The decision to come off Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a significant and often complex journey for many men. To better understand this process and its implications, we did a lot of research and focused on insights from those who have experienced it firsthand. This involved exploring various forums, watching testimonial videos, and reviewing other relevant materials. Our goal was to capture the essence of personal experiences associated with discontinuing TRT.
It's crucial to remember that navigating away from TRT should be approached with caution and under professional medical supervision to ensure a safe and well-managed transition, and also that no two people have the same composition and response, so keep in mind that results and experiences will vary from person to person.
Men stop TRT for various reasons, including side effects, fertility concerns, the burden of treatment, and questioning the necessity as they age.
Coming off TRT can lead to significant physical challenges like a testosterone crash and mental struggles such as frustration, depression, and anxiety.
Safe discontinuation involves a gradual tapering approach, consulting healthcare professionals, using HCG, managing expectations, lifestyle adjustments, and possibly seeking counseling.
The Good And The Bad About Coming Off TRT
In the upcoming section, I be sharing personal experiences gathered from individuals who have navigated the complex journey of discontinuing TRT. These firsthand accounts present a spectrum of outcomes - both positive and negative - as recounted by those who have lived through them.
It's important to remember that each experience is unique, deeply personal, and may not represent everyone's journey. Therefore, while these stories provide valuable insights, they should be considered with a grain of salt, acknowledging the individual variability in the journey off TRT.
Positive Aspects of Coming Off TRT
✔️ Improved Hair Health:
"My hair has re-gained its natural texture and fullness. TRT wrecked my hair with balding, thinning and dried out-straw like- texture. I'm happy with the return after TRT." – User Experience
"No noticeable hair regrowth obviously but it is getting a bit darker and fuller again (very slightly)." – User Comment
✔️ Normalized Blood Pressure:
"My blood pressure was sky high on test like most and it has returned to normal after the first week off." - User Feedback
"Blood pressure is down." – Another User
✔️ Improvements in Sleep and Sexual Health:
"Sleep apnea was a bitch on it too and that disappeared as well. I’m finally cumming normal as TRT dried that up and I had lost sensation. My libido has actually IMPROVED after getting off and orgasms are way more intense." – User Experience
"Positive things I noticed while on treatment: Sex drive increased a fair bit, easier to deal with a bad night's sleep/stress, heightened recovery from the gym" - User Feedback
✔️ Physical Changes and Gym Performance:
"My bloat and moon face was unshakeable on test and completely left within 2 weeks of the last injection. I have not experienced a 'crash' whatsoever and the only downside is the gains and perpetual pump from TRT left so rapidly I was shocked." – User Experience
"Ok so my bloat and moon face is pretty much gone after 3yrs of it...as is a noticeable amount of the muscle I thought I 'built'." – Another Experience
✔️ General Well-being:
"I just came off TRT after about 10 months... I had 2 days about 2 weeks after my last T shot where I felt like crap, but was not debilitating. Since then I have felt great and each week feel better." – User Experience
"All in all I am very pleased with my decision. The bad side effects outweighed the amazing muscular benefits for me personally." – User Comment
✔️ Mood Stability & Emotional Balance:
"It's gonna suck, but I really think you're making the right choice here." – User Feedback
"For better or for worse I guess 😅 Hopefully things don't get too rough but I'm going to do anything I can to mitigate it." – Another Comment
Negative Aspects of Coming Off TRT
✖️ Challenges with Muscle Maintenance and Health Issues:
"I did this too. I stopped because of hair loss, enlarged prostate making urination difficult, ejaculation difficult as well. Prostate pain from it being enlarged. Testicular pain from shrunken testicles." – User Comment
"If you come off you will be in a better position than before. Maybe around 300-350. Not close to the 1200 you are now. You are also risking losing everything you have achieved." – Another Comment
✖️ Mental and Emotional Challenges:
"I’ve had such a mental struggle." – User Feedback
"I've experienced pretty bad anxiety some days (almost undoubtedly from the alcohol) I'm pretty panicked about coming off." – User Concerns
"Things I have noticed, I am very tired nearly all the time, my sex drive which used to be pretty relentless is nonexistent but I'm not all doom and gloom luckily." – User Experiencee
"Trying to come off after ~8 years. Starting to seem like I will not be able to come off, which sucks in a sense but i can live with it," - User comment on a Reddit discussion.
