June 30, 2023

How to Get TRT: Prescription and Steps

photo of Sarah Glinski, RD

Written By

Sarah Glinski, RD

photo of Russell Van Maele, DO

Medically Reviewed By

Russell Van Maele, DO

Lifeforce Physician

How to Get TRT: Prescription and Steps

Testosterone is an extremely important human hormone. It drives the development of male characteristics, but it also regulates several bodily functions, including your energy levels, sexual function, muscle mass, and bone density, as well as your overall well-being.

Some men’s bodies don’t produce enough testosterone, especially as they age, or if they have obesity, poorly-managed type-2 diabetes, or obstructive sleep apnea.

Known as male hypogonadism, testosterone deficiency can significantly impact your daily life, energy levels, and sexual health. It can also depress your mood and impact memory and concentration. The good news: TRT can help restore healthy testosterone levels.

If you’re wondering how to get TRT, the signs and symptoms associated with low testosterone, the types of TRT available, and how to monitor your results, read on.

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How to Get TRT

It’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of getting TRT. While you may want to avoid using a doctor to prescribe TRT, there are several dangers and legal considerations of using off-market or unprescribed TRT.

Wondering how to get a doctor to prescribe testosterone? The first step is to talk to your doctor about any symptoms of low T you may already have. See below.

How to Spot Low Testosterone

Before using TRT, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of low testosterone. 

Signs of low T and/or hormonal imbalance in men include:

  • Loss of interest in sex

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Low sperm count

  • Reduced muscle mass

  • Depression

  • Lack of energy

If you have any of these symptoms, ask your doctor to check your testosterone levels with a blood test. You can also use the Lifeforce Diagnostic, which includes a full hormone panel and consultation with a Lifeforce clinician to interpret your results and provide a personalized TRT plan.

You can also look into different methods to increase your testosterone levels naturally, including prioritizing strength training and optimizing vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium. See our article: 12 Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone.

measure hormones blood drawDiagnostic Criteria for Low Testosterone

Even if you have some of the symptoms of low T, it’s important to accurately measure your testosterone levels. Doctors do this with a simple blood test that usually takes less than five minutes.

For people assigned male at birth, normal testosterone levels are between 300 and 750 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). However, Lifeforce physicians like to see levels in the 700-1,200 ng/dL range for optimal performance. Low testosterone is diagnosed if levels are below 300 ng/dL.

Testosterone can be either free or bound.

  • Free testosterone isn’t attached to proteins. It’s easier for your body to use testosterone in this form, which is considered the “active” form of testosterone. Doctors may measure your free testosterone to help diagnose certain medical conditions. 

  • Bound testosterone is attached to proteins in your body.

A testosterone blood test will usually look at total testosterone (measuring both the free and attached forms). 

The FDA approves TRT only for hypogonadism or low testosterone associated with a medical condition. That’s why it’s important to work with a doctor or healthcare provider who can assess your testosterone levels via lab work and prescribe testosterone replacement legally.

How to Get TRT for Low Testosterone

You can get TRT for low testosterone only after you receive a diagnosis. Once you have one, you can get a prescription for TRT, typically from an endocrinologist or urologist. Next, you’ll access your TRT prescription through a healthcare provider or a pharmacy, via one of several delivery methods. 

You can also access TRT through the Lifeforce Membership, which includes members-only hormone therapy, biomarker testing, and a telehealth consult every three months with a Lifeforce clinician. You’ll also have a member dashboard to track your goals and biomarker changes, and one-on-one coaching with a certified health coach.

Pro Tip: Optimizing your protein intake can help balance your hormones naturally. See our article: How to Balance Hormones: 9 Natural Methods.

TRT Methods

Now that you know how to get TRT, it’s important to consider the different types of testosterone available. TRT can be provided via injections, topical medications, tablets, or pellets.

