Can you get prescribed testosterone for bodybuilding?

Can you get prescribed testosterone for bodybuilding?

Testosterone is the all-important male sex hormone. When a boy hits puberty, testosterone is responsible for bringing about a deeper voice, body hair, and an increase in muscle mass. For grown men, it’s responsible for controlling sex drive (libido) and sperm production.

Some men suffer from low testosterone levels. This is often referred to as ‘low T’ or Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD). This can cause issues such as a low sex drive, irritability, and erectile dysfunction.

While many men suffer from Low-T, there is still a feeling of shame around seeking help.

What causes low testosterone?

It’s natural for testosterone levels to decline for aging men, dropping gradually at a rate of around 1%-2% per year, with an abrupt rise in testosterone deficiency (TD) in men aged 45-50 years old.

However, many men struggle to seek help, as they’re too embarrassed to talk about intimate medical issues. There is a stigma surrounding TD, as it’s associated with a lack of manhood.

Also Read: Does smoking lower testosterone?

With proper medical attention, men can be prescribed testosterone therapy, helping to address the symptoms associated with TD.

What are the symptoms of low testosterone levels?

There are a variety of symptoms that a man with low testosterone may experience:

  • Low libido
  • Fertility problems
  • Changes in the testicles
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Hair loss and body hair loss
  • Depression
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Trouble sleeping/sleep apnea

What is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)?

Testosterone replacement therapy, also known as androgen replacement therapy, is used to treat low testosterone levels, whether these occur as a result of a medical condition or as part of the natural aging process.

Although testosterone replacement therapy is primarily used to treat TD, it’s also becoming increasingly popular for non-medical uses, such as:

  • enhancing sexual performance
  • increasing energy levels
  • building muscle mass for bodybuilding and athletic performance

While there is research to suggest that TRT can help you achieve the above goals, there is an increased risk of adverse effects associated with non-medical TRT.

To fully understand what happens to T levels as you age, and what you can expect from testosterone therapy, read below.

Why do your testosterone levels decrease with age?

It’s entirely natural for your body to produce less testosterone as you age, a process that begins in your late 20s or early 30s:

  1. As you get older, your testicles produce less testosterone.
  2. Lowered testicular testosterone causes your hypothalamus to produce less gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
  3. Low GnRH means that your pituitary gland makes less luteinizing hormone (LH).
  4. Lowered LH results in a lower overall T production.

A gradual decrease in testosterone levels won’t cause any immediate symptoms. However, a significant drop may cause you to experience the following:

  • Low libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lowered sperm production
  • Difficulties sleeping/sleep apnea
  • An unusual loss of muscle and bone density
  • Weight gain

How to get prescribed testosterone

Medical professionals will only prescribe testosterone therapy if there is a good reason. This means that they won’t prescribe it for the purposes of bodybuilding (sorry!).

In the US, it isn’t possible to legally purchase testosterone supplements without a prescription.

This doesn’t stop people from attempting to seek out testosterone replacement therapy for non-medical reasons:

  • Losing weight
  • Boosting energy levels
  • Improve sexual function
  • Enhancing endurance levels for athletic performance
  • Increasing muscle mass for bodybuilding

Medical professionals will refuse to prescribe anabolic steroids (steroidal androgens that include natural androgens like testosterone) for bodybuilding and performance-enhancing purposes. However, if you are suffering any symptoms associated with TD, you may be able to start a course of TRT if you talk to your doctor.

Your doctor will test your serum testosterone levels, and prescribe testosterone if your levels are low enough.

The rise in anabolic steroids

With the societal pressure to always look our very best, the use of steroids is becoming more and more common among both men and women.

This leads both men and women alike to dabble in the use of steroids. However, they are a controlled substance and it’s illegal to purchase them in the US. Well, without a prescription from a doctor. As a result, people obtain steroids in the following ways:

  • On the black market
  • Through seeking TRT 
  • Trying steroid alternatives 

The concerns of the black market

In the 1970s, it was easy for bodybuilders to get doctors to prescribe substances such as testosterone, Dianabol, or Primobolan, to help them build muscle mass and increase their bodybuilding successes.

However, back in this time, the dangers of steroids weren’t fully understood. Nowadays, bodybuilders and athletes alike are forced to purchase steroids through the black market.

Those looking to buy steroids on the black market must either find someone in “real life” (e.g. asking around at a gym) or find a website that will ship you a regular supply of steroids.

Also Read: Where can you buy testosterone?

Obtaining steroids through the black market carries health risks. Many products could be fake, or mixed with other substances. This could lead you to lose money, or even end up hospitalised.

Testosterone replacement therapy

While doctors will refuse to prescribe steroids for bodybuilding purposes, it is possible to get testosterone prescribed by a doctor.

To obtain a TRT prescription, you must have sufficiently low levels of testosterone. To ascertain your levels of testosterone, the doctor will test your serum testosterone levels.

    Tests before undergoing testosterone replacement therapy

    If you’re suffering from symptoms of low testosterone, your doctor will give you a blood test to check. They’ll do this first thing in the morning when your testosterone levels tend to be the highest.

    You may need to have your blood tested more than once, and at different times during the day. Once your doctor has your results back, they may send you off for more tests to gain more information.

    Also Read: Are anabolic steroids legal in the US?

    A normal range for testosterone levels is between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL. However, men experience symptoms of low testosterone at different points. For example, some men may experience symptoms at around 250 ng/dL.

    The bottom line

    For adult men in their late 20s or over the age of 30, lowering testosterone levels is entirely normal. Blood tests will be able to ascertain whether or not your testosterone levels are too low, which may lead your doctor to offer you a prescription for testosterone replacement therapy.

    If you do start testosterone replacement therapy, you will need to attend regular routine checkups to see if your testosterone level stays normal.

    If the doctor is unwilling to prescribe you testosterone, avoid seeking alternatives on the black market. The FDA cautions against the use of illegally obtained steroids. Even for healthy men, there is a possible increased risk of potentially deadly problems, such as suffering from a pulmonary embolism or heart attack.

    Boost your testosterone the right way

    Testogen boosts your testosterone naturally and reverses the symptoms of low T. A complete testosterone support for male health and wellness, Testogen is safe for everyday use. Unlike illegal testosterone products, Testogen has ZERO side effects.

    Here are some of the many perks to Testogen:

    • Improves energy
    • Performance boost
    • Muscle growth
    • Heightened libido
    • Fat loss
    Back to blog