Houston we have a problem

Low testosterone issues, impacts on health & marriage, treatments, etc.
HappyWifey
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Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby HappyWifey » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:13 pm

My DH and i have been married for a year now, and it didn't take long for me to realize something was wrong w/ his sex drive. He rarely wants or even thinks about sex, and i could be naked around him all day w/o it affecting him. From what i've read on here, i strongly suspect the issue is low testosterone. I know the easy answer is, just go get it tested, but we've been holding off, mainly because of money issues. We have no health insurance, the costs of the initial test isn't the big problem, i'm just worried about ongoing treatment. Is there any "cure" at all or would we be looking at treatment for the rest of his life? (He's only 20.) We've been wanting to get some health coverage, but w/ our current situation we really cannot afford any more expense. (That and i have this fear that what if low T isn't the problem, then i have no idea what is.) So my question, what is the cost of low T treatments, and what do the treatments consist of?

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Psalm33
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby Psalm33 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:27 pm

My cost at a compounding pharmacy with no insurance coverage because of my high deductible is $56 per month. Axiron was $350 after the initial trial period so I couldn't continue with that kind of payment.

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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby txtwindad » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:50 pm

I think a vial of cypionate costs around a hundred bucks without insurance. But it has enough T to last for several months. What's more expensive is blood work and a competent HTR doctor to monitor him.

But, really before jumping into t-therapy, you need to find out what's wrong. There could well be a health issue that needs attention.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby ophelia » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:38 pm

^^^^I agree, he needs to see a doctor. Even if he has low T, there could be a more serious root cause.

My dh was symptomatic in his twenties too. We waited way too long to get help. I know it's daunting to work this all out when you don't have insurance but you can do it. Take baby steps. Since you don't have insurance you don't have to pander to an insurance co. while trying to choose a doctor. Find a doctor who is reasonably competent and will allow you to pay out of pocket. They do exist. If he has a doctor he used to use, and that he likes, you can start there. Make phone calls. You can find out a lot of info over the phone and not get charged for it.

My husband takes weekly shots and a 10 ml vial will last a few months. I think Costco charges $85 for a vial.
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OldMarriedLady
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby OldMarriedLady » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:38 am

I'm a meticulous record keeper (I have mild OCD :oops: ) and I looked up what we spent last year on DH's testosterone therapy and related expenses. DH sees a doctor affiliated with BodyLogic MD who specializes in hormone replacement therapy. Since this doctor is not in our insurance company's network, none of the expenses are covered by our insurance. However, the testosterone and other prescriptions are covered because we fill them at a network pharmacy.

DH sees the doctor twice a year now and has his blood tested twice a year also (in the beginning of his treatment it was four times a year). Total cost for two doctor visits and two blood tests was $1200.00 last year.

Besides injectable testosterone cypionate, DH is also prescribed Arimidex to control his estrogen, and was taking Danazol last year to control his DHT (dihydrotestosterone) but no longer has to take that. Total cost for the prescription co-pays last year was $220.00. (I don't know what the cost of these prescriptions would be without insurance coverage but you could research that on a pharmacy website.)

A year's supply of syringes and needles for injecting the testosterone was $35.00.

I was very surprised to see how much we spent on all the various supplements DH's doctor recommends. DH takes DHEA, reacted zinc, CoQ10, Vitamin D, and EPA-DHA (fish oil capsules). The doctor recommends a particular manufacturer for the DHEA, zinc and fish oil, and not the generics that can be found at Walmart for a lot cheaper. :? A year's worth of all of these supplements was $745.00. :shock:

Total cost for a year's worth of DH's treatment: $2200.00.

My DH is 55 years old though, and your DH at his age probably wouldn't need all of those supplements for general and heart health.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby happilymarriedkate » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:30 am

I agree that you need to take one step at a time and go to the Dr first. However, for future reference there is a pharmaceutical assistance program for Arimidex through Astra Zeneca for people with nonprescription drug coverage with income below 48,000 (for a couple). Not sure if this applies to you. If you want more info, you can go to needymeds.org. I have not been able to find a program for cypionate.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby ophelia » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:50 am

It's also likely that a doctor will give you a discount if you're paying out of pocket. They often charge different rates for those without insurance vs. what they charge insurance companies.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby spiritfire777 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:12 pm

we get hubbys treatment of T Gel .. a year at a time worth.. for free.. :) please see the following link... http://www.auxilium.com/product-portfol ... e-program/

and the application and info.. here...http://www.auxilium.com/wp-content/them ... eb2014.pdf


as a note though be aware that a lot of things can effect him at his age.. remember he is ONLY in his 20's... diet.. general health.. porn use... all can effect him.. so be sure he sees a doc and has ruled out all others before doing something this drastic.... .. my hubby didn't start showing symptoms until his vitamin D levels were very low and he had a full blood count done to see what his trouble was at age 50 ...
Last edited by spiritfire777 on Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby ledgemoor » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:18 am

HappyWifey, sorry you are going thru this. He probably does have low testosterone.

