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Thread: Low Testosterone

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    Low Testosterone

    I was reading this thread

    http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...d.php?t=128977

    on how HRT affects how the guy parts work

    I determined that I must have naturally occurring low Testosterone because I have most of symptoms that everyone described. I now understand that this has been coming on for several years and it coincides with my resurgant interest in CDing.

    Since I'm mostly male, and only a part time CD, I have a decision to make. Do I want to bring my testosterone back up to man up so to speak at the possible risk of suppressing my femme side which I've really gotten to like recently.

    Does anyone have any advice?

    Steffi
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me.

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    So many clothes; so little (girl) time.

  2. #2
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    I suppose it depends on what you really want in life. If you want your male parts to function properly, you might be able to go through that effort with T-injections.. but it might just suffice to have Viagara on hand too.

    If you like your femme side the way it is, then I'd leave well enough alone with the idea of trying to change your body chemistry.

  3. #3
    Member crystalann's Avatar
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    Low testosterone has nothing to do with your C/D issues. And the only way to find out what your levels are is to have them tested. I know a few transgender people with very high and very low testosterone and it never did control how or what they did. By happy within yourself and if you have no plans on living your life as female don't worry about your testosterone level.

  4. #4
    Resident weirdo Marshchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crystalann View Post
    Low testosterone has nothing to do with your C/D issues. And the only way to find out what your levels are is to have them tested. I know a few transgender people with very high and very low testosterone and it never did control how or what they did. By happy within yourself and if you have no plans on living your life as female don't worry about your testosterone level.
    My own experience would seem to bear this out. A couple of years ago, I had cause to have my own T-levels measured (along with my levels of various other hormones), and I was surprised to discover they were bang in the middle - neither overly high nor overly low. I'd always assumed they'd be more towards the low end of the scale (not just because of my CDing but because of a whole host of other things as well), and, yeah, it was a surprise to discover they weren't (a bit of a disappointment too because medium T-levels seemed so average, and therefore boring!).
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  5. #5
    Silver Member insearchofme's Avatar
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    If you want to increase your T levels you don't have to take injections. There is a product called "Andro-gel" (sp?) that works quite well.
    Dana Fleming

  6. #6
    Silver Member BARBARA_MELENDEZ's Avatar
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    I am on Androgel and my levels are getting close to normal ...mine were really low and I was feeling miserable and depressed I still have some lows once in a while but so far its been good.

    There are some side effects that varies from person to person, the only one that its giving me its a mild case of gynecomastia and sometimes it make me more fearless and bold..I think that when you feel better you enjoy life and can dress on a better mindset

  7. #7
    Gold Member TxKimberly's Avatar
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    Funny that you should post this now - I just had mine checked and am low and suffering the same indecision you are. I guess the normal level is somewhere between 260 and 1200, I'm going from memory and my memory sucks so forgive me if I'm wrong about that. Anyway, mine is about 200. The whole thought of taking T makes me sick to my stomach though. . .
    My wife is angry at me, feeling that it is my fault and that it is due to wearing womens underwear and girdles. "Things" do not function the way they should for me, but then I've had problems with that since day one. So my wife is now angry at me for at least two reasons - she considers it my fault that my levels are low AND she is angry that I even hesitate to take T to bring them up to normal.
    I'll be watching your thread with great interest!

  8. #8
    Member Jaydee's Avatar
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    I am in the same boat as Barbara. I have had low T all my life. About a year ago my DR put me on Androgel. It did bring my levels up to the normal range, but like Barbara, I have developed gynecomastia, (currently 40B and growing). My energy and strength are up. Like Kimberly, I was hesitant to start the Androgel, but my wife was persuasive. We have seen positive results in that category too.

    Interestingly, I think my desire to dress is also up. As they say "results may vary". Feel free to PM me for more details. Good Luck.

