It is important to note that this reader has had a very positive testosterone therapy experience and, of course, that is not universal: there can be side effects. Nevertheless, I think many guys will find his comments and perspective helpful.
So why did you and your doctor choose testosterone pellets instead of some other standard methods of HRT such as gels or injections?
I was first placed on Testim which I read had better absorption rates than Androgel. I applied it faithfully each morning after my shower but my body didn t absorb the testosterone. My total testosterone levels after two months on Testim came back at 325 ng/dl. My urologist started me on ten pellets last December. He has since increased me to twelve pellets. There is very little doubt about testosterone absorption when placed on pellets.
You were hypogonadal, right? Can you describe which of your symptoms the pellets helped? And how long did it take before you started noticing a change?
Last summer I initially saw a urologist for prostatitis. He also checked my total testosterone levels which came back at 307 ng/dl. Was told that level was normal and placed on Cipro to cure the prostatitis. Subsequent measurements prior to getting the pellets were always in the ballpark of 325 ng/dl.
Depending on what levels the doctors use as a cut off which varies, I guess I am hypogonadal or considered to have lower testosterone levels.
About two weeks after my first pellet insertion I noticed I was waking up with fuller erections and was thinking about sex in the middle of the day (like I used to do). Sexual relations just naturally resumed with my wife as I now had it on my mind and I would wake up in the middle of the night or morning needing to have sex. It wasn t a disruptive urge, but an urge that for several months had basically vanished from my life. There are no guidelines out there that really tell one what is normal for a guy at fifty years old.
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What sensations do you feel during the procedure?
I was nervous before the first insertion in anticipation of the unknown, but in retrospect it really is a piece of cake. I felt a slight sensation when my doc initially injects anesthesia in my buttocks, but after that there is absolutely no pain or discomfort.
How long did the prep work and procedure itself take in your case?
The prep work and procedure are done at my urologist s office and take no longer than ten minutes every three to four months.
Were you able to go back to work after the procedure? What is the downtime?
There is no downtime. I went back to work and resumed all normal activities immediately after. You can t go in a hot tub or sit in a bath for the first three days after the insertion. For me this isn t an issue.
So did you have any complications? What about bruising or bleeding?
There is minimal bleeding and steri-strips are used which are kept on the insertion site for the first week. For me, the day after the procedure was key as the anesthetic effects are gone there was minimal discomfort for a few days but never anything that I d consider painful. Believe me that would have been my first and last time for me had it been painful. There is bruising at the site for the first two weeks about the size of your clenched fist. It s on your buttocks and since there is minimal discomfort, for me it s not an issue.
I know you re a fan of the pellets. Can you explain why? Would you recommend them for most other guys?
Pellets work for me because you essentially forget that you have them for a three to four month span. That is tremendous. I didn t miss applying the gel on a daily basis or having it stick to my shirts or hearing my wife tell me that she didn t like the smell. I was also afraid of transferring the gel to my family so the shirt was always kept on and my hands were always washed thoroughly after each application. For me the daily application of the gel was a reminder that I have an issue. With the pellets you really do forget that you have an issue.
The best reason for me is that I feel like a man again. I m having sex between three and four times a week vs. one or two times a month. I m waking up with strong erections each morning even mornings after having sex the night before. My marriage has spice in it again and my wife and I are much happier.
I would definitely recommend pellets to other guys out there.
So do the implants get removed at a later time? How in the world does the doc find them?
The pellets are totally absorbed by your body so there is no need to remove them. You can feel them slightly with your fingers after they are inserted but you really have to be looking for them to find and feel them.
Have you had one of the implants work its way to the surface?
The pellets have never surfaced or come out. The insertion site has never become infected.
Can I ask if the pellets were covered by insurance? Or was only the office visit?
For me, the in-office procedure and the pellets are covered by my insurance carrier.
So I assume you ll continue with testosterone pellets?
Any last words for the guys out there?
We all try to do what we think works best for us. For me, I performed my own due diligence and research on all forms of testosterone therapy along with their benefits and risks and became knowledgeable as possible so that I could best understand each treatment option. There is plenty of information out there. You just need to expend the time and energy to gather the information and assess your options.
Also, I went through a few doctors before I found my current doc. It s a matter of being comfortable with your doctor based on his/her credentials and how they treat me as a person. The docs do this sort of thing all of the time, but it was new to me and I needed a doc who truly cared about my needs and understood my issues, etc. For me this is very important.
Most important if you truly believe that you have a testosterone issue or any issue for that matter never give up your quest to help yourself. It may take you a bit of time to find what works best for you but with patience and perseverance you will get there.