We have talked a lot about testosterone and sex drive, and various strategies to increase your T levels. Without a doubt, though, one of the most effective is to, well, take testosterone.
This is called testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT.
Once taboo, TRT is now rightfully becoming a popular medical treatment to help men look, feel, and perform better.
There are a lot of unfounded fears with regards to testosterone replacement therapy, such as “Wait, isn’t that steroids?” and other questions that don’t really don’t give any insight and are instead based on our previous cultural assumptions about taking exogenous hormones like testosterone.
But one common and important question is…
Once You Start TRT, Can You Stop?
The short answer is yes, but you should do so under the guidance and supervision of your doctor, and make a plan to taper off of TRT.
A plan to wean off of exogenous testosterone will allow your body to increase its natural testosterone production while you still have some of the exogenous boost.
Often, you will hear a flat-out no in response to this question. However, this black-and-white thinking eliminates the nuance that’s present in this situation, and ignores the countless examples of people who have successfully stopped TRT, and the myriad ways to go about ceasing TRT treatment.
What Are The Challenges of Stopping TRT?
When you start taking exogenous testosterone, your body will often start producing less natural testosterone. This isn’t important as long as you’re doing TRT. However, if you stop suddenly, you will not have the exogenous testosterone, and your body won’t have the time to ramp up its natural production again.
As you reduce your dose, you will probably suffer from the symptoms of low T (which is why you would take TRT in the first place, anyway). This means you’ll feel tired, have lower sex drive, and feel worse. Tapering off of your TRT limits these negative symptoms.
Is it safe to abruptly stop?
Stopping abruptly will lead to even worse symptoms of low T. Work with your doctor to find a plan that works for you.
Does the Dose Matter?
Yes, the dose matters too. A testosterone therapy dose is generally much lower than, say, a professional bodybuilding testosterone dose. This makes it generally speaking easier to taper off of TRT than what would be considered a “steroid” dose.
Working in conjunction with your doctor, you absolutely can create a plan to wean off of TRT, if you want.
Does It Matter How Long You’ve Been on TRT?
Yes. If you’ve been on TRT longer, your body will take longer to ramp back up its natural production, which means that tapering off takes more time and care. Again, work with your doctor and regular check T levels along the way.
Why Might You Want to Cease Testosterone Therapy?
Typically, TRT is billed as a for-life treatment. And right now, that idea is panning out. Most people who begin TRT will stay on it for years or decades.
However, there are many good reasons why you may want to stop, either temporarily or permanently.
Fertility: So You Can Bare Children
The research is clear that testosterone replacement therapy cuts into your sperm count significantly. So if you’re trying to get your partner pregnant, you may have to stop taking TRT.
Of course, you can then return to a safe TRT regimen.
Cost: Maintaining TRT Can Be Expensive
While the cost of TRT varies, in many cases it runs hundreds of dollars per month, even up to a thousand per month, depending on the dose and type of treatment you choose.
That’s a big investment for the rest of your life. That’s a small mortgage. For whatever financial situation you’re in, you may decide to reduce or eliminate your TRT treatment, or switch to a less expensive TRT option.
In any case, work with your doctor to create a plan to stop smoothly.
Health Complications: Prostate
While the evidence is mixed at best, some physicians have hypothesized that TRT could increase the risk of prostate cancer.
That’s why it’s the standard procedure to get a prostate check every few months when you start TRT, and regularly for as long as you take it.
If, during one of these checks, you learn that you have increased risks for prostate complications, you may decide to cease taking TRT.
Even in this situation, you’ll want to do it intelligently and over the course of time.
Boosting Natural Testosterone
Regardless of whether you’re on TRT currently, thinking about taking TRT, or tapering off of it, there are tons of basic health habits that can improve our T levels naturally.
Consistent training, healthy nutrition, ample sleep, and more that we cover in this article on increasing testosterone and libido.
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