    Jaydee

  9. #9
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    The last time I had my testosteone tested it was in the normal range and I had been enjoying my cding on a regular basis. For me there doesn't seem to be a connection, but I may be the exception rather than the rule. I'd be afraid that if I took my T levels up I'd just start wearing shorter skirts and higher heels.
    Sarah
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  10. #10
    Just finding my way.... StaceyJane's Avatar
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    I had my T tested on my own once last year. It was pretty low, around 130.
    I think I have had some effects of low T but I can't imagine taking something to make me more masculine. It's just not what I want.
    Stacey

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  11. #11
    Silver Member BARBARA_MELENDEZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxKimberly View Post
    Funny that you should post this now - I just had mine checked and am low and suffering the same indecision you are. I guess the normal level is somewhere between 260 and 1200, I'm going from memory and my memory sucks so forgive me if I'm wrong about that. Anyway, mine is about 200. The whole thought of taking T makes me sick to my stomach though. . .
    My wife is angry at me, feeling that it is my fault and that it is due to wearing womens underwear and girdles. "Things" do not function the way they should for me, but then I've had problems with that since day one. So my wife is now angry at me for at least two reasons - she considers it my fault that my levels are low AND she is angry that I even hesitate to take T to bring them up to normal.
    I'll be watching your thread with great interest!
    Now I understand that I had low testosterone most of my life and
    I think 200 is very low for a middle age guy it maybe normal for an eighty year old. Also you should check your estradiol levels too much of it make a guy struggle too. I had too my concerns taking the testosterone and I understand that still is not an exact science but I was hitting rock bottom and had no other choice and like I said before now I feel more better and I can think more clearly of what I want in life

  12. #12
    Silver Member kellycan27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StaceyJane View Post
    I had my T tested on my own once last year. It was pretty low, around 130.
    I think I have had some effects of low T but I can't imagine taking something to make me more masculine. It's just not what I want.
    There's more to testosterone than making one more masculine.. Low testosterone levels aslo cause fatigue,depression, ED, low sex drive, osteoperosis, increased body fat, low energy levels, mood problems,sleep disturbance........ Normal testosterone levels in an adult male are not going to make you more masculine than the damage that has already been done when your levels were higher.
    Last edited by kellycan27; 04-30-2010 at 01:29 PM.
    "one day I'll fly away..... leave all this to yesterday"

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  13. #13
    New Member inhiding's Avatar
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    I dont think it will supress your desire to dress, i had the opposite effect. I was taking test and it increased my desire to dress, but my desire to dress is very sexual. I think it has more to do with that then anything.

  14. #14
    ~ M2F Lezzie ~ Annaliese2010's Avatar
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    OMG. Testosterone is not a user selectable variable! There's a normal healthy range everyone should be in. There's 2 lab measurements that are generally determined: TOTAL testosterone (normal range 240 - 950 ng/dL); and FREE testosterone (normal range 50 - 190 ng/dL). Free testosterone is just that: testosterone in the blood that is in solution and therefore freely available to act where it is needed. Total testosterone is the sum of free T + T that is bound to blood protein (albumin), the latter fraction not free to act (not bioavailable). Total T can vary quite a bit, for any number of reasons. It is the FREE T level that's more important wrt determining whether you have a normal or low testosterone blood level, and the value your doctor should look at! Beleieve it or not, some doctors may not know this.

    Why is all this important?

    Men with low testosterone levels are extraordinarily more likely to have heart attacks! You're also likely to get fat, be less assertive, feel less sexual and have weaker bones!

    References: (1) SP Zhao, XP Li. The association of low plasma testosterone level with coronary artery disease in Chinese men. International Journal of Cardiology 63: 2(JAN 31 1998):161-164. (2) D Simon, MA Charles, K Nahoul, G Orssaud, J Kremski, V Hully, E Joubert, L Papoz, E Eschwege. Association between plasma total testosterone and cardiovascular risk factors. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 82:2(FEB 1997):682-685.

    BTW, testosterone is important for women too. A woman with low T will likely not be very interested in sex and have a hard time achieveing orgasm.

  15. #15
    Member Christinedreamer's Avatar
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    Low T

    I was in a doctor's office for my GF's appointment and saw the little pamphets about Low T and its effects. I suggested that he have me tested as I had all the symptoms. He said he doubted I had the problem but I think he was using the secondary physical characteristics of body size, voice, etc as an indicator. After the test he was astonished. The normal range low end for a 56 year old is 240. Mine was 74. He said he had never seen a level that low.

    I started first with injections. Real fun times there for sure. The shot was very viscous and took forever to load into the syringe and then longer for me to inject. About a full minute.

