Once You Start TRT, Can You Stop?
Patients should always feel empowered to make decisions about their own health care. But if you decide to stop your TRT protocol, you’ll also stop feeling the benefits of optimized Testosterone levels.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy is an ongoing treatment to raise the amount of Testosterone in your body. If you quit TRT, your low Testosterone symptoms will likely return.
These symptoms typically include low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, mood changes, depression, anxiety, poor body composition, and more.
In addition, your body’s Testosterone production has likely slowed as a result of receiving exogenous Testosterone (from a source outside the body).
To transition smoothly, you’ll want to restart your HPTA axis under the guidance of a knowledgeable provider. Not doing so can lead to more severe low Testosterone symptoms as your body loses its only source of Testosterone.
Does TRT Stop Natural Testosterone Production?
Receiving Testosterone from an external source can stop your body from making its own Testosterone. This is a natural biological process that occurs with many medications, but it can be a problem if you plan to stop TRT.
If you suddenly quit taking Testosterone, you could feel tired, have a low sex drive, experience erectile dysfunction, and other issues. These symptoms may persist unless you work with a provider to restart something called the HPTA, or Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal axis.
The longer you’ve been on TRT, the longer it will take for your body to restart its normal Testosterone production after stopping your protocol. Those who were on TRT for a short time, or who utilized HCG to keep their testes active, will likely have a smoother time coming off TRT.
Patients with low Testosterone who stop TRT will likely experience ongoing low T symptoms even after restarting the HPTA axis. TRT does not improve your body’s own Testosterone production, and because of that, you’ll return to your previous low levels.
What is the HPTA Axis?
In order for the body to produce Testosterone, it needs a balance of hormones from the hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and testicles. This is known as the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Testicular axis (HPTA). Hormones involved include gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus, luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland, and Testosterone from the testicles.
When hormone levels in your blood increase, your pituitary gland stops releasing luteinizing hormone (LH). Without stimulation from LH, your testicles can’t create Testosterone.
This is why the main goal for patients coming off TRT is to restart the HPTA, which initiates endogenous Testosterone production (Testosterone secreted within the body).
How Can You Restart Your Testosterone Production?
To restart Testosterone production, it’s important to take a comprehensive approach.
This typically involves addressing the HPTA Axis, making lifestyle changes, consulting with healthcare professionals, and potentially utilizing medications or therapies as prescribed.
We’ll go over these strategies in-depth.
Consult with a Medical Provider
The most important step is to consult with a provider who can guide you through stopping TRT.
There are many physiological reactions to quitting your TRT protocol, and a medical provider can give you informed advice and prescribe medications to help ease the transition (if appropriate).
Address the HPTA Axis
The HPTA axis is responsible for natural Testosterone production. It can be challenging to restart this axis on your own once you discontinue TRT.
Medical providers often use a combination of treatments to help the different areas of the HPTA axis affected by negative feedback. This may include using hormones that stimulate Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and also stimulating testicular cells to make Testosterone.
Sometimes, providers will first give you HCG to help increase testicle size and Testosterone levels, and then follow up with Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) to stimulate LH production. Learn more about restarting the HPTA axis.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, drug use, smoking, drinking, and inadequate sleep can contribute to low Testosterone levels.
Making lifestyle changes like a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and getting enough sleep can help improve Testosterone levels naturally.
These changes are unlikely to solve low T issues on their own, but they can help you address any barriers to Testosterone production.
When discontinuing TRT, it’s better to gradually taper doses over several weeks or longer. This approach helps minimize the shock to your system and manage symptoms.
If you’re planning to stop TRT, make sure to talk with your provider so you have enough medication and can taper effectively.
Regular exercise has been shown to help maintain higher Testosterone levels over time.
Incorporating cardiovascular exercises and weight training into your routine may have a positive impact on Testosterone production.
Exercise is an important lifestyle change to support hormone production, but it won’t ease low Testosterone symptoms on its own.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?
Testosterone is an androgen produced by men and, to a lesser extent, women.
Testosterone plays an essential role in the development of male attributes, like body hair and increased muscle mass. It also helps with prostate and testes formation while impacting male sex drive and sperm production.
Testosterone plays other roles like helping to create red blood cells, regulating fat storage, and influencing mood. Without enough Testosterone, men often experience symptoms that impact their overall quality of life.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy supplements Testosterone to optimize levels for symptom relief. Testosterone is available in several delivery systems, most commonly injections and topical creams and gels.
Stop TRT with Defy Medical's Guidance
Wondering if you can stop TRT once you start?
Defy Medical offers provided-guided plans to help you get off TRT and restart your natural Testosterone production. Our protocols are designed to minimize discomfort and address symptoms as your body adjusts.
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