Who Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy For And How Does It Work
Doctors prescribe TRT to males with hypogonadism. To receive a definitive diagnosis, blood tests must show that a person has low testosterone levels, which the American Urological Association notes as being below 300 nanograms per deciliter . The individual must also have other symptoms, such as fatigue, breast growth, and sexual dysfunction.
However, doctors do not usually recommend TRT as the first course of action for low testosterone levels, even for males who show such symptoms.
If other conditions or medications cause testosterone levels to drop, doctors usually treat the underlying condition before recommending TRT.
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Each Persons Body Is Different
The changes that an individual will experience and whether the changes will be pronounced or subtle will depend on many factors including:
- Age when a person starts hormone therapy: younger people tend to have more noticeable changes than those who start hormones at an older age
- Body type and characteristics before starting hormones: people who do not appear highly masculine or highly feminine tend to have more noticeable changes than those who have a very recognizable gender expression
- Family characteristics: for example, the family tendency to go bald or to have a heavy beard can influence the changes in a persons hair pattern
Body changes are variable and somewhat unpredictable. It is not possible to tailor a hormone regimen to produce some changes and not others, or to minimize some changes and maximize others.
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How Long Does A Person Continue Hormone Therapy
The decision to continue or discontinue hormones is entirely up to the individual. The physical transition process, during which hormones alter the physical characteristics of the body, can take up to five years. After that, many people choose to continue taking hormones in order to maintain the changes that have already occurred. The goal of hormone therapy is to keep the hormones within the normal, physiologic ranges. Around age 50-60 years, hormone levels naturally decline in healthy people and some individuals might discontinue them then or reduce them to a very low dose.
If a person has surgery to remove the testes , the body would no longer produce testosterone. A testosterone blocker would no longer be needed but estrogen would still be needed to maintain feminine characteristics.
If a person has surgery to remove the ovaries , the body would no longer produce estrogen. However, testosterone would still be needed to maintain masculine characteristics.
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You Could Lose Your Hair
Fan of rocking those hipster haircuts? Well, that could quickly change if you start using testosterone injections. Why?
When you increase your bodys testosterone levels through injections, youll simultaneously increase the amount of test thats converted into dihydrotestosterone . And guess what? DHT has been linked to hair loss in both men and women.
Sure, its a super anabolic compound, but DHT chokes the life out of your hair follicles, eventually killing them so they dont grow back.
You can use shampoos or ointments like Regaine, but thats a surface solution that doesnt show the best results. Those test injections are the problem. Do you really want to lose sleep over the amount of hair youre not seeing anymore?
Speaking of losing sleep
Does Health Insurance Cover Testosterone Therapy
Because testosterone replacement therapy is sometimes considered a new therapy, many patients ask us this question, Does health insurance cover testosterone therapy for me?
Most health insurance providers will cover the majority of the cost of testosterone replacement therapy for men, as long as you can demonstrate a need.
Of course, the amount that your insurance covers varies from provider to provider, and it also varies based on your specific health plan and other variables, like your deductible.
Though we cannot guarantee that your insurance will cover the cost of your testosterone replacement therapy, we can at least help you get the process started with a free consultation or with a simple call to your insurance carrier.
Your health insurance company may have already approved you for testosterone replacement therapy if you have certain medical conditions or diagnoses from a physician. Depending on the insurance company, these conditions can include the following:
- A pituitary tumor
- Klinefelters Syndrome
- Kallmans Syndrome
Other conditions, like having had a prostatectomy, may also preclude you from needing tests to prove low testosterone.
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Paying For Gender Transition
With all of these costs, paying for gender transition isnt easy. Especially since transgender people are four times more likely to have a make less than $10,000 a year than the average person in the United States. Minorities in general may be more likely to work in jobs that only pay minimum wage. If youre struggling to figure out how you can pay for your transition, here are some things to consider:
Does Health Insurance Cover Testosterone Therapy Generally Yes But What If It Doesnt
Usually, your health insurance does cover testosterone therapy if your medical care provider can show a need.
However, not everyone has health insurance.
And sometimes, even when you have health insurance, you may be stuck paying out of pocket for one reason or another. For instance, your hormone levels may not be technically low enough to demonstrate a need to your health insurance company, but you may still be experiencing symptoms.
Fortunately, the cost of testosterone replacement therapy is very reasonable, even when paying out of pocket.
