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If testosterone replacement therapy is appropriate based on clinical signs and test results, a general rule is to raise levels to a high age-adjusted normal. There are no definitive standards for levels with testosterone replacement therapy, so we take into account blood levels and symptoms.
Sheffrin Mens Health administers injectable testosterone, as it allows great flexibility in dosing based on the patient's response and is readily absorbed. Before beginning testosterone replacement therapy for a patient, his lab assessment should include at a minimum:
- Serum testosterone. Tests can begin with a screening total T, and Free T. Free T is important to measure as it is a more accurate picture of what your individual body has available to use.
- PSA level
- Serum FSH and LH
- Hemoglobin and Hematocrit (Blood count)
Sheffrin Mens Health includes a full hormone panel and additional lab tests to attain a more comprehensive picture of other factors that may be affecting current health to determine treatment decisions.
Lab work is repeated 4 to 6 weeks after treatment is initiated, or whenever a dose change is instituted. Routine monitoring is done every 3 to 6 months.
HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is frequently added to the regimen. HCG mimics the effects of LH to stimulate the testicles to produce natural testosterone. HCG is given as an injection beneath the skin.
As with any therapy, testosterone replacement therapy carries some risks. But the risks are minimal when the goal of therapy is normalization of testosterone levels and is manageable with proper patient monitoring and follow-up.
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