Causes of low testosterone are divided into two categories. Primary Hypogonadism and Secondary Hypogonadism.

Primary just means that everything is OK, except that your testicles aren't doing the job. This is typical in older men (50-ish). If he were an old guy like me, they would want to run some other tests just to cover the bases (it turns out I needed T3 (thyroid) as well), but basically give you testosterone and send you on your way.

Secondary hypogonadism means that your testes are fine, but there is some other underlying cause. For instance, low Follicle-Stimulating Hormone levels would cause low testosterone because your testes aren't getting the signal to make testosterone. He could have primary hypogonadism, but at his age it is less likely to be primary and more likely to be secondary. Secondary is obviously harder to diagnose and treat.

Anyway, my tests cost around $1500. The testosterone is around $8/week. We are 100% self-pay too. Do shop around. We found a local nonprofit hospital had the lowest lab costs, and gave a 40% discount for cash payment. The doctor's apt is less than $200. I saw him three or four times the first year. He has agreed to see me annually now, but I still go every 6 months. As Ophelia says, he gives something off since he doesn't have to mess with billing insurance. But you have to ask.

I don't need Arimidex. It can often be avoided by keeping the testosterone dose on the low side.

BodyLogic MD is expensive, and they tend to push implanted pellets which I don't like (never personally tried them). Look in the yellow pages for "compounding pharmacies" and ask for a bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy list. But if BodyLogic is all you can find, they will do. Just say "no" to the pellets and ask for injections.

Anyway, do get this taken care of. Whatever it costs will be cheaper than a divorce and an unhealthy husband. He can avoid future illnesses and related expenses by taking care of this now.

A simple testosterone test isn't very expensive if you want to start there. In my state you can just walk in any lab and ask for some tests. Not sure about a testosterone test tho. Don't forget the county public health clinic. I'm not big on government healthcare, but I've gotta say that if the county can do what you need, the service is great and if you go in first thing in the morning there usually isn't any wait. And you can't beat the price. Pricing is income-based. I pay full price, but it is still cheap. They probably couldn't treat him, but probably would write a scrip for a testosterone test. Call around.

Ophelia, it is over $100 now :-(. I paid only $65 for the last one. But I want to keep my wifey happy wifey too! :D
Last edited by ledgemoor on Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby Nvr2Late » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:34 am

The lab work will be the most expensive unless you have great insurance. Our vials of t. cypionate only cost about $46 in Ohio. I guess there is a variance in either size of vials or local pharmacy retail.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby ledgemoor » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:55 pm

Mine are 10 ml, 200 mg/ml. 2 grams in other words.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby Nvr2Late » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:27 pm

I checked and ours are the same size and dosage as yours, Ledgemoor.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby SquarePants » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:58 pm

ledgemoor wrote:BodyLogic MD is expensive, and they tend to push implanted pellets which I don't like (never personally tried them).

I think that it depends on the doctor. Mine never pushed pellets. She suggested subcutaneous injections as a first choice, but also suggested that intramuscular injections or gels could be an option. The consultations are expensive ($400-$500 per hour), but the labs are typical rates, and I've been able to shop around to where ever I want to bring my prescription.

Depending on the urgency, you could try to get your GP to order an initial blood test to check his levels. The GP will likely say that his levels are normal, unless they are incredibly low.

I was able to get my 1 mg Arimidex pills for about a dollar a pill. I take a small fraction of that per week, so it's been pretty cheap for me. Lately, I've gotten my local compounding pharmacy to dive the dosages into tiny capsules, but it's still pretty cheap.

If you decide to start shopping around, here are some tips:

There are four main costs: drugs, consultations, lab work, and (optional) supplements. Some doctors really push supplements.

