Testosterone does much more than drive a man’s libido. It’s essential to everything from red blood cell production to building muscle and bone mass. When the body doesn’t produce enough, it can significantly compromise a man’s mood, energy levels, and cognitive function.
It’s natural for men in their 20s to hit their prime testosterone levels and start to detect a decline in their mid-30s, but others experience unnaturally low hormone levels for their age, causing a serious drag on daily life and mental health. Unfortunately, low T is way more common, under-diagnosed, and stigmatized than it should be.
The stats are actually pretty astounding. Nearly 39% of men aged 45 years or older suffer from testosterone deficiency, and average levels have declined precipitously for decades. In fact, today’s average 30-year-old male has 17% less testosterone than an average 30-year-old man from 2000 (just 20 years ago). No one knows exactly why average sperm and testosterone counts are decreasing so rapidly, but it’s rather surprising given how little anyone talks about it.
Thankfully, change is in the air. Like so much of healthcare these days, low testosterone consultation and hormone treatment offer care virtually. In this article we review Hone — formerly known as Peak — and outline how they’re rewriting the rules against traditionally expensive, clinic-based hormone therapy. We’ll also cover how their platform makes it easier to treat the devastating symptoms low T can wreak on men, show you how it compares to alternative telehealth clinics for testosterone, and explain why it’s worth trying.
Hone Health TRT
Pros and Cons
- Convenient: While most TRT providers require multiple trips to the lab, most of Hone’s clients are able to get diagnoses and treated via an at-home test kit that collects your blood sample with a painless finger prick. Overall, Hone removes a lot of the friction traditionally associated with accessing quality hormone therapy.
- Competitively Pricing: Hone offers some of the least expensive TRT on the market compared to both traditional in-person clinics, as well as other telehealth alternatives.
- High-Quality Personalized Care: Hormone’s aren’t one-size-fits all. Hone’s network of doctors includes distinguished hormone specialists from top med schools work with you to help customize an individual care plan that’s just for you that’s more holistic than trying to treat one symptom at a time. With a 4.8 /5 star rating on Trustpilot, there are plenty of vocal customers praising their hormone optimization experience on Hone’s platform.
- Not Cheap: In general, hormone therapy isn’t cheap. Between the initial one-time test kit cost, plus the recurring cost of care + meds, Hone’s treatments will likely cost you a couple hundred per month. TLDR; there are less expensive options on the market to boost your testosterone.
- Long wait times: We’ve seen complaints from customers about delays when trying to schedule appointments with a specialist on Hone’s team. Others claim their experience was fast and smooth. Just like many fast-growing telemedicine startups, Hone’s service is popular, and occasionally demand may overload the young company’s capacity to serve new patients in a timely manner.
- Hard to stop: Although Hone’s team is available to help you ween off testosterone should you ever decide to quit, TRT is generally a difficult treatment to quit, because, well, you’re likely to experience all the same symptoms of low T that made you start treatment to begin with.
What does Hone Health offer men with low-T?
Hone is a popular telemedicine company that enables men to treat low testosterone with diagnosis and guidance from a network of board-certified doctors – all without leaving home.
The “how” is simple. Hone mails you an at-home testing kit that includes everything you need to accurately measure your current hormone levels. Just prick your finger to collect a few drops of blood in the provided collection cards, then mail back the sample in a pre-paid envelope to a CLIA-certified lab for processing. Once your results are ready, you’ll schedule a video chat with a certified doctor who reviews them with you, understands how you are feeling, and recommends a treatment plan that targets your specific needs.
Low T Treatment Comparison: Hone Health vs Roman vs Ageless Male vs Low T Center
Well-known brands in the testosterone therapy space are over-the-counter men’s health supplements – like Roman and Ageless Male – and in-person health clinics like Low T Center. Here’s how Hone stacks up:
Testosterone Treatments: Hone vs Low T Center vs Roman vs Ageless Male
|Types of Low-T Treatments||Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)||Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)||Nutritional supplement|
|How to access treatment||At-home||In-person visits to clinic||Shipped to your house||Shipped to your house|
|Doctor's Consultation Required?||✅ Virtual||✅ In-person||❌||❌|
*Will soon accept HSA/FSA cards
*But often only for preventative services, not TRT.
|Geographic Availability||40 states|
*Not yet available in NY, CA, or FL.
Full list here.
|Monthly Subscription Pricing||Preventative Plan: $40/month|
Proactive Plan: $70/month
Pharmaceutical Plan: $160/month
(Full details here)
|Insurance Hybrid Plan: $85/month|
Self-Pay Plan: $135/month
Care Plan: $250/month
(Full details here)
Quarterly: $87 every 3 months ($29/month)
|Initial Testing Fee||$45 for test kit, lab analysis, and consultation.||$99 for in-person assessment including testing and consultation.||❌||❌|
How is Hone different from other hormone treatment providers?
