Testosterone therapy may be used for a variety of medical conditions. It may come with side effects, such as the increased risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, lower urinary tract problems, sleep problems, and metabolic diseases.

The effect of testosterone therapy on cholesterol levels is currently unclear and needs more research. Some studies suggest that testosterone therapy could have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, while other studies suggest the opposite.

Testosterone therapy is usually given for one of two reasons. First, some people have a condition known as hypogonadism. If you have hypogonadism, your body doesn’t make enough testosterone. Testosterone is an important hormone. It plays a key role in the development and maintenance of male physical traits.

The second reason is to treat the natural decline of testosterone. Testosterone levels start to decline in males after age 30, but the decline is gradual. Some may want to make up for the lost muscle mass and sex drive that can result from this decrease in testosterone.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the bloodstream. People need some cholesterol for healthy cell production. A buildup of too much LDL cholesterol, however, leads to the formation of plaque in the walls of arteries. This is known as atherosclerosis.

When a person has atherosclerosis, plaque inside the artery wall slowly builds up and bulges into the artery. This can narrow the arteries enough to significantly reduce blood flow.

When that happens in an artery of the heart called a coronary artery, the result is chest pain called angina. When the bulge of plaque suddenly ruptures, a blood clot forms around it. This can completely block the coronary arteries, leading to a heart attack.

HDL cholesterol is often referred to as the “good” cholesterol. It takes LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, and other fats (like triglycerides) from your bloodstream to your liver.

Once LDL cholesterol is in your liver, it can eventually be filtered out of your body. A low HDL level is considered a risk factor for heart disease. A high HDL has a protective effect.

Some scientists have observed males who take testosterone medications may have a decrease in their HDL levels. However, the results of studies haven’t been consistent. Other scientists found testosterone didn’t affect HDL levels.

The effect of testosterone on HDL cholesterol may vary depending on the person. Age may be a factor. The type or dose of your testosterone medication may also influence its effect on your cholesterol.

Currently, the effect of testosterone on cholesterol isn’t clear. As more and more people consider taking testosterone supplements, it’s encouraging to know that there are a lot of researchers looking into the safety and value of this type of hormone replacement therapy.

Researchers have yet to provide a definitive answer about testosterone and cholesterol. It’s important to understand that there may be a connection. If you decide to use testosterone therapy, make sure you consider all of the risks and benefits.

Follow your doctor’s advice about a heart-healthy lifestyle, and take any prescribed medications. This can help keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and other manageable risk factors under control.

The effects of taking testosterone supplements on cholesterol have not been proven. Living a lifestyle that leads to healthy cholesterol levels is always recommended, but may be especially important while taking testosterone.