Different clinics have different business models:
  • Internet style clinics may actually offer free consultations, and reasonably priced labs, but require you to buy medications from them at inflated prices. They are likely prescribe anything you want.
  • Clinics like BodyLogicMD charge a lot for the consultations, but allow you to buy your medications anywhere you want, and lab prices are reasonable.
  • Some doctors may push hard to sell supplements, which can add up to a lot. The most unethical practice is from doctors who will push proprietary blends that you can only by from them at inflated prices.
  • Beware of "executive" style clinics. They charge a lot for everything, and will try to slip in extra "wellness" tests for extra profit. Be wary whenever you see the word "comprehensive"

Ideally, an competent GP could take care of all your needs at the best prices. However, a GP that competent this field is extremely rare.

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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby OldMarriedLady » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:24 pm

SquarePants wrote:Clinics like BodyLogicMD charge a lot for the consultations, but allow you to buy your medications anywhere you want, and lab prices are reasonable.

DH's BodyLogic doctor only charges $275.00 for consultations, and $325.00 for lab testing. It probably varies from one clinic to the next, or maybe prices are higher in different parts of the country.
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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby SquarePants » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:46 pm

That may be what I'm paying for follow ups, where the consultation is only 30 minutes. The initial lab work was over $500, though follow ups are cheaper.

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Re: Cost of testosterone treatment

Postby mom210 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:55 pm

Dh goes to a Dr that practices concierge medicine. The first year it cost him$2400 this included labs, and subsequent years will run $ 950.
For this dh receives unlimited visits and phone calls and can consult his Dr about all his meds, not just his testosterone.

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Houston we have a problem

Postby HappyWifey » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:37 pm

After 4 years of marriage, (at which these symptoms became apparent almost immediately) my husband has finally had blood work done to test testosterone levels. The results came back labeled "normal". Lab work was done through Quest diagnostics and Personalabs. The only results the test shows are: TESTOSTERONE, TOTAL, LC/MS/MS 449 Normal Range 250-1100 ng/dL SLI

So is 449 actually normal for a 23 yr old? He was 19 when we married, and his drive has always been really low (averaging sex once or twice a month now- I have no desire to initiate anymore when his disinterest is so apparent). Other symptoms include tiredness, but he's never had a problem with erections.

So assuming he does need testosterone therapy, what are our treatment options? Find a urologist that hopefully will treat it? Our insurance (sharing plan actually, not actual insurance) doesn't cover doctor visits, lab work, or prescriptions, so this will likely be all out of pocket, and our funds are limited. We're also hoping to begin trying to conceive within the next year. Will treatment affect his fertility? And he has tried some natural treatments, like pills and supplements, but no change, perhaps he wasn't consistent enough though. It seems to be a touchy subject whenever I bring it up, he's aware there's a problem, and was willing to get tested, but won't talk about it any more than necessary. I'm just praying this is what the problem is, otherwise we're back to square one with no ideas.

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Re: Houston we have a problem

Postby Unfulfilled » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:03 pm

Total T level of about 400 is about normal for a 60 year old man. So absolutely 450 would seem very low to me for a 23 year old. I would expect to be close to the top of the normal range for a 23 year old.

My level at 51 are last check about 400 and for a 59 year old I woild expect closer to 500 to be more age alproproate.

There is at least one person who postw on TMB whoof I recall correctly, is I think close to or over 60 years old and the dr he sees likes to keep him at about 900 to 1,000. So again 450 for a 23 year old would seem very low and more normal for a man literally TWICE his age!

Each person is different and hormones are extremely touchy and changing one hormone an upset the balance with the others so it is tricky.

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Re: Houston we have a problem

Postby Dale » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:42 pm

That is very low for a 23 year old. To put it into perspective, I was diagnosed at age 46 with low T and my level at that time was 500. So, his levels are definitely low, which probably accounts for his fatigue and low drive.

However, testosterone replacement therapy adversely affects fertility, so if you're planning to have children, that very much needs to be taken into account when seeking treatment.

Dale

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Re: Houston we have a problem

Postby Hoosier52 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:38 pm

I am 65. My total T at last check was 1100. The Quest and Labcorp have recently set a lower T level for "normal." It's bunk. Most MD's are totally unqualified to administer TRT. Seek T experts. I use Defy Medical. They are unmatched IMO. They treat 10,000 patients in all 50 states. Yes, you'll pay out of pocket, but its far cheaper than a divorce attorney. Give Defy a call. It's free.


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