Hone Health is unique relative to both in-person clinics and other online TRT clinics for several reasons.
1) Convenience via telemedicine
Telemedicine allows patients and healthcare professionals to connect via video, phone, or email for diagnosis, treatment, and general care. Through Hone’s telemedicine services, men can have access to hormone test kits and TRT treatments from their living room couch.
In the era of COVID-19, the ability to access healthcare services without visiting a doctor’s office is invaluable. Beyond that, the cost of transportation or taking time off work no longer act as deterrents for men in need of medical care. For those who act as caregivers or live in remote locations, Hone enables patients to access the care they need without sacrificing the time or money to do so.
2) Quality care
A quick look at Hone’s team of doctors shows an impressive breadth of expertise, many with med school alma maters like Dartmouth, Harvard, and Brown. Hone Health also works exclusively with labs that are CLIA and CAP certified, meaning lab test quality is monitored by the government and peer-reviewed by lab professionals.
For an at-home TRT solution, the guarantee of high-quality care is vital. Hone reduces the emotional and physical stress of searching for the right team of experts by doing the vetting for you. All patients have to do is log on to Hone’s portal and speak with a specialist. No hassle.
3) Personalized male hormone health
In their own words, Hone delivers “total male individualized health.” Instead of treating one symptom at a time, the company aims to treat male healthcare holistically. It strives to provide patient care that’s customized to each of its customers.
Here’s why: Before co-founding Hone, CEO Saad Alam struggled to find his own team of TRT specialists to treat his low-T symptoms. Armed with that drawn-out, negative experience and the realization that many men are equally struggling, Alam and the company’s mission became simple: To virtually connect patients with top hormone specialists, and to emphasize that TRT isn’t intimidating, expensive, or overcomplicated.
How to get HRT from Hone Health
Step 1: Order Hone’s at-home hormone test
Ordering a kit on Hone’s website simply requires filling out a contact form and giving delivery and billing info. When your kit arrives, it’ll include comprehensive instructions on how and when to take the hormone test. They recommend that you take the test early in the morning to capture their true levels.
After sending the blood sample off to the lab, your test results should be ready in about four to five days. Once you receive them, you will schedule a video chat with a board-certified doctor.
Step 2: Consult with a board-certified physician
During your consultation, the doctor will likely throw you a lot of information, so be ready to take notes. (Or don’t and just wait for the detailed diagnosis at the end 👍) The consultation usually lasts around 30 minutes, offering you and the physician ample time to answer questions and talk through your results, recommended treatment, and potential side effects.
Most consultations are conducted virtually, but in some cases the doctor might request additional lab work or an in-person visit to make sure you can safely continue with your treatment plan. In those instances, the Hone team will arrange for the additional tests to be sent to you or schedule an in-home visit.
Step 3: Relax and wait for your Hone hormone subscription to arrive
If you decide to move forward with treatment, every month you’ll get your hormone therapy prescriptions delivered to your door. With the help of your doctor, you can adjust dosages or refine your Rx combo as you both track your progress. Depending on treatment, you can start feeling better in as little as a couple of weeks, though it can take two to three months to start feeling the full benefits of your treatment.
Hone TRT Reviews: What are customers saying?
Because Hone Health is relatively new, its online reviews are still fairly limited. That said, the service boasts a 4.8/5 on TrustPilot from 380 reviews at the time of publishing. We’ve shared a few that capture the general sentiment below, and encourage you to look at Hone’s website, which also has a section that highlights stories of men who have used and benefited from their treatment.
The Verdict: Is Hone Health’s hormone replacement therapy (HRT) legit?
If you’re experiencing any low-T symptoms like fatigue or decreased libido, it’s definitely worth having your hormone levels tested. Hone eliminating the need to visit a doctor’s office and creating an open channel between patients and physicians online makes this a no-brainer. Unlike supplements like Roman and Ageless Male, Hone Health also offers Rx prescriptions that have been vetted by medical professionals and customized to your unique situation. Plus, their $45 price point (for the initial test, lab work, and doctor’s consultation) is extremely competitive, as testosterone tests can normally cost anywhere from $50 to $300.
If you’re looking for more affordable, reliable TRT or you’re curious how it works, Hone offers the most convenient way to test your hormone levels and get a personalized treatment plan prescribed by a specialist doctor. To get started, order an at-home testing kit today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is my testosterone level "normal"?
According to Harvard Health, “[Testosterone] levels peak by early adulthood and drop as you age—up to 2% per year beginning around age 30. Normal levels are between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL.”
Testosterone is the primary male hormone. It’s an androgen (i.e. steroid) hormone that promotes the characteristics we attribute to men, including sperm production, penis and testes size, muscle mass, facial and body hair, and voice deepening. It’s also vital for red blood cell production and increased bone density.
