Male Low Testosterone FAQ

See Frequently Asked Questions related to the Bioidentical hormone medical practice here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Treatment of Symptoms of Andropause with Bioidentical Hormone Pellet Therapy

How do you diagnose low Testosterone in men?
Low Testosterone can be diagnosed if you have 3 or more of the following symptoms:

  • lack of libido
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • depression
  • loss of muscle mass
  • loss of stamina
  • hot flashes
  • osteoporosis
  • migraines
  • decrease in mental acuity
  • loss of motivation
  • osteoporosis
  • loss of balance
  • irritability

Along with the symptoms, we look for a low total testosterone blood level, such as something below 400 pg/ml, or a low free testosterone blood level of less than 129 __.

A man must have both symptoms and a low blood level of testosterone for me to treat him.

What Symptoms Do BioBalance Health Testosterone Pellets Treat?
When men age, testosterone production normally declines which causes them to lose their ability to have sex without ED medications, experience aging of their body losing muscle and gaining belly fat, developing diseases of aging including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, joint damage, and autoimmune diseases. Testosterone keeps us young and healthy when we are under 40, and as it declines we must replace it if we want to stay healthy.

How often do I receive Testosterone Pellets?
Every 6 months.

Where are the Pellets inserted in men?
There are two places that pellets are placed in men: upper outer hip and love handles.

Where do the pellets go after six months?
They are completely dissolved (absorbed by the body).

How long will it take for my pellets to work?
It takes about 3-5 weeks to get the full effect and they must be re-inserted every 6 months before symptoms recur.

Does testosterone cause prostate cancer?
No. The metabolites of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone ,and estrone, cause prostate enlargement but the expert in prostate cancer, Dr. Morgantaler, has proven that low testosterone, not normal young healthy levels, actually contribute to prostate cancer. More information on testosterone therapy and cancer in men.

Should a man who has had prostate cancer take bioidentical testosterone pellets?
Once prostate cancer has been diagnosed, the cancer cells in the prostate are completely different from the benign prostate cells that were there before, so it is recommended that men refrain from replacing testosterone if there is prostate cancer present. However, if a man has had prostate cancer that is completely removed surgically and has negative nodes (does not have any more prostate cancer cells), Dr. Morgantaler of Harvard feels that it is then a choice to be made by the patient and his doctor. If cancer is metastasized, we don’t advise replacement of testosterone, in any form.

Why are pellets better than testosterone patches, shots and pills?
BioBalance Pellets are the pure hormone, testosterone, that is dissolved and absorbed directly from the pellet to the blood stream. BioBalance Pellets are not immediately converted to the byproducts (Estrone/DHT), which can cause prostate swelling, hair loss, belly fat, and a requirement for more and more testosterone. Pellets do not have that issue. Other forms of testosterone are delivered in a form that causes blood levels to rise and fall drastically between dosing. Pellets are dosed twice a year which allows blood levels to stay stable.

If I have a genetic reason that causes me to convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estrone, how is that monitored and managed?
We follow blood levels of your estrone and DHT, before and after treatment, and then once a year. If they are, elevated we treat with medications and/or herbal supplements to decrease DHT and Estrone. DHT is lowered by using the herb Saw Palmetto, or the medications Avodart, Propecia or Proscar. We treat too much estrone with the supplement DIM or the drug Arimidex.

What if I have prostate enlargement already?
Biobalance Health pellets will usually shrink the prostate. There are exceptions to this rule, but this is our experience.

Will my testicles shrink while I take the testosterone pellets?
Yes, they will to some extent. Testicles shrink normally with age, as they provide less and less testosterone. As the pellets take over the supply of testosterone, testicles are not producing as much as usual, so they get smaller. This is not a permanent change, and there are medical methods to stimulate the testicular size, but it is cosmetic and not necessary to be healthy.

