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How to get testosterone replacement therapy through the NHS
Low Testosterone And The NHS
How to get testosterone replacement therapy through the NHS
Testosterone is a hormone that affects a few different things, like:
Your body hair
How much muscle and bone you have
How the penis grows and works
Your testosterone levels go up and down throughout the day. They’re usually higher in the morning and then drop slowly during the day.
Starting in their late 40s and early 50s, some men get symptoms like depression and low sex drive. These symptoms can be caused by low testosterone levels.
Sometimes this drop in testosterone is known as the ‘male menopause’. This name is slightly misleading because it sounds like there’s a sudden drop in testosterone levels, like the one that happens during women’s menopause, but this isn’t the case.
If you do have low testosterone (hypogonadism) you might need hormone replacement therapy to help you control your symptoms, which the NHS can provide.
You can have your testosterone levels checked, and they’re used to tell if you have low testosterone, especially if you’re having symptoms.
The NHS, and most other healthcare experts consider normal testosterone levels to be between 10 and 30 nmol/L, although depending on the lab doing the test, the normal levels can vary slightly. Levels lower than 10 nmol/L could be a sign of ongoing low testosterone levels.
Testosterone deficiency is the name for when your testosterone levels are below 8 nmol/L. Testosterone deficiency is rare, so it’s important to check what else could be causing your symptoms. If your testosterone levels are still low after a few months and you still have symptoms, your doctor may suggest more tests and then they might recommend testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone naturally drops around 1-2% every year if you’re over the age of 40 and it can also be caused by:
Your lifestyle, e.g. smoking, drinking, not exercising, or having a bad diet
These symptoms are not only caused by low testosterone and are common in men aged between 40 and 60 with normal testosterone levels. So, it’s important to get tested to check for what’s causing those symptoms.
Testosterone testing is available on the NHS. If you’re having the symptoms associated with low testosterone levels, your doctor will discuss your work and personal life to see if the causes are related to your mental health or your lifestyle.
You can also order a home testosterone test kit from Superdrug Online Doctor. The test could be right for if you would like to check your own levels without seeing a GP face-to-face or having to make an appointment to get tested. Ordering is fast and straightforward, simply:
Choose the testosterone test kit and start your order
Fill in our brief questionnaire
Your answers will be checked by one of our doctors to make sure the test is right for you
Your order will be posted to your preferred address
You take a small blood sample using a pin-prick device
You post the sample to our partner lab
They check your sample and send results back 1-3 days after they receive your sample
Your results are then available to view in your account, along with advice from an online doctor
During your assessment, you can also choose that we send your results to your GP, that way you can also follow up on the results with them.
How can you start testosterone treatment on the NHS?
If you’re over 40 years old you may get late-onset hypogonadism (low testosterone) and this can be diagnosed based on your symptoms and blood tests. Once you’ve had your diagnosis, your doctor might suggest you start testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
TRT is available on the NHS for certain conditions, including low testosterone, or during gender reassignment. Testosterone is available in different forms, like:
Gels you rub onto the skin daily
Injections every three months
The gel or injection increases testosterone levels and can be prescribed after two blood testosterone measurements confirm low levels of the hormone.
If your testosterone test results show your levels are within a normal range, your doctor might suggest that you make lifestyle changes to improve your symptoms, these would include:
You need to start testosterone treatments through your GP in person before you reorder your treatments online. It needs to be prescribed by your doctor first after you’ve had your symptoms checks and had proper blood testing.
Once you’ve started your treatment, and you’ve been using it for 6 months without any problems, you can then reorder your treatment from a service like Superdrug Online Doctor. You can reorder from us using the steps below:
Fill out our online questionnaire about your health and your treatment
Then place your order for repeat treatment
A doctor will check your order to make sure your treatment is still right for you
If it is, your order can be posted to you, or to a local Superdrug store for collection
If reordering isn’t right for you, you’ll be refunded and an online will give you advice on your next steps
Yassin, A. et al (2015). Effects of testosterone replacement therapy withdrawal and re-treatment in hypogonadal elderly men upon obesity, voiding function and prostate safety parameters. The Aging Male, Jan.