There has been some buzz in the press recently about testosterone replacement therapy being endorsed and encouraged by a progressing number of specialists in the UK. That being said, it is encouraged for men, but strangely enough, not for women. As of writing, there are no licensed testosterone gel preparations in the UK for women like there is for men. However, doctors are lobbying for testosterone pills or patches for menopausal women to become available on the NHS. In some cases, the men’s gel can be used on women under specialist supervision. So, what is going on with testosterone therapy in the UK? When are British menopausal women going to start experiencing the same benefits of testosterone like Australian and American women are already doing?
TRT in the UK – for women – the bottom line right now
It’s much easier to obtain a private prescription for personal use and/or order from online pharmacies based abroad that don’t require a prescription. Right now, the chances of women getting testosterone therapy through the NHS is basically zero, if you are a woman.
TRT for women – why TRT during menopause?
Every woman goes through menopause at some point. It might start early at the age of 40, or it could begin after the age of 51. Menopause relates to the end of a woman’s reproductive years. When a woman hits menopause age testosterone levels begin to decrease and, with it, sexual desire. Women often experience decreased libido, and in some cases, sexual dysfunction. Maintaining proper testosterone levels is vital for women who wish to stay sexually active, fit and healthy. Having normal levels of testosterone also influences a woman’s mood and well-being. While testosterone therapy in the UK is only just starting to gain momentum the movement has become and we are hopeful that many women will start benefitting from using TRT, like they do in USA and Australia. In Australia, women have been prescribed AndroFeme testosterone therapy for quite a few years now. AndroFeme is regularly used in clinical studies concerning menopausal women and has been proven to work. testosterone therapy in the UK might be limited for women but AndroFeme is available online so if your doctor agrees it might be beneficial check out the prices online before you fill an expensive private prescription or forgo treatment. Online prices are very reasonable.
Testosterone therapy for men – treating AndroPause with TRT
While men don’t go through a reproductive change as women do, they still experience a hormonal shift. You may have heard of the term andropause – it’s when a man reaches the age of 40 and his testosterone levels begin to decline. About 40% of men experience symptoms, including sexual dysfunction, diminished muscle mass, depression, anxiety, irrational moods and sleep disturbances. Declining testosterone levels is completely natural and part of the ageing process, just as women experience declining hormone levels during menopause. While many doctors are still reluctant to prescribe TRT to ageing men, it is far more accessible and there are far more products to choose from when it comes to testosterone therapy in the UK. It is even possible to get an NHS prescription for it, providing the circumstances and blood work proves detrimental results. There are creams AndroForte, gels like AndroGel and Testim, as well as injections, pellets and supplements available to men in the UK. Ordering through online pharmacies might be cheaper than filling your prescription locally, also some products like AndroForte (an Australian cream) is only available online. Research your options for price and treatment efficiency before you start using TRT. Injections might be right for you, but creams could work better for your neighbour.
Diagnosing Low-T & getting testosterone therapy in the UK
Where to start? If you think you are experiencing low testosterone you need to go to your doctor to get blood tests done. Measuring your blood testosterone levels (free and total testosterone) will help your doctor decipher whether you have low enough levels to refer you on for testosterone therapy. Your GP won’t prescribe you testosterone, but they will refer you on to an endocrinologist. This is a doctor who specializes in hormones. The endocrinologist will confirm the diagnoses and will suggest treatment options. Normally low testosterone is treated with testosterone therapy. There are different testosterone therapy options available, you need to find which one is ideal for you. You can get testosterone therapy in the form of tablets, pellets, injections and creams.
The doctor might also advise you to start doing some alternative therapies like CBT to manage stress or counselling to manage depression and anxiety. Regardless of whether you are male or female, depression and anxiety are triggered by low testosterone and fluctuating hormone levels. They go hand in hand sometimes and while TRT can help manage symptoms sometimes alternative therapies alongside the TRT help the road to recovery.
Why would my doctor recommend these alternative therapies?
This greatly depends on your lifestyle and symptoms. Low testosterone is often considered as a purely sexual issue since the main side effect is sexual dysfunction (including the inability to get an erection, keep an erection or reach a climax). Sometimes your lifestyle choices also affect your testosterone production – this means that if you eat unhealthily, do limited exercise and smoke, your body is less likely to produce enough of the hormone. As well as having testosterone therapy, it’s often beneficial to visit a dietician or a lifestyle counsellor so you can understand how to adjust your lifestyle to make the best out of your health. This alone will not cure your low testosterone but it can definitely help.
Another reason behind falling testosterone levels is stress, depression, anxiety and lack of sleep. This is where a therapy like CBT can help.
Sometimes these symptoms are a result of low testosterone and resolve once testosterone therapy has begun, but in some instances they can be part of the cause. Only an endocrinologist can assess the true diagnoses. For example, taking anti-depressants can affect your hormone production too.
It’s important to identify the cause of your low testosterone levels before undergoing treatment. The world of hormone imbalance is a crazy place full of tangled triggers and frustrating management. Once you find the right path for yourself it should be manageable. Introducing testosterone therapy in the UK for men and women will go a long way to help change perceptions or low testosterone and testosterone therapy.