I have been using Androgel for 3+ years now (I've lost track). I needed it very bad as I was having what I called "stress induced depression" for a very long time. Any stressful situation would make me depressed, tired, could not focus. I found out I was low on testosterone and the Androgel has been really good for me. I have more physical and mental energy now, much more.
One thing it has not done for me is improve my sex life. If anything, it's been worse. My orgasms before the Androgel were getting weaker and weaker and my ability to last was getting worse but now with Androgel, it's even worse. I have really weak orgasms and I feel like I want to orgasm as soon as I enter my wife. Oral or hand jobs are much better, I can last longer and the orgasms are better.
Of late, now, my balls feel really funny. I'm quite sure they are getting smaller and softer and they just don't feel right.
Has anybody else had this issue with Androgel or Testum and is there anything I can do? I can't stop taking it, life w/o it was horrible, but my sex life has really suffered.
BTW - I'm 47
Last edited by Mod-S4; 08-06-2006 at 09:49 PM.
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I second JinL's opinion. When you are on T replacement of any kind, the pituitary stops sending LH to the testicles to tell them to make more Testosterone. So, the testicles shut down, atrophy and start shinking and feel less firm. As JinL said, HCG injections can mimic LH and cause the testicles to start producing again. They will actually get larger and firmer while on HCG. You can take HCG with T replacement or you may find HCG alone will get your T back to where it should be.
You are in the same boat I was in it sounds. My doctor told me none of this and just put me on androgel. By the way, you probably have very low or 0 sperm count if your testcles have shut down. There is no excuse for doctors not to tell you this. If they dont know how to treat you they should refer you to someone who does. I eventually found a different doctor. Anti-aging doctors are the best for this type of treatment.
The androgel may not be doing the trick sexually for many reasons. Too much of it could be converting to Estradiol which will ruin libido. Its also possible your Free Testosterone level is not high enough. What is your age and Total T level?
As you see this gets very complicated and you need a doctor who knows what they are doing. Unfortunately they are hard to come by in this part of medicine but again your best bet is an anti-aging doctor.
Thank you so much for your reply, this gives me some hope. I had never heard of HCG until now. I looked it up on the web, it sure sounds like it is something new.
Hayfarmer, it sounds like you have direct experience with HCG. How has it worked for you? Has it increased your libido? Are your orgasms stronger? That's what I am looking for. I just want to be more like normal 47 year old men. Sexually, I feel like I'm 80 right now.
How long has HCG been used? Does the doctor have to do the injection twice a week? Is it considered highly experimental or do you think a endrocrinologist (hormone doctor) would know about HCG? My insurance clinic has no "anti-aging" doctor, I did not even know it was a specialty. I guess if I have to, I can pay for it myself, but I'd rather just go through my endro.
I don't have the exact T numbers, but they were ALL normal, total, free and a bunch of other tests.
One last question - Can I assume that it is our sperm that really makes our libido go? It's the desire or need to put that sperm into a female for mating? Is that the animal instinct? So if I have near zero sperm (which I am guessing I do), then my body has no reason to crave the opposite sex, is that it?
Thanks again, I look forward to a bit more help on this topic.
I can relate Paesano, I was put on Androgel about 10 months ago for Low T. It spun my life around, Suddenly I was energenic and hopeful, isn't it amazing how much of a differnce it makes.
I was getting terrible chest pains every day, and my heart beats were irregular at times, Doctors could not explain it, and thought it was brought on by just worrying about it, I couldn't get them to listen. Then I go on Androgel, and it all went away.
Sex drive came back, and I had zip, life was good...
Then it started to fade So I upded my dose a bit, but it seemed for every adjustment I made, my body counted by decreasing my own production.
My testicles have not begone to shrink or anything, but I am concerned about it.
At one end I am terrified that the androgel is hurting my hormonial balance, but I fear to stop, knowing that without it the balance is worse.
I asked my urologist on the last appointment about my concern for atrophy, he shrugged and said, "well they aren't doing thier job anyway, so it doesn't matter much"
I read from many sources that when your testicles shut down T production, they also shut down sperm production. This is what I'm faced with. I can't afford to lose fertility at 20. Androderm seems to be doing or helping do the job, but I won't use it as a long-term thing. I'm not sure what to do.
Paesano, sorry but I missed your post until now. Glad it popped to the top again. Anyway, for me HCG has helped but not completely done the job so far. The reason is either because my testicles were shut down for 4+ years while on androgel and they may not have completely restarted again, or possibly my testicles are not working right which would mean I am primary hypogonadal as opposed to secondary. My plan at this point is to continue on HCG and possibly supplement this with a topical compounded cream or androgel for now. I have been on HCG alone for about 5 months. It is easy to take. You can take it subQ (subcutaneous) which means you use a very short 5/16" insulin needle. The guage is 31 and its so fine if your not careful it will bend. Its pretty painless and easy to give to yourself. How often you take it depends on you. I take it daily. Originally my doctor started me on 3 times a week. It is much much cheaper than androgel and in my case since it is an injectable there is no copay with my insurance.
