I hope everyone enjoyed my last post about what led me to start taking testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). If you haven’t read it yet, I’d recommend you do that before reading this post. As I mentioned in my last post, TRT has had some huge impacts on my life. And I’ve only been on it for about two months, so I know there’s still more to come. Here are some of the ways that TRT has been transforming my life physically, mentally, and sexually.
Disclaimer: I’m not recommending that anyone jump on TRT just because you want to experience any of the effects I describe. Things like anxiety and low sex drive can be caused by a number of issues that aren’t related to low T. But if you’re experiencing low T symptoms, I would recommend going to a doctor and getting your hormones checked. I’d suggest going to a men’s health clinic because they tend to have the most experience in this area. But if you have a good relationship with a PCP it’s probably fine to start there. If your T levels come back low and your doctor thinks it’s a good idea, I’d recommend giving it a shot.
1. Increased Sex Drive.
Let’s be real. This is probably the main reason most guys seek out TRT. For some guys, their sex drive and sexual performance start to decline as they get into middle age and beyond. For other guys, it starts happening much earlier. And other guys have these issues from puberty. Whatever the case, low sex drive and poor sexual performance can really impact a guy’s quality of life.
I think MB’s recent post “Maybe Oscar Wilde had a point” was super insightful. The desire for sex is a powerful force in our lives that goes far beyond the physical act of sex. In my case, it led me to take better care of my health, look better, dress better, be more adventurous, develop new interests, form new friendships, and move forward in my career. And as a result of pursuing sex and having more sex, I became more confident, developed better social skills, made new friends, and developed stronger bonds with existing friends. So when my sex drive started to disappear, it was about more than just sex.
I used to be super motivated to exercise and eat healthy, mostly because I wanted to make sure I was attractive to women. I used to love travelling, exploring new things in my city, and learning about different topics, partly because I wanted to be interesting to girls I met. But my desire to do these things pretty much vanished once I stopped caring about sex. It didn’t go away entirely, because I still cared about things like my health, but dropped significantly.
Since getting on TRT, my sex drive has shot way up. I’d say it’s recovered to where it was 2-3 years ago. I find myself thinking about sex far more often, but I also find myself more motivated to do other things too. I think this is partly tied to sex drive and partly its own issue, which I’ll discuss in the next item.
2. Improved Mental Health
This one gets less attention than sex drive when it realtes to TRT, but in my case, it was actually been more important. I talked a lot in my last post about my mental health struggles, so I won’t bore everyone by repeating it here. But TRT has made a huge difference.
When I was experiencing low T, mental health was a struggle for me. Even after I passed through the worst of it, keeping the anxiety and depression away required daily meditation and 8+ hours of sleep a night, and even then it still flared up occasionally.
Since I started TRT, this has changed dramatically. In over two months, I’ve experienced no depression and only one brief moment that resembled anxiety. And keep in mind, this has been during the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a significant, negative impact on most areas of my life. My overall mental state is much calmer, happier, and more optimistic than it was during the time I was experiencing low T. In fact, I think I’m feeling better than I was even before the low T symptoms started.
This alone would have been more than enough reason to get on TRT, but the good news is there have been more benefits.
3. Better Gym Performance
As a naturally skinny guy, making progress in the gym has always been relatively slow for me. Before the low T symptoms started I had been lifting for over 5 years and was barely hitting “intermediate” numbers on my squat, deadlift, and bench.
Part of it was that I started from a low baseline. Some dudes are naturally muscular and can bench 225 lbs after a couple months of working out starting in high school. My first attempt at a bench press I could barely bench an empty bar. But another part is that I tended to progress slower than most other guys. Chalk it up to bad muscle building genetics, who knows, but I’ve never been able to gain muscle easily. I fought hard for every ounce of the 70 lbs I gained and it took me almost 6 years.
TRT has made this whole process much easier. Unfortunately my gym closed due to the pandemic a couple weeks after I started TRT, but during those two weeks I was making some unbelievable progress, adding weight to my lifts at a rate I hadn’t done since I was a beginner. I’m pumped for gyms to reopen in my area so I can start making serious progress.
4. Easier to Build Muscle
Closely related to the one above, but different enough to be a separate point. It’s not just that I’m getting stronger. I’m also able to build muscle much faster than before. Before the gym closed, I gained about 2 lbs in 2 weeks. Normally gaining weight this fast would be most of it would be fat, but my waist measurement didn’t change at all. Even doing bodyweight exercises at home I’ve been able to maintain all of the muscle mass I had before things shut down.
Once the gyms open up and I’ve had a chance to spend a couple months working out again, I’ll do another post to talk about the physical effects. Hopefully they’ll be even more pronounced by then.
5. Stronger Sexual Performance
Not only has my sex drive increased, my sexual performance has gotten better too. My erections are harder and orgasms stronger than before TRT. I’ve also noticed that my refractory period has gotten shorter. Before TRT, I struggled to have sex more than once in a night. And when I did pull it off, I’d need to wait a couple hours and it was a toss up whether I’d orgasm the second time. In fairness, I haven’t done a complete 180 in this area. I still can’t start round 2 five minutes after I finish round 1. But 20-30 minutes is now more than enough in most instances.
6. Increased Aggressiveness
You’ve all heard the stereotypes about guys with high T. They’re hot-headed, cocky, and brash. After a couple months of TRT, I’m thinking there might be some truth to that. Before starting TRT, one area of myself that I still wanted to work on was being more direct and confrontational when necessary. My natural tendency is to avoid conflict at all costs, and I knew that was holding me back at work and in my personal life.
Since starting TRT, I’ve noticed some changes in my personality. It hasn’t been anything drastic, but I notice that I have a little less patience and I’m less afraid to show anger and disapproval. I think I needed a little more of that in my personality so I’m glad it’s had that effect.
7. Better Outlook and Attitude
I debated whether this was different enough from mental health to warrant being a separate item. But here’s why I decided it is. TRT hasn’t just taken away feelings of anxiety and depression, it’s actually helped me develop a better attitude and outlook than before. I find myself being more optimistic about the future, more passionate about things that interest me, and more persistent about solving problems.
I know TRT can be a controversial topic. Even with all the benefits that I’ve gotten from it, I can’t recommend it to everyone. Low sex drive and other symptoms associated with low T can be caused by a number of factors completely unrelated to T levels. And in that case, TRT probably won’t help you much. The only way to know if TRT is right for you is to get your hormones tested, discuss the results with a doctor, and work with the doctor to determine if you’re a good candidate for TRT.
With that said, if you’re experiencing symptoms like low sex drive, anxiety, depression, or poor sexual performance, hormones are one of the first places I’d look. You might be surprised at what you find.