    Then we tried Androgel as was mentioned above. VERY EXPENSIVE. But it did start to affect me positively. Increased desire to dress, more "pleasure" from doing so, marked growth of my breasts. (still there after stopping for 2 years)
    There was also an increase in a feeling of well being and just feeling better all round.

    I do want to get back on it but with limited insurance it isn't easy.

    The last doctor immediately asked about my sex drive when I mentioned getting a current reading. I had to explain that the days of interest in sex for me are past, I just want to feel better. I half expected him to pull out a pack of EXTENZ or Cialis.

    Note to doctors. Some of us do NOT live our lives between our legs.
    Last edited by Christinedreamer; 05-01-2010 at 01:26 AM.

  16. #16
    ~ M2F Lezzie ~ Annaliese2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christinedreamer View Post
    ...Some of us do NOT live our lives between our legs.
    I almost envy you. For I cannot even comprehend a life without sex...of some sort, anyways, even self-pleasuring if needs be must! Oh meaningless existence it is to live in constant denial! But that's just me...

  17. #17
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    Preventing gyno

    Why does a male risk getting gynecomastia when using Androgel or other TRTs?

    It is because one of the body's regulatory mechanisms for keeping test levels in balance is the production of aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. The level of estrogen in the blood is actually used by the hypothalamus and pituitary to regulate whether the testicles should produce more testosterone. Higher levels of test will result in higher levels of est if aromatase is equal. Aromatase is produced in fat cells primarily, so the fatter you are, the more likely your test is to be aromatized into estrogen. The estrogens produced by aromatization cause the gyno.

    One can modulate this process in several ways through drugs or OTC supplements. As always, you should check with your MD or DO before embarking on supplementation, especially if you are taking other medications.

    First, there are prescription and OTC products that inhibit aromatase. Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin are examples of prescription aromatase inhibitors. You can also get 6-OXO and ATD from sites like bodybuilding.com.

    Zinc is a mild aromatase inhibitor, and it's the one I prefer. Find a 50mg tablet that has 2mg of copper in it. You don't want to get copper-deficiency anemia from LT zinc supplementation.

    Then there are supplements that increase the efficiency of estrogen breakdown in the liver. My favorites in this class are Diindolylmethane (DIM) and Calcium d-Glucarate (CDG). You can get CDG at any health-food store. It is often used by women as part of a breast cancer prevention regimen. Note that "estrogen" is actually a broad class of compounds, some of which are necessary even for male health, while others are potentially destructive in men and women. CDG spares the "good" estrogens that reinforce bone strength, etc. and breaks down "bad" estrogens that contribute to tumor growth and gyno.

    DIM also helps estrogen metabolism. Although you can get it in most health food stores, I suggest ordering the Bioresponse or Activamune products directly from the manufacturer online. DIM also has been shown to strengthen the immune system.

    Annaliese correctly pointed out that the level of Free Test, not total test, is what is important. If all of the test in your blood is bound to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), then it cannot be used by any of your organs or tissues. This is why many men take supplements such as Stinging Nettle or Flax Lignans. These are actually very weak estrogens, but SHBG preferentially binds to them compared with testosterone. So this leaves more free test in your blood.

    Here is my "youthful testosterone" regimen. For me, it keeps everything working in good order. YMMV.

    75 mg Bioresponse DIM 2x daily
    100 mg NSI Stinging Nettle Extract 2x daily
    500 mg Source Naturals Calcium d-Glucarate 2x daily
    50 mg Zinc Gluconate with 2mg Copper (NOW brand)
    2g cold-pressed Fish Oil (NSI)

  18. #18
    Gold Member sherri52's Avatar
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    you are the only one that can give youself advice. We don't know what you want from life. Once you have that figured out, you can move into that direction
    Put a little lipstick on you'll feel better

  19. #19
    Lacy Lacyfem's Avatar
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    Low T

    Wow,,, nice discussion.... I am closeted cd so dress when I can as wife does not know and has voiced her dissapproval of crossdressers. As time has gone on my sex drive has decreased with regards to sleeping the wife. She's a wonderful looking woman and most who know her men and women are envious of her however I find myself not interested sexually anymore. So I thought it may be testosterone... nope I'm Ok there according to the doctor. When I dress I have an increased desire in sex but my sex preference is a man who likes me as a fem woman. In this situation I have no problem so for me I guess it's not testosterone but just my fem side. Somewhat confused about it as when dressed as a man I have no interest in men but love to look at women and wonder what lingerie they are wearing or just admiring their hair and makeup or envious of the shoes they are wearing. In the doctors office the other day I was loving reading Cosmo in place of MotorTrend.... darn those women in there are wonderful in everyway... I love sex but wife is pressuring me as to my problem!