How long will it take for my body to get back to lean normal?
That depends on how obese you are in the beginning of treatment, as well as how much you exercise, your diet, and how often you workout with weights. Without testosterone replacement this transformation would not be possible even with the perfect diet and exercise.

What is the cost of bioidentical hormone pellet therapy?
Visit our Bioidentical Pellet Therapy Price List.

If I have used alcohol to excess or drugs like marijuana, will my effect be the same as other men?
No. You will use up the testosterone more quickly because your liver is activated to metabolize testosterone with the same enzymes that metabolize alcohol and drugs. Marijuana increases prolactin, the hormone that increases breast size in men and women. Prolactin not only decreases your testosterone level but decreases your sex drive, ejaculatory function, and sexual stamina. It is expected that if you take testosterone, you will stop using marijuana altogether and decrease or stop alcohol consumption.

If I have diabetes will testosterone help me with my sexual response?
Yes, in most cases. It also increases insulin sensitivity, which will decrease triglycerides and stabilize blood glucose. It will improve the status of your diabetes. In men who have had many years of diabetes, especially without good control, the vessels in the pelvis are damaged and cannot dilate anymore to get enough blood to the penis for an erection. In these cases the only medication that consistently works are injections into the penis at the time of intercourse.

Do present and former athletes need testosterone replacement at an earlier age than other men?
In general, that is what I have determined through my experience. However, the physiology behind it is not clear. Pellets tend to improve the joint function, cartilage thickness, and muscle tone necessary to relieve the pain from damage to the joints from years of sports. It also replaces testosterone that decreases because of head injuries in contact sports.

Does testosterone improve depression and anxiety?
Yes. It often replaces antidepressants which decrease the libido and improves mood.

How do cholesterol-lowering drugs affect testosterone?
Testosterone is made of cholesterol. When you take cholesterol-lowering drugs, you decrease the primary ingredient that testosterone is made of.

Why are testosterone pellets better than Viagra?
Let me count the ways! Testosterone fixes the real problem—lack of testosterone that decreases libido and sexual response. Viagra does not fix the sexual desire issues. Viagra is only treating the symptom of ED not the other symptoms of low testosterone, and has many side effects.

Can I receive Testosterone pellets from BioBalance Health if I have normal testosterone levels and want to increase my testosterone for the purposes of body building or athletic advantage?
No. BioBalance Health does not cater to these requests. Our purpose is to replace testosterone to men who have low levels because of age, genetic problems like Klinefelter’s Syndrome, or head injuries in men of all ages.

What treatment will I need if I want to receive testosterone pellets because I have andropause, and also have high levels of red blood cells?
This is a concern for men who take testosterone, because the addition of testosterone can increase the red blood count in anyone. If there is an underlying condition that also elevates the blood count then it is prudent to diagnose and treat that condition early on in the treatment with testosterone. The reason it is important is that elevated concentrations of red blood cells cause sludging of the blood and could cause clots to form, so it is important that this is diagnosed and treated prior to, or early in the replacement. Evaluation of elevated hematocrit determines whether you have Hemachromatosis, a benign elevation of red blood cells, a Jak 2 genetic defect which has other far reaching consequences with or without testosterone replacement, or if your situation requires a specialist such as a hematologist/oncologist.

Do BioBalance Health Testosterone Pellets increase my risk of blood clots?
No, because we evaluate and treat men with an increase in blood count, discussed above. They do not increase the risk of clotting for other reasons either.

Should I try another form of testosterone before I come in for testosterone pellets?
No. There is no reason for you to try a method that will not bring you back to health completely before you come in to get BioBalance Health pellets.

Will I still need my E.D. medicine after I get pellets?
Maybe. Most men find that they do not, however if there is vascular compromise from arteriosclerosis or diabetes, then it is still possible that ED medicine in one form or another may be needed. Often we find that the type of blood pressure medicine is contributing to the problem and we advise our patients on the blood pressure medication that is least likely to cause ED. In any case, if ED meds are needed they are generally used at a lower dose.