Table 1:

Potential benefits and harms of testosterone supplementation in men with testosterone deficiency syndrome*,17,18

Organ systemBenefitsHarms
Erectile function/libidoImprovementNone
Depression/mood/fatigueImprovementAggressive behaviour
ErythropoiesisIncrease in hematocritIncreased risk of polycythemia, embolism
Skeletal muscleIncrease in fat-free massNone
Bone metabolismPrevention of osteoporosisNone
Cardiovascular systemImprovement in congestive heart failure, exercise capacityIncreased risk of thromboembolic cardiovascular events
 Benign prostatic hyperplasiaNone beyond manifestations of testosterone deficiency syndromeMarginal increase in volume and prostate-specific antigen level
 Cancer (metastatic or high risk of recurrence)Absolute contraindicationRecurrence and rapid progression
 Cancer (localized and treated)None beyond manifestations of testosterone deficiency syndromePotential exacerbation of subclinical residual cancer
TesticleNone beyond manifestations of testosterone deficiency syndromeAtrophy or impairment of spermatogenesis