Some men who undergo testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) worry that the cessation of the therapy can cause harmful side effects, including a compromise in the body’s natural ability to produce testosterone. Because TRT does not stimulate the body to manufacture its own testosterone, testosterone replacement therapy should be considered a long-term, rather than a temporary treatment. Nevertheless, if for whatever reason you decide to terminate TRT — under the supervision of an experienced clinician — it is likely that you will not suffer any dangerous side effects. And your body will be able to continue to create its own testosterone. However, the factors that caused your low testostosterone levels (also known as Low-T) in the first place will continue to exist. Consequently, whatever physical and emotional benefits you received through testosterone replacement therapy may be jeopardized by your decision to stop treatment.
What to Expect after TRT is Discontinued
If a patient decides to discontinue TRT, their testosterone levels will eventually return once again to pre-TRT levels, presuming the patient follows the protocol prescribed by our physicians. There will be a period of “down-time” however, while the body recalibrates and HPTA function is restored. Following are some temporary physical and emotional conditions that some patients may experience as a result of ending their TRT program:
- A loss of libido (interest in sex). According to the Mayo Clinic, decreased sperm production and diminished sex drive may occur immediately after the injections stop. However, sperm production and libido should eventually return to pre-injection levels.
- Loss of bone density – Decreased testosterone levels can result in a reduction in bone density. If TRT has improved your bone density, it is likely that those gains will ultimately be negated if you discontinue your therapy.
- Loss of muscle and increase in fat mass – Testosterone increases muscle mass and strength, and reduces fat mass. Conversely, you can expect to experience a decrease in muscle strength and increase in fat mass if you discontinue TRT.
- Issues with memory and cognition – Many men who undergo testosterone replacement therapy benefit from sharper mental acuity and improved memory. Unfortunately, when TRT is no longer part of your wellness regimen, it is likely that you will once again suffer from the memory and cognitive issues you experienced prior to TRT.
- Mood changes – Some men experience irritability and depression after they conclude TRT.
While the diagnosis of some medical conditions — such as prostate cancer — are contraindications for TRT, most men with Low-T can derive great benefit from testosterone replacement therapy. We urge you to discuss your medical status thoroughly with your TRT health care provider before making a final decision on whether to continue your treatment. If you have any questions about TRT, please give us a call to schedule a consultation. We can be reached at (800) 503-4033.