Why can’t I get testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) from my doctor?
Searching online for testosterone replacement therapy can be overwhelming and leads to many rabbit holes. We’ve all been there. One minute you’re searching for TRT clinics online and the next thing you’re on a reddit forum searching for suppliers of raw powders to bottle your own testosterone, because “It’s cheaper!”.
Eventually, men stumble upon the question “Why Can’t I get testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) from my doctor?” And to be honest, it is a fair question. The average household pays $541 a month for health insurance, and you would expect it to cover ALL of your health needs.
So let’s dive right into this, can you get TRT from your primary care provider?
The short and uncomplicated answer is, probably not. The reason being your insurance company is the one to decide whether or not they will cover a treatment or procedure, based upon your providers diagnosis of your “condition” (which is why diagnosis codes exist in insurance billing). Once you understand that, what follows will be easy to digest.
The testosterone scale is a stranger to no one. Whether we love it or hate it we know it exists. The average scale that measures a man’s testosterone ranges from 250ng/dl – 827ng/dl, depending on which lab draws the blood. Providers covered by insurance abide by the testosterone scale religiously. So, if a man’s testosterone levels fall anywhere above 250ng/dl total testosterone then the patient’s levels are considered to be “within normal range” and testosterone replacement therapy deemed unnecessary.
Today, the average 30-year-old man has a testosterone level between 350ng/dl – 550ng/dl, which is an automatic “NO” for TRT covered by insurance.
“What if my doctor does prescribe me TRT, what should I expect?”
You can expect to be taken on a hormonal roller coaster. Primary care providers stick to the ancient method of administering testosterone once a month, or once every 2 weeks. Injectable testosterone has a half-life (the time it takes for the amount of a drug’s active substance in your body to reduce by half) of about 5 days. Which means an injection once every two weeks, or even worse, once a month will result in your testosterone levels sky rocketing post injection and plummeting 5 days later. We call this the “yo-yo effect” and we want to avoid it at all cost.
Most clinics encourage patients to inject twice weekly to maintain stable blood levels of testosterone to avoid the peaks and troughs of infrequent injections.
“Ok, what if my doctor agrees to more frequent injections, am I safe?”
As much as I would love to say yes there is just one more thing, that pesky testosterone scale we spoke about earlier. It will come back to haunt you. In order to qualify for TRT through insurance your testosterone needed to fall below the bottom number of the scale (250ng/dl of testosterone). Likewise, in order to continue to be covered by insurance your testosterone needs to remain below the top number of the scale (827ng/dl of testosterone). It is near impossible to balance a man on TRT between 250 – 827 total testosterone not to mention that is not the goal. The ultimate goal of TRT is to relieve the patient’s symptoms of low t and every man will reach that goal at a different testosterone number. A primary care physician will stick within the confines of the scale regardless of your symptoms and therein lies one of the problems with them treating men with low t.
At TRT Nation we understand that just as every man’s height, weight, and eye color differ, so do their testosterone levels. Our providers treat the symptoms of low t not only the number.
Where do you go from here?
Get treated from a TRT clinic of course! Providers from TRT clinics are well acquainted with the subtle nuances of TRT more so than a general practitioner. They are enrolled in ongoing educational programs and seminars learning the most up to date science and protocols for hormone replacement therapy. General practitioners rarely see men for TRT and are encumbered daily by patients with the common colds, flu like symptoms, etc.
When searching for a TRT clinic that suits your needs do your due diligence and always call to vet them. At TRT Nation we’ve been providing men with life changing results for years, serving tens of thousands of patients nationwide. If you’ve been feeling sluggish with low energy, mental fog, and/or low libido, reach out to TRT Nation today for a free consultation with one of our representatives. Our providers treat the symptoms of low t while making sure no side effects appear.