Medical Services Patients & Visitors Health Information For Medical Professionals Quality About Us
Text Size:  -   +  |  Print Page  |  Email Page

Testosterone therapy for men

Alternative names

Testerone replacement therapy; Androgen therapy; Androgen replacement therapy


Testosterone therapy uses the male hormone testosterone to treat symptoms of low testosterone levels (hypogonadism), including:

Why is testosterone important for men?

Testosterone is a hormone made by the testicles in men.Testosterone is important for:

  • Keeping bones and muscles strong
  • Making sperm
  • Maintaining sex drive
  • Making red blood cells
  • Feeling well and having energy in general

How is testosterone therapy given?

The medicine used is man-made testosterone. It can be given as:

  • Skin patch or gel
  • Solution applied to the armpit
  • Patch applied to the upper gum
  • Injection

Talk with your doctor about which form of testosterone is right for you.

Risks and side effects of testosterone therapy

Before taking testosterone, discuss the risks with your doctor, including:


Children and women, especially pregnant or breastfeeding women, should not come into contact with this medicine. Follow package instructions about other precautions for the type of testosterone you are using.

Calling your doctor

It is important to have regular checkups with your doctor when taking testosterone therapy. If you have side effects, call your doctor.


Bhasin S, Cunningham GR, Hayes FJ, et al. Testosterone therapy in adult men with androgen deficiency syndromes: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010;95:2536-2559.

Swerdloff RS, Wang C. The testis and male sexual function. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 242.

Review Date: 6/27/2013
Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.