  • Injections: Testosterone injections are typically administered every two to three weeks. The testosterone is injected straight into the muscle. One advantage of this method is that it doesn’t require daily administration. However, it can cause your hormone levels to fluctuate, leading to changes in libido, energy, and mood.

  • Topical: Topical medications are applied to a particular place on the body. Topical forms of testosterone such as gels, solutions, and patches provide more stable testosterone levels. However, they may cause a rash on the applied area.

  • Tablets: Testosterone tablets are less popular because they often need to be taken up to four times daily. Plus, they may have a negative impact on the liver.

  • Pellet Injections: Pellets containing testosterone may be surgically implanted into the fat beneath the skin, and then replaced every three to six months.

To determine which type of TRT is right for you, consult your doctor or a clinician experienced with TRT.

Ongoing Monitoring During TRT

It’s important to monitor testosterone levels three to six months after starting TRT, to ensure that testosterone levels move into the desired range. Regular monitoring of testosterone levels helps your doctor adjust your dosage and address potential side effects of TRT.

With the Lifeforce Membership, you’ll retest your testosterone levels (along with other key biomarkers) every three months to track how your body responds to TRT. Your Lifeforce clinician will use this data to fine-tune your treatment plan to match your goals.

How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of TRT?

The effects of TRT can vary in terms of onset and duration. You may see an improvement in your libido and sexual function in as little as three weeks, with maximal effects in three to six months. 

You may also notice improvements in your quality of life after one month of TRT. Improvements in depression scores have been observed in three to six weeks, but they tend to peak around 18 to 30 weeks after starting TRT.

It often takes several months to see an improvement in other health parameters, such as red blood cell formation, lipid profile, insulin sensitivity, body composition, inflammation, and bone mass.

Pro Tip: Just looking to improve your sex drive? DHEA may help. See our article: 14 Libido Boosters to Get You Back in the Mood.

Benefits of TRT

There are many benefits of TRT. Some are physical or metabolic, while others are mental or emotional.

Side Effects of TRT

In a small number of men, certain side effects of TRT will show up quickly, including acne, swelling of the ankles or breasts, and breathing disturbances during sleep. Some men may also experience high red blood cell counts, which can increase the risk of blood clots.

There is currently some debate about whether men using TRT have an increased risk of heart problems such as stroke, heart attack, or death related to heart disease. A review article published in 2019 found that TRT actually improved symptoms of angina in people with low T and ischemic heart disease. It also increased the ability to exercise in patients with heart failure.

For a time, some in the medical community were concerned that TRT would increase the risk of prostate cancer, but a 2019 review of research did not support those fears.

When you get TRT through the Lifeforce Membership, you’ll receive quarterly biomarker testing, which will look at markers of both heart disease and prostate cancer. Plus, you’ll work with a clinician to ensure that you’re receiving the correct dose of TRT.


If you’re wondering how to get TRT, it’s important to get a diagnosis of low testosterone first via simple and quick blood work. Testosterone replacement therapy can lead to improvements in energy levels, body composition, metabolic profile, and sexual health. 

If you’re looking for customized support to help manage the symptoms of low testosterone, the Lifeforce Membership can help. You’ll receive quarterly biomarker testing, regular clinician consults, and one-on-one coaching with a certified health coach. Learn more on the Lifeforce Membership page.

tony robbins energyLIVE BETTER, LONGER

85% of Lifeforce members report improved quality of life within their first three months.

Optimize your health and longevity with the Lifeforce Diagnostic blood test plus Membership, based on research in the Tony Robbins bestseller, Life Force. We’ll measure 40+ biomarkers that drive your mental and physical health, then get you on the path to optimized health.

  • Biomarker testing every three months

  • Expert clinical support

  • 1-on-1 health coaching

  • Members-only hormone optimization

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult a physician prior to use if pregnant/nursing, taking any medication, have any medical conditions, or are being treated for depression, anxiety, or sleep disorder. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in any activity that requires alertness while using these products. 

This article was medically reviewed by: 

Russell Van Maele, DO, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine

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