5 men in their 60s, and the likelihood rises as men get older. Testosterone replacement treatment (TRT) aims to boost those low levels back up.
But TRT has had its ups and downs in the past 2 decades. From 2001 to 2013, prescriptions rose by 300% following marketing efforts that proclaimed it could restore energy, alertness, mental focus, and sexual function. Then, over the next 3 years, the number of men taking it dropped by half as studies revealed potential risks, particularly to heart health. READ MORE