A survey report that came out in the fall of 2019 set out to explore men’s experiences on prescription testosterone in the U.S. using the participants' own experiences and own words.

Sex, Energy, Well-Being and Low Testosterone: An Exploratory Survey of U.S. Men’s Experiences on Prescription Testosterone” by Alex A. Straftis and Peter B. Gray set out to answer two important questions related to low testosterone and prescription testosterone therapy:

  1. Why do men seek prescription testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)?
  2. What are the effects of TRT?

As a secondary goal, the architects of the survey also wanted to find any interesting responses that differed by age or their own expectations.

 

The Problem

Low testosterone, based on the rapid rise of prescription testosterone, is a growing problem in this country. Part of the problem, according to the report's authors, is that even though this low testosterone problem isn’t new, there haven’t been many studies done on the patient’s perspectives after treatment and this makes the clinical data for these treatments suspect.

Prescription testosterone sales have risen exponentially for years, as you can see below.

 

Prescription Testosterone Sales

1988              $18 million

2000              $70 million

2013              $2 billion (or $2000 million)

What’s perhaps more shocking than this rise is that in 2016, U.S. men were responsible for 80 percent of the prescription testosterone sales worldwide.

 

The report's authors point out several key factors responsible for this rise in prescription testosterone sales, among them:

  • An aging population
  • The availability of testosterone products on the market, like gels
  • Direct to consumer marketing, like social media

One line from the report best sums up these two problems (low testosterone plus the validity of prescription testosterone clinical data): The “combination of advertising tactics may have impacted perceptions of what prescription testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can offer an individual with low testosterone, and do not always match data from clinical trials.”

 

The Purpose of the TRT Survey

The purpose of the survey report was to see if men’s self-reported experiences on prescription testosterone are consistent with the literature that is being published for these drugs.

 

The Participants

The participants only needed to be a U.S. male over the age of 21. In total, there were 105 participants. Half of them were over 40 years old and the other half were under.

 

The Expectations

The report’s authors had some expectations when they began. As for why participants were taking prescription testosterone, those suspected reasons included:

  • Libido improvement
  • Energy increase
  • Muscle gain
  • Mood improvement
  • Fat loss

They expected that the older participants, those over 40, would be most interested in youth, health, and wellbeing. They also hypothesized that the younger participants would be most interested in improved sexual performance, competitive physical advantages, and muscle building.

 

The Questions

The questions in the survey report included areas such as demographics, medical history, and questions about the perceived changes after taking prescription testosterone. And to answer the two broader questions mentioned at the top of this article, they added five open-ended questions at the end:

  1. How did you learn about prescription testosterone?
  2. Why did you decide to take prescription testosterone?
  3. What were the perceived benefits of taking prescription testosterone?
  4. Please explain any side effects or other concerns with taking prescription testosterone.
  5. Please describe when you first began to notice the effects of the prescription testosterone.

 

How Did You Learn About Prescription Testosterone?

When asked this question, the most common responses were:

  1. From a licensed healthcare provider 4 percent
  2. Online sources 3 percent
  3. Word of mouth 19 percent
  4. Social media 18 percent
  5. Offline, direct to consumer advertising 3 percent

*Participants could give more than one answer, in case your math wasn’t adding up.

 

Why Did You Decide to Take Prescription Testosterone?

Participants answers to this question were:

  1. Low testosterone 1 percent
  2. Wellbeing 2 percent
  3. Energy 7 percent
  4. Libido 9 percent
  5. Social energy 4 percent

Something that stood out among these answers was that older men more frequently gave the reason of libido than younger men, which contradicted the authors’ expectations. And the difference wasn’t slight, as older men gave this reason more than four times as often as the younger men – 35.8 percent vs. 7.7 percent.

 

What were the Perceived Benefits of Taking Prescription Testosterone?

In general, when asked whether there were benefits or not, the group responded as such:

  • 61 percent said they perceived some benefits from prescription testosterone therapy
  • 39 percent said they did not receive any benefits

However, there is some contradiction among the answers in this area. When asked about changes to their motivation, the participants’ responses were beyond favorable:

  • 4 percent said they noticed motivational effects
  • 98 percent said those motivational effects were positive

 

Side Effects or Other Concerns with Taking Prescription Testosterone

When asked about concerns or side effects, the top three responses most given were:

  1. No concerns or side effects 39 percent
  2. Elevated estrogen levels 4 percent
  3. Acne problems 4 percent

 

When You First Began to Notice the Effects from the Prescription Testosterone?

When asked about the first noticed effects from testosterone therapy, the responses were:

  1. Within the first three months 5 percent
  2. Between weeks two and four 3 percent

In general, according to the survey report, the participants' responses were favorable. Many of them had improvements in energy levels, libido, and muscle gain. Many also said they would recommend prescription testosterone to family and friends. And most importantly, most reported no negative side effects or concerns.

 

Among the authors’ conclusions, “At the moment, it appears that these TRT patients sought and found a source of well-being, energy, and sexual interest, with some muscle and less fat too.”

Have you been considering testosterone therapy as a way to get more energy, jumpstart your libido, and experience life more fully? The first step is becoming more knowledgeable.

Do you have a problem with low testosterone? The first thing you’ll want to do is to get your testosterone test. If your testosterone levels are low, then you can proceed to figure out if prescription testosterone is right for you.

To get the information you need, check out the forums at ExcelMale.com, where both the posters and the moderators have a wealth of testosterone knowledge they’ll be happy to share. And if that isn’t enough, check out my latest testosterone book that I’m giving away for FREE – Beyond Testosterone.

Simply fill out and send the short form and I’ll send your new 386-page illustrated testosterone book to your email inbox.

Nelson Vergel