Generally, $299 a month is enough to cover the cost of weekly testosterone injections, injections that you can get quickly and easily, without a long wait. We also offer flexible hours and multiple locations, giving you the ability to get therapy when and where it best suits you.
Most of our patients who pay out of pocket find that the benefits of feeling happy, healthy, and like themselves again far outweigh the coststhey see the value in therapy.
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What Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Treat
Not all men experience the effects of low testosterone in the same way. Some men have many minor symptoms, while others have a few main symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy used to treat low testosterone can address many issues, including:
- Overactive bladder
- Muscle loss and loss of strength
- General sense of fatigue
- Reduction in body and facial hair
- Dry skin and rapid skin aging
- Increase in body cholesterol
- Anemia and a decrease in hemoglobin
- Muscle and joint ache
Risks Of Hormone Therapy
There is some uncertainty about the risks of long-term cross-sex hormone treatment. The clinic will discuss these with you and the importance of regular monitoring blood tests with your GP.
The most common risks or side effects include:
- elevated liver enzymes
- hair loss or balding
There are other risks if you’re taking hormones bought over the internet or from unregulated sources. It’s strongly recommended you avoid these.
Long-term cross-sex hormone treatment may also lead, eventually, to infertility, even if treatment is stopped.
The GP can help you with advice about gamete storage. This is the harvesting and storing of eggs or sperm for your future use.
Gamete storage is sometimes available on the NHS. It cannot be provided by the gender dysphoria clinic.
Read more about fertility preservation on the HFEA website.
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The True Cost Of Low Testosterone Treatment
It is not as easy as you might think to provide a definitive answer to the question of “how much does low testosterone treatment cost? This is because there are just so many variables that go into your individual treatment. Your age, your weight, your fitness level, and your lifestyle can all impact the type of low testosterone treatment you are prescribed and, therefore, its cost. However, that all being said, on average, testosterone treatments cost about 750.00 to $1000 per month.
Other than your actual dose of testosterone medication, there are many reasons why there is such variability in the cost of testosterone therapy. Other factors that can impact how much your testosterone therapy costs include:
- Who is prescribing your testosterone therapy?
- What brand of testosterone are you using?
- Where is the testosterone clinic located?
- How experienced are the doctors and staff?
One especially important thing to keep in mind is this. If you are shopping around for testosterone therapy, the price of your testosterone injections is a factor. However, the price that you might pay for your testosterone injections should not be the deciding factor on the testosterone clinic or testosterone doctor you choose.
Do not cut corners and possibly compromise your health by going to the clinic that advertises the lowest prices on testosterone shots. Remember, as in any other purchase you get what you pay for.
Why It Is Used
As part of gender-affirming care, gender-affirming hormone therapy is prescribed to encourage physical changes in the body to help people live their authentic selves with respect to their gender identity or lack thereof. Research has shown that the gender-affirming care model improves health outcomes for trans people. In fact, it is considered standard of care and is supported as a medical necessity by nearly every major medical association in the United States, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association.
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Testosterone For Transgender Men And Transmasculine People
Transgender men and other transmasculine individuals may use testosterone to masculinize their bodies in order to align their bodies with their gender identity.
Unlike transfeminine people who need to use a testosterone blocker in order for gender-affirming hormone therapy to be effective, there is no need to block the production of estrogen when taking testosterone. Testosterone is a more biologically effective hormone, and it will induce changes when taken on its own.
Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
If you have low testosterone, chances are you feel pretty lousy. Beyond day-to-day symptoms, low T can also impact your bodys ability to carry out critical functions, which can increase your risk for other serious health concerns, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Symptoms vary by person, but if you experience several or all of the below, its worth getting your T levels checked:
Lets help you figure it out. Hones testosterone assessment is fast, simple, and you can do it from home. For one low price, youll get your blood analyzed by an accredited lab and a 30-minute video consultation with one of our doctors. If TRT is prescribed, it will be sent to your door every month.
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Puberty Blockers And Cross
Puberty blockers pause the physical changes of puberty, such as breast development or facial hair.
Little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria.
Although GIDS advises this is a physically reversible treatment if stopped, it is not known what the psychological effects may be.
It’s also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones. Side effects may also include hot flushes, fatigue and mood alterations.
From the age of 16, teenagers who’ve been on hormone blockers for at least 12 months may be given cross-sex hormones, also known as gender-affirming hormones.
These hormones cause some irreversible changes, such as:
- breast development
- breaking or deepening of the voice
Long-term cross-sex hormone treatment may cause temporary or even permanent infertility.
