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The truth about Testosterone replacement therapy.

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

Every Sunday morning I execute the same routine. I let the dogs go outside, I take out a syringe, two needles, alcohol prep pads, and my vial of testosterone. I carefully open each product as if my 18D was watching my every move, ready to fail me at some cross-training event.

Step 1, clean the injection site. I remove the alcohol prep pad and begin to wipe the area clean in a circular motion, working my way out from little circles to big circles. Step 2, I remove the cap from the vial and wipe the seal with an alcohol pad. Step 3, I attach the 18 gauge needle to the syringe and withdraw the prescribed amount of testosterone. Step 4, I remove the 18 gauge needle and attach the 25 gauge needle. Remove all bubbles, and gently flick the base of the needle. Step 5, I inject the needle into my thigh muscle, aspirate, and then slowly inject the contents of the syringe into my thigh. I execute this exact procedure, like a ritual, every Sunday. Most people always ask “This all that worth it?”, my answer is always the same, yes.

Testosterone replacement therapy or TRT isn’t a new treatment. It was first approved for medical use in 1939 and if you’re a man and in the Military, you’ve certainly heard stories of it being a miracle or even considered a “wonder drug”. Although to those suffering from the effects of low testosterone it can feel like a “Miracle Cure”, it is not. TRT is simply getting your testosterone levels back to normal levels. The side effects of having low testosterone can weigh heavily on any man, but for guys in the Military, it can be especially impactful.

I didn’t understand what I was going through at first. The first thing that I noticed was fatigue. I was always tired, I felt like no matter how much sleep I got, it wasn’t enough. I relied on a steady regime of supplements and energy drinks to feel somewhat normal, but even then, by the time I got home, I was dead.

Fatigue was a constant enemy that I had gotten used to fighting, which helped mask the worst side effect, my non-existent sex drive. This is usually something most guys would swear they would notice if it ever happened to them, but when you have no energy, you tend to overlook a lot of things. It’s not that sex wasn’t happening, it just was not happening like normal. It went from a pretty consistent and frequent encounter to a more inconsistent once in a blue moon type of occurrence.

I knew that things were getting worse when I started gaining weight. For an active and health-conscious person, watching my weight increase without a substantial change in my diet or activity levels was a huge sign that something was wrong. I didn’t want to go to the Doctor immediately, at first I tried to address all of my issues independently. I cut out my intake of energy drinks, I modified my sleep schedule, I increased the intensity of my workouts and in the bedroom, I tried being more deliberate with doing “The Deed”. All of this extra work netted me zero positive effects. I was more tired, I had less sex, I was irritable, and I felt lost. I didn’t feel like myself, the life I once had felt taken from me. It was at that point that I felt I needed serious help.

After I described my side effects and the extent of my problems my doctor assured me that he was already fairly confident about what I was dealing with. Due to my age, Job, and consistent exposure to blasts and explosions he was fairly certain that I was suffering from the effects of having Low Testosterone due to damage to my Endocrine system. We wouldn’t know for sure until the labs he had ordered came back, but he was fairly confident. In a few weeks, we would know for sure.

Normal Testosterone levels in men within my age group should be around 300 ( at the very low range of normal) to 400. My levels were shockingly low, I’m talking Matlock at 3 pm and dinner at the Golden Corral by 4 pm, low. I was shocked! But what came next was even more shocking. To get my levels back to the normal range, I would have to begin testosterone replacement therapy, more commonly known as TRT, immediately. But there was one small little caveat, TRT does decrease sperm count.

For me, this now became an impossible decision to make. In my 20’s during my first marriage, while trying to conceive we discovered that I had low sperm viability and motility. Having kids is something that I have always wanted, but now I had to make what felt like a definitive choice, feel normal, healthy, and whole, or harbor some hope of having my own children. I had a week to make my decision.

Ultimately, I made the decision that was best for my health. TRT has been a game-changer for me and I have noticed the positive effects throughout all aspects of my life. I have my positivity back, my weight has changed drastically, and I feel like I’m back to the old me. I struggled with my choice for some time after, but ultimately I realized that I made the best choice for improving my quality of life and overall health.

If you’ve experienced any of the side effects that I described, please go see your Doctor. It’s easier to treat issues like low testosterone when caught early. Don’t try and battle this stuff alone, go get real definitive answers and arm yourself with knowledge.

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1 Comment


Gary Westfal
Gary Westfal
Feb 23, 2022

I can attest to the positive effects of hormone replacement therapy. It's been a game-changer for me. My only advice to other men (and women) reading this is to seek the medical advice of your doctor. This isn't something you get from you buddy in the gym.

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