4 Tips for Managing the Side Effects of TRT Treatment

man happy managing TRT side effects with wife

Widely recognized as the most common and effective treatment for low T, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has transformed the lives of many, restoring vitality and well-being. 

However, like any medical intervention, TRT is not without its nuances. While the majority of TRT side effects are generally mild, understanding and managing them is crucial for a successful and positive treatment experience.

Common TRT Side Effects

First, let’s discuss some of the more common side effects of TRT. Being aware of and understanding these potential side effects is key to managing them effectively. 

Let’s delve into some of the more common side effects associated with TRT:


Increased testosterone levels can stimulate the production of sebum, an oily substance that, when overproduced, can lead to breakouts. This is not typically a long-term issue for those undergoing TRT treatment

The adjustment period to new hormone levels might cause initial breakouts, and some individuals may experience acne for the first 6 to 12 months of testosterone therapy. But, beyond that, acne is not a chief complaint for those treating their low testosterone with TRT

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Fluctuations in testosterone levels can impact breathing patterns, potentially worsening or triggering sleep apnea. While some studies suggest no direct association between TRT and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), others indicate that OSA may occur in men undergoing TRT, with symptoms resolving when supplementation is stopped.

It is not, however, recommended for those already diagnosed with OSA to undergo testosterone replacement therapy. 

Mood Swings

This is a more misunderstood side effect. Low testosterone can have a significant impact on mood, increasing irritability and depression. But, testosterone fluctuations can influence emotional stability, also leading to mood swings or irritability. 

So, while TRT generally helps to increase mood stability and emotional well-being, it can cause more mood swings as the body adjusts. 

Increased Red Blood Cell Mass (Polycythemia or Erythrocytosis) 

Testosterone replacement therapy can lead to an increase in hemoglobin by as much as 5-7% thanks to its impact on erythropoietin. The result is polycythemia, a higher red blood cell mass that displays as an  increase of hemoglobin and hematocrit levels.

While this can be beneficial for improving symptoms of anemia, it does lead to polycythemia in over 20% of men treated with TRT. The higher red blood cell mass can lead to an increase in vascular events such as stroke or deep vein thrombosis

Breast Tenderness

Excessive conversion of testosterone to estrogen, known as aromatization, can lead to breast tenderness or enlargement in some men. This imbalance in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis may result in gynecomastia (enlarged breasts) or breast pain in 10-25% of men on TRT.

Hair Loss

While testosterone itself does not cause hair loss, TRT may accelerate male pattern hair loss in individuals with a genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone derived from testosterone. 

So, TRT does not cause hair loss, but if someone already has a genetic sensitivity to DHT, it may accelerate their hair loss. 

Low Sperm Count and Fertility Issues

Testosterone can actually be used as a contraceptive. The increase in exogenous testosterone can inhibit the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which are essential for sperm production. 

If fertility preservation is a concern, TRT alternatives are recommended. 

Tips To Manage the Side Effects Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Tip 1: Maintain Open Communication With Your Doctor

Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of a successful and positive TRT treatment plan. When it comes to managing side effects, your doctor is not just an observer but an invaluable ally. 

Dosage Adjustments

At the first sign of any side effect, whether it’s acne, mood swings, or changes in sleep patterns, communicate openly with your doctor. Describe the symptoms, their intensity, and any patterns you’ve observed. This information provides crucial insights that guide your doctor in tailoring your treatment plan.

They may make adjustments to your dosage based on the frequency and intensity of the side effects you are experiencing. These adjustments can often lessen the severity of the testosterone replacement therapy side effects

Progress Monitoring

Frequent check-ups and blood tests are essential components of TRT. They can track your progress and ensure that your body is responding appropriately to the treatment. Keeping track of your hormone levels can also let your doctor know if your dosage is too high or too low, which can lead to side effects. 

Tip 2: Embrace Healthy Habits

Testosterone hormone replacement therapy is not a cure-all. By balancing your hormone levels, it can help to eliminate a lot of the symptoms you were experiencing. But, embracing healthy habits can complement TRT treatment and help to deal with many of the symptoms and even some of the side effects of TRT

What lifestyle changes can you make?

  • Get regular exercise. Regular exercise can actually help to improve the results of your TRT treatment and help you maintain those results after you stop treatment. 
  • Eat a balanced diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats provides essential nutrients that support overall health. 
  • Practice stress management. Stress can exacerbate side effects and impact your overall well-being. Practices such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness can help reduce stress levels. 
  • Improve sleep quality. Sleep is essential for hormonal balance, recovery, and overall well-being. Establish a consistent sleep routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and limit screen time before bedtime to improve the quality and duration of your sleep.
  • Stay hydrated. Hydration is a surprisingly important component in overall health. The impact dehydration has on the body is astounding. Be careful, though, as TRT can lead to water retention. 

Tip 3: Try Natural Remedies and Supplementation

In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, you can also treat the side effects with natural remedies and supplements. While these remedies may not replace medical interventions, they can complement your overall well-being during TRT treatment

There are several natural remedies to treat acne, such as tea tree oil, aloe vera, and apple cider vinegar

Here are some potential supplements:

Tip 4: Use the Right TRT Dosage

You should be following your healthcare provider’s instructions when administering your TRT treatment, including dosage and frequency. Your doctor gave you a dosage recommendation for a reason. 

Your ideal dosage depends on various factors, including your age, overall health, and the severity of your testosterone deficiency. The initial assessment you complete with your healthcare provider will go a long way in determining dosage. 

Now, that initial dosage may not be the right one for you. But, that is not something you should decide on your own. Achieving the right balance is a process that requires time, patience, and collaboration with your healthcare provider. 

Your healthcare provider will closely monitor your progress, assessing hormone levels and addressing any emerging TRT side effects, making adjustments as necessary. Patience is crucial during the adjustment period. Hormonal changes take time, and your body needs an opportunity to adapt to the new levels of testosterone. 

Remember, it’s common for individuals to experience fluctuations in mood, energy levels, or other side effects during the initial stages.

Find the Right TRT Provider

For many suffering from low testosterone, the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy outweighs the potential risks. But, the decision to start TRT treatment is not yours alone. It needs to be a collaborative decision between you and your healthcare provider. 

From researching treatment options to managing side effects and finding the ideal dosage, every step requires a healthy doctor-patient relationship. So, it’s important you choose the right provider. 

Your optimal health begins with the right TRT provider—let Heally connect you with a qualified TRT healthcare professional who can provide a personalized TRT treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. 

Get started today!


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