However, as cross-sex hormones affect people differently, they should not be considered a reliable form of contraception.
There is some uncertainty about the risks of long-term cross-sex hormone treatment.
Minimum Getting Started Cost
- First visit + Required labs* + Lab review + 90 days testosterone injections = $340-$460
- Average Cost First 3 Months = $113-$153
*Required labs may include PSA, LH, estradiol, and testosterone levels. Currently, all new patients receive free lab testing for testosterone levels and if you have had your PSA or other levels checked in past year we can use that previous level and save you the cost.
In summary, testosterone therapy cost and treatment plans will vary depending on patient need, requests, risks, and other factors. If labs are ordered there is typically a $60 fee to review those labs in the clinic or if reviewed over the phone or through our secure online video system the fee is $50.
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Effects Of Testosterone Boosters
Testosterone boosters can have various effects. Understanding the expected effects of undergoing testosterone therapy is important to be aware of possible side effects an individual may experience. Some of the expected results or benefits may include but are not limited to:
- Increased muscle mass
- High red blood cell production
- Broader shoulders
- Testicular shrinkage
- Breast enlargements
If your provider sees any of the above symptoms develop, they may require you to alter or discontinue treatments. Some methods of testosterone booster administration may also be changed to avoid certain risks.
As testosterone boosters can range from $40 to $500+, you may not be able to afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with the boosters or necessary care. Since testosterone boosters are sometimes administered at home, one possibility to receive affordable prices on testosterone boosters is through a prescription discount.
Prescription discount cards can be used separately, but through a care membership with Mira, receiving 80% prescriptions is only one benefit you will receive. If you are seeking care for the boosters through a local urgent care facility, Miraâs care membership also provides discounts to where a visit is no more than $99.
When You Need Testosterone Treatmentand When You Dont
Most men have problems with erections from time to time. But some men have erectile dysfunction, or ED. This is when it is difficult to get or keep an erection thats firm enough for sexual intercourse.
If you have ED, you may think that testosterone treatment will help. Testosterone is a male sex hormone. After age 50, mens levels of testosterone slowly go down and ED becomes more common. But unless you have other symptoms of low testosterone, you should think twice about the treatment. Heres why:
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What Testosterone Boosters Are
Testosterone boosters are administered to individuals who have declining or low testosterone levels, also known as hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is multi-faceted and can include sexual, physical, and emotional changes. Testosterone therapy can be administered when an individualâs body does not produce the desired amount of testosterone.
Hypogonadism can be determined by a subnormal level of serum testosterone or androgen deficiency. If an individualâs testosterone levels are already normal, testosterone therapy will not improve symptoms or conditions.
Symptoms of hypogonadism may include:
- Small testes
- Abnormally low libido
- Loss of body hair
- Low bone mineral density
Testosterone boosters may improve or correct any of the above symptoms of hypogonadism, but you should consult your primary care physician as other conditions may actually be at fault.
For instance, some other low libido causes may include anxiety, depression, chronic stress, or being overweight. You may also experience a low libido if you are taking certain antidepressants, beta-blockers, or opiates.
Other reasons an individual may seek testosterone therapy may include erectile dysfunction or gender transition.
Some testosterone boosters may be available at urgent cares or clinics, but the selection is likely limited. Specialists and testosterone therapists are more likely to provide a full panel of services and experienced treatment.
Can I Lower The Cost Of Testosterone Therapy
Regardless as to whether or not your testosterone therapy is or is not covered by your health insurance, there may be ways to reduce the cost of testosterone replacement.
Many of the manufactures of the name brands of testosterone offer some kind of discounts on their products, for those who have been given a prescription for testosterone therapy, but do not have insurance.
There may be other ways that our doctors and hormone replacement advisors may be able to help you with a program that is within your needs and budget. It is always our goal to see that patients who are in need of the many benefits of testosterone therapy, do not miss out because they feel they cannot afford it. We have designed many programs to fit various needs and lifestyles.
Contact us today, and let us see if we have a program of testosterone replacement therapy that can meet your needs, as well as your budget.
Do not cut corners and possibly compromise your health, by going to the cheapest provider of testosterone therapy you can find. Remember, as in any other purchase you get what you pay for.
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How Much Does Ftm Hormone Therapy Cost
Hormone replacement therapy can cost around $30 per month and therapist visits can cost more than $100 each. Undergoing surgery is less common but typically rings up at anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000 depending on the kind of operation, estimates Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center.
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