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Q: Does Viagra have the same effect as testosterone?
A: No. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) works differently from Viagra. Viagra affects your cardiovascular system only. Although it can increase blood flow to the penis, it will not improve your sexual function if you lack sexual desire (a symptom of low 'bio-available' testosterone). Testosterone, on the other hand, works on the whole body and helps improve all aspects of sexual response. Testosterone is the hormone of sexual desire in both men and women. As a result, if testosterone levels are low, so is the desire for sex. Erectile dysfunction (or ED) is a complex problem that requires a thorough psychological and physical exam. Physicians may use a combination of approaches or therapies to treat ED. Testosterone replacement therapy can not only complement many of these treatments and help improve a man's erectile quality, it can also increase sexual desire and prevent debilitating diseases like osteoporosis and, possibly, cardiovascular disease.

Q: I am already taking so many medications for this and that. Should I learn to age gracefully without taking any more medicines?
A: It took many years for women to accept hormone replacement therapy. Estrogens are known to offer postmenopausal women many physical benefits, improve their psychological well-being, and therefore their overall quality of life. TRT can do the same for men who are experiencing Andropause. Ask your doctor whether the medications you are already taking may exclude you from benefiting from TRT.

Q: I am 72 years old. Am I too old to start testosterone therapy?
A: No patient is too old to start testosterone therapy if it is clearly indicated. As for any medication, testosterone should be taken under a physician's care, with regular follow-up evaluations.

Q: Does having to take testosterone mean I'm less 'manly'?
A: Not at all. In fact, even the most 'macho' men can develop this condition.

Q: Doesn't testosterone make men aggressive and hostile?
A: Because of reports of the abuse of anabolic steroids by athletes, testosterone has suffered from a negative public image. The perception is that testosterone is responsible for undesirable male traits such as aggression and hypersexuality. And some people have developed a fear that it will 'bring out the beast' in men. These are myths. They stem from results of testosterone being used by men with normal testosterone levels who took testosterone at doses which were much higher than TRT doses prescribed for men going through Andropause.

Q: I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Can I take testosterone?
A: No. In men who have an existing cancer of the prostate, testosterone can promote its growth. This is why testosterone replacement is not recommended for men with prostate cancer.

Q: I have an enlarged prostate. Can I take testosterone?
A: The prostate slowly enlarges as men age. In some men testosterone can cause this process to speed up. However, in most studies no abnormal growth was found even after long-term testosterone replacement therapy. Some men with enlarged prostates can qualify for testosterone therapy, but others do not. Only a physician can make the decision of whether you qualify. If you do take testosterone replacement your physician will monitor the health of your prostate with regular (PSA) blood tests and physical examinations.

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