Oh I love your doctors comment that your testicles werent doing the job anyway. Dont you love that. This shows a complete lack of compasion and care for his patient. In fact it shows a lack of understanding. Your problem may very well have nothing to do with youre testicles, it may in fact be in your brain (pituitary or hypothalmus). My experience with urologists in this area is not good. If you can not go to someone who specializes in this (which would probably mean paying cash) then go to an endocrinologist and tell them you want to remain fertile. This will force them to use HCG. Androgel and any other T replacement shuts down your testicles and pituitary and make you essentially infertile. If your T numbers were all good and your libido still sucked (this was my case too) then its possible something else was off like Estradiol or something else. Your case of Androgel working great at first and then not so great is very common. Read the book The Testosterone Syndrome by Eugene Shippen.
Another warning about the Endo, if you go. HCG was approved for intramuscular injections. Studies have since show that SubQ works fine but many doctors may not be aware of this. Another warning on HCG. Many Endo's may like to give you high doses once a week or so in their office due the their belief it is taken intramuscular. This is bad. Taking more then 500 iu per day can desensitize the lyedig cells in the testicles and then your testicles really wont work. A typical starting point is 500 iu 3 times a week.
HCG has been used for a long time now. Body builders use it when they take steriods so their testicles wont shut down. Thats not a glowing endorsement I know but so far I have read or found nothing that indicates there is any risk to it. It is almost identical to the LH your pituitary should be putting out. But please, do your own research via the internet or other sources. It is a recommended protocol, see this link:
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There is hope. You can fix this. Unfortunately though if you cant find a good doctor on your insurance you may need to pay cash for one. Oh, and the sperm has nothing to do with it as far as I know. But to be honest no one completely understands the libido. But once you start hormone replacement you have to monitor all the hormones. Not just T. Thats the mistake most doctors including urologists make.
Last edited by Mod-S4; 08-18-2006 at 05:10 AM.
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Thanks a million for the reply, hayfarmer, I will do more research. First, you are right that nobody understand the libido. I still think the sperm has something to do with it. Otherwise, men would be able to have incredible orgasms all the time, but they can because it seems that as you lose sperm or semen in general, the libido is not as high and it takes days to recover (or hours if you are 20!).
So the semen must have something to do with the libido, but what? Who knows.
Anway, I do have an Endo that I see and not a urologist, so this is good. He seems quite good so if I approach him with more data and ideas, he might be willing to help me. I like the idea of doing small doses myself at home every day. I looked up "subcutaneous" and found it meant "under the skin". I might be able to deal with that. If HCG seems safe, I would be willing to give it a try, but combine it with Androgel to start and go from there.
Not only is my libido not great, I'm starting to get the "stress induced depression" back too. When I'm under stress at work, especially when I'm up against really hard technical issues, my brain starts to shutdown, it's really weird, but for quite some time after I started Andro, that never happened.
This body of ours, sure is complicated!! But in any case, I will certainly do more research and I have an appointment with my Endo in December, but I'm trying to exhange e-mails with him now instead of waiting for Dec.
I will do more research on HCG and talk to my doc. Your info is outstanding, thanks again!!!!
just a thought, if you figure out what imbalances are occuring or even if you dont, there may be some herbs out there that could help you. There is a cure for many things in nature and being fairly versed in homeopathic medicine, you might be able to find something out there that is not a drug and can help you more by actually rectifying your issues permanently. Find a really good health food store and talk to everyone in there... you might be surprised at what you can find, the doctors of the world have had little hope for me with thier drugs that never helped me. Herbs, supplements and vitamins are the only things that have saved me from an early grave.
My endro doctor came back and here is what he said:
Doc: "HCG does mimic the hormonal stimulus to increase production of testosterone from the teste. It is given as injections, usually three times weekly or sometimes by a continuous pump. There tends to be better preservation of testicular size with HCG.
Now the bad news. We generally would only use HCG for inducing fertility, not for testosterone replacement. HCG is very, very costly and insurance companies generally will not cover this therapy. Also, although we will sometimes go as long as 1-2 years of therapy, we have no real data on longer-term use of HCG, and there are concerns that chronic therapy may increase the risk of testicular cancer.
Use of HCG in this manner is, as you mentioned, a bit on the edge. It is not an approved use, and we really don't have enough data to advocate its use in this manner. On the other hand, if you are desiring fertility, we could check sperm counts and if low consider a relatively short course of HCG.
It is generally a self-administered drug. It is done by injections, and the three times weekly dosing is based upon fertility treatment- we don't really know how to give it solely for restoring normal testosterone production.
In fact, for normal stimulation there are two hormones involved in the stimulation of the testes. We will sometimes use both (both are injections) for the induction of fertility. My understanding is that the therapy is much more expensive than testosterone therapy, but cannot be certain. You could check pharmacies for the cost of Pregnyl and menotropins
The biggest problem remains no long term data and the potential risk for developing testicular tumors. Although the stimulation of the testes by these injections seems reasonable, the normal body has fluctuating levels throughout each day, not a big blast a few times each week. While this method works reasonably well for inducing fertility, it may have adverse long term effects, when in contrast we know that testosterone therapy is relatively safe.
I hope this addresses your questions. Although the idea is not totally crazy, we simply don't have data to advocate the treatment. Let me know if there are more questions."
So it sounds like HCG is not an option unless I go to another doc, pay for it myself and just say "do it". My wife would never let me do that, even if I wanted to, she is very conservative.
Oh well, it was worth a shot, maybe I'll revisit it in a year or three.