  20. #20
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    testosterone replacement

    Thanks Jessi for a great explanation. You MUST be in a medical field. from my reading one the problems with Test replacement therapy is the increased possibility of prostate cancer. There are a lot of ways to treat it now and it is certainly survivable but it is a trade off to osteoporosis, low sex drive etc. I think it is one of those diseases though that is likely under counted. My father died from prostate cancer but his death was recorded as kidney failure, a related cause.
    Also, the older you get the lower your testosterone goes freely admited to by an endocrinologist I just saw. the odd thing is that as one ages, some doctors recommend saw palmetto or a prescription drug to offset benign prostatic hyperplasia (swelling of the prostate) that can cause problems with urination and having to pee too often during sleep hours. It does lower your testosterone, so one wonders what doctors are up to? Damned if you do, damned if you don't
    Mandrake out of water

  21. #21
    Senior Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    Oh No

    I've been taking saw palmetto for about 10 years on the recommendation of my doctor becase of my BPH. I didn't tolerate the Cadura very well because it's really designed to lower blood pressure. Resolving BPH is a side effect. My normal BP is usually 110/70, and I get dizzy spells if it goes much lower.

    But he didn't tell me about the testosterone thing. And taking T is bad for my BPH. This really is a double bind.
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me.

    You can't always get what you want but if you try sometime you find you get what you need. Rolling Stones

    So many clothes; so little (girl) time.

  22. #22
    Aspiring Member Freddy12's Avatar
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    Get tested!

    My adivce is to get your testosterone levels checke - both total and free. Compare them to the normal levels for GM's your age. Without that information you are just shooting in the dark when you are trying to figure out your situation. If you have a good insurance plan it won't cost you anything!

    Freddy

  23. #23
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    To those who have low T but choose not to treat it:

    I suggest that you be careful, do research, and discuss your options with a truly open-minded, forward-thinking MD or DO. I can understand that, as a CD, you do not want the virilizing effects of more T in your blood. But many of the common effects, such as prostate cancer risk, male pattern hair loss, and changes in skin texture are due to DHT, not T. More on this in a moment.

    If you are a low T male, your body chemistry is essentially that of a post-menopausal woman. You do not have to deal with vaginal dryness , but do have all of the other health risks of a post-menopausal woman, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, and of course a huge increase in prostate cancer and breast cancer risk! I doubt that having nursing staff and friends stand around your hospital bed wearing pink ribbons is a feminine bonding experience you would savor...

    You do not have to take T in order to manage low T. In fact, an alternative that works for me and many others is to take supplements (spelled out in detail in my previous post) that help your body achieve a healthy hormonal balance. You may find that it works for you too. Many post-menopausal women take DIM, CDG, and stinging nettle in order to restore a healthy balance of estrogens and T, and it does not virilize them. Quite the contrary.

    Direct T supplementation creates a set of signals in your body that indicate that there is "excess" testosterone. A healthy body always attempts to restore balance, and the mechanism for achieving this balance is for the liver to break down the testosterone into DHT. Also, the fat cells excrete aromatase, turning some of the T into estrogens. These T-supplementation byproducts are what cause the side effects associated with T supplementation.

    The alternative is to use supplements like DIM and CDG that are naturally occurring in foods (broccoli is high in DIM for example) that reduce the "bad" estrogens, increase the "good" estrogens, and let your body use the T that it produces. You may find that this gets your T levels up somewhat without supplementing T and experiencing the side effects of it. Your partner would be happier due to your increased sex drive, and you would be healthier without experiencing much virilization.

  24. #24
    Silver Member insearchofme's Avatar
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    There are some awesome posts about low T levels here. As always, take what you read here and discuss it with your medicial care professional.

    This is another eason this is a great site for us!
    Dana Fleming

  25. #25
    Gold Member TxKimberly's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone, and especially Jesse and Annaliese for the detailed information and what appears to be knowledgeable advice

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