✖️ Increased Moodiness and Irritability:
"For me it’s been a real struggle... Way more moody, irritable, trouble sleeping, libido is almost nonexistent... the mood and irritability is way worse now than pre-treatment." – User Experiences
"I decided to stop entirely as I would be traveling on my honeymoon and I want to try for kids in the next few years." – User Comment (Indicating mood swings affecting personal life)
"The depression and anxiety when coming off was absolutely horrible," User Experience
✖️ Issues with Sperm Production, Fertility & Sexual Health:
"I can say my sperm count was very low 3 months after [<6 million per ml] and continues to be very low nearly 9 months after... I was expecting a much quicker recovery in regards to sperm production." – Another Comment
"Planning to start enclomiphene after 2-4 weeks depending on how I feel." – Another Perspective (Suggesting ongoing issues with fertility and sexual health)
✖️Impact on Family Planning and Relationships:
"I have been completely up front with my wife about what’s happening. And it’s all for us to have another child." - User Comments
"For better or for worse I guess 😅 Hopefully things don't get too rough but I'm going to do anything I can to mitigate it." – More Feedback (Highlighting the impact on personal relationships)
✖️ Less Energy and Motivation / Gym Motivation:
"As for being off TRT in general, I am definitely less motivated and have less energy, and a slightly less positive mood." – User Comment
"My strength has already diminished ever so slightly and with that, the motivation to hit the gym falls too." – Another Comment
✖️ Sleep Troubles:
"For me it’s been a real struggle... trouble sleeping..." – User Feedback
"Things I have noticed, I am very tired nearly all the time..." – Another User
Why Do Men Come Off TRT?
There are several reasons why men elect to stop TRT. Some of the most common reasons we could find include:
Side Effects While on TRT:
Some men experience side effects like polycythemia (increased red blood cell count), sleep apnea exacerbation, prostate issues, acne, or water retention. Side effects that for some will be enough to want to stop treatment.
A man shared his experience on a Reddit post, and he said "Sometimes I would see pictures of myself and would think ‘is that my face?’ because of how puffy it had become despite my body fat staying roughly the same or even leaner (I stay in fairly good shape)."
Another man commented "You'll deal with side effects like acne and have trouble managing your emotions.". This highlights not only the physical side effects like acne but also the psychological and emotional impacts that TRT can have. Emotional regulation can become a significant challenge, affecting mood stability and overall mental well-being.
However, for many men, the side effects of TRT do not outweigh the benefits of the treatment. As one man noted, "I've been on TRT for approximately 18 months, and the only notable side effect I've experienced is migraines." This perspective highlights that while some side effects may occur, they are often considered manageable or insignificant compared to the overall improvements in quality of life and health that TRT can provide. But, again, it will vary from person to person.
It has been said that TRT can negatively impact sperm production and fertility, but I couldn't find any evidence that this is 100% true. That being said, men often use Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) to improve fertility while on TRT.
Some men have shared comments about their experiences on a Reddit post, and here is what they said:
"I used 200ius hcg ed next to my daily T injection. When my wife and I started trying, it was an instant success. She got pregnant immediately."
"Knocked my girl up on TRT/HCG, since HCG has gone away getting #2 has been more work. Nothing yet trying for a year."
"I was on trt+ ( 500mg ) a week for 1.5 years quit it all cold turkey and within a year wife was pregnant"
One man.... I have been on im TRT for about 5 years. Wife and I decided to try for a baby. Waited about a month before I could get an appointment with the urologist. I went cold turkey off the TRT for that month. Fast forward to the past 4 days. Exhaustion, stomach pain, hives, vomited once.
A key reason for discontinuing TRT is the realization of having started the treatment prematurely or without a direct link to low testosterone levels. This reconsideration often arises from a deeper understanding of TRT's long-term commitments and its implications, especially in younger individuals.
As highlighted by a forum a Reddit user: "You are young and your numbers aren't bad at all. TRT is a lifelong commitment as you will shut down your natural production." This comment underscores the importance of careful deliberation before starting TRT, particularly for those who are younger with borderline testosterone levels.
Another member advised caution: "And if you get on TRT now you’ll be on it for 60 years... At your age I’d be cautious.". Another person also emphasised on age, saying "My only real concern for you is your age... you have a lot more years to find out the side effects."
How To Come Off TRT Safely
It's vital to take certain precautions when coming off TRT to ease symptoms and avoid crashes:
Life After TRT
While the initial transition can be very difficult, natural testosterone production often gradually recovers to some degree, easing symptoms. Additionally, the body and mind eventually adapt to lower hormone levels to an extent. Making positive lifestyle changes is key.
One man who quit TRT remarks: "I have adapted fairly well...I realize I may never have the same drive ambition and motivation I had on TRT but that’s just life."
With careful, gradual tapering under medical supervision, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and managing expectations, transitioning off testosterone replacement therapy can be successful for many. Patience through setbacks and focus on overall wellbeing is key. The human body and mind has a remarkable ability to heal and adapt if properly supported.