When you start testosterone replacement therapy, you'll need sign up now! to have regular medical checkups to monitor your progress. These can include blood tests such as hematocrit and bone mineral density. They can also monitor for spotting or erectile dysfunction. Your doctor will need to monitor you for several months.
Hematocrit, the measurement of blood thickness, is an important component of a man's health. Normally, a man's hematocrit should be 42 to 54 percent, but too high or too low can cause serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease. In men taking testosterone therapy, hematocrit increases, which may increase the risk of heart attacks or stroke.
Monitoring hematocrit while on testosterone therapy is important to ensure the best possible results for your treatment. High or low hematocrits can indicate erythrocytosis, which can lead to symptoms such as hyperviscosity. Ideally, the patient should receive a baseline hematocrit measurement prior to starting testosterone therapy. Thereafter, serial hematocrit measurements should be obtained at 3, 6, and 12 months after starting testosterone therapy. If hematocrit increases above 54%, testosterone should be stopped and phlebotomy performed.
While prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease receive most of the press, other risks may be just as serious. A high hematocrit can be caused by a variety of conditions, including smoking and sleep apnea. In men, increased hematocrit can lead to cardiovascular problems, including venous thromboembolism.
Monitoring bone mineral density
In one study, testosterone treatment increased bone mineral density in men over 65 years. This increase was not significantly different between the testosterone and placebo groups. Bone mineral density increased over the 36-month treatment period in both groups. However, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase levels and urinary N-telopeptide levels were not significantly different in the two groups.
BMD measurements are done in several ways. One method is by measuring bone mineral density with computer tomography. In this method, an instrument is placed under the back of the patient to measure the density of vertebral bodies. The results are then extrapolated to a linear standard. The result is expressed as BMD in mg K2HPO4/cm3.
One important test to determine testosterone treatment effectiveness is bone mineral density. Men with testosterone deficiency often have lower bone density. In these cases, testosterone replacement may help to improve bone microarchitecture and bone mass.
If you are using testosterone replacement therapy, it is important to monitor spotting while on the medication. While you are on testosterone therapy, you are still at risk of pregnancy. The hormone reduces fertility and thins the uterine lining, and it can also affect monthly menstrual bleeding. As a result, you may see less bleeding at the beginning of your cycle or during ovulation.
Monitoring erectile dysfunction
The first step in monitoring erectile dysfunction while on testosterone replacement treatment is identifying the problem. A physical exam and a laboratory evaluation may be required. The physician will also evaluate the patient's medical history and preferences. He or she will schedule a follow-up appointment three to six months after the start of treatment. If necessary, the doctor may prescribe specialized sexual therapy or perform a revascularization procedure to improve erectile function.
There are many ways to treat erectile dysfunction, including injections and oral medications. One option involves using a vacuum erection device to create a satisfactory erection, while others involve injecting the drugs directly into the penis. All treatments have a different method of administration, and patients should discuss the details of their treatment plan with their doctor.
If you have erectile dysfunction and a low testosterone level, monitoring estrogen levels may help you to manage your treatment. Estrogen levels play an important role in the development of the penis. Penile tissue contains receptors for estrogen and an enzyme that converts them to testosterone. A low estrogen level can result in erectile dysfunction, while a high level can lead to decreased sexual desire.