What are common symptoms of low T?
Men with low T may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Fatigue (common)
- Sexual dysfunction (common)
- Physical weakness
- Depression, moodiness, anxiety
- Increased body fat
- Loss of muscle
- Cognitive difficulties
- Low libido
Having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have low-T, since there are many contributing factors to consider. However, it’s worth having your hormone levels checked to determine if low testosterone might be partially to blame.
What causes low T?
There are many factors to consider when determining significant hormone deficiency, although low-T is linked to:
- Short-term or chronic illness
- Alcohol abuse
- Certain medications
- Physical injuries
Low T (aka Male Hypogonadism) is caused when the testes simply fail to produce the necessary amounts of testosterone, of which there are two kinds:
- Primary Hypogonadism is when the testes fail to produce enough testosterone, despite receiving brain signals to do so
- Secondary (or Central) Hypogonadism occurs when the brain fails to properly signal the testes to produce enough testosterone
Testosterone replacement therapy is the most popular prescription recommended for treating both or either of these conditions.
What is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)?
TRT is the most popular form of male hormone replacement treatment (HRT) that boosts the amount of testosterone in your body to counter the effects of low-T.
Testosterone dosages are small and most are applied daily. (Injections usually occur biweekly or monthly.) Each form of TRT – creams, injections, patches, or troches – comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s important to speak with a doctor about what may work best for your lifestyle.
The benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for men with low-T include:
- Boosted energy
- Improved mood
- Increased libido and sexual function
- Improved cognition
- Boosted muscle mass
- Increased bone density
- Reduced body fat
Bear in mind, hormone replacement can effectively alleviate the symptoms of low-T, but it’s not a “fountain of youth.” (How cool would that be?) The goal of TRT is simply to get your hormone levels back to normal, not to counter the natural process of aging.
How do you administer TRT?
There are several ways to receive testosterone, although dosages are small and most are applied daily. Injections usually occur biweekly or monthly. Each form of TRT – creams, injections, patches, or troches – comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s important to speak with a doctor about what may work best for your lifestyle.
What are the side effects of TRT?
Potential side effects of TRT that many men report in the short-term post treatment include:
- Acne, hair growth, oily skin
- Flushing of skin
- Breast swelling or tenderness
- Sleep apnea
- Ankle swelling/fluid retention (edema)
That said, the long-term effects of TRT are still unclear. There’s an ongoing debate around potential risks to the heart or prostate. Doctors believe more randomized tests are required for any findings to be deemed conclusive, but it’s important to be aware of any and all potential health risks. The more alarming potential long-term side effects of testosterone replacement include:
- Cardiovascular stress (potential for stroke or heart attack)
- High red blood cell count (potential blood clotting)
- Increased chance of prostate cancer
Men with a history of prostate or breast cancer, obesity, sleep apnea, or cardiac, hepatic, or renal disease, are often advised against TRT treatment. The physician will cover all of this in detail during the consultation, if you decide to move forward with Hone Health.
Is TRT covered by insurance?
Many insurances cover TRT treatment when testosterone levels fall below an accepted minimum norm of 300 ng/dL, but every insurance provider is different. Be sure to consult with yours to understand which medications are covered and if there’s any documentation you must provide for reimbursment. Some TRT providers may require multiple hormone tests during specific times in a day to prove that you qualify for coverage.
Does Hone Health accept insurance?
Hone Health does not currently accept health insurance. However, the out of pocket expense is reasonable given that their overall service includes access to a certified doctor and repeat lab work every 90 days. Hone’s pricing is competitive with most other digital TRT clinics, and their process is extremely convenient, including at-home kit for blood sample collection.
What are best alternatives to Hone Health?
While Hone Health is arguably the most popular online TRT provider in the US, there are many telehealth alternatives, including:
Blokes Read our in-depth review of Blokes →
- Peter Uncaged Read our in-depth review of Peter Uncaged →
- Maximus Read our in-depth review of Maximus →
- Roman Read our in-depth review of Ro Testosterone Support→
Where is Hone Health available?
Due to state specific regulations, Hone Health currently operates in 34 states, including:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
The company is rapidly growing and planning to expand into those states, and possibly others, by the end of the year. It’s worth triple-checking their availability by emailing Hone directly: [email protected].
How to get HRT from Hone Health
Getting hormone optimization treatment from Hone is a simple two step process. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: At-home hormone test kit
After ordering online, you’ll receive a kit that measures the levels of 8 hormones:
- Free testosterone: Testosterone that’s not attached to proteins (“free”)
- Total testosterone: The total amount of testosterone that’s in the blood (free and bound)
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH): A hormone that stimulates testosterone production in the testes
- Estradiol: One of three estrogen hormones
- Sex-Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG): A liver protein that binds to three sex hormones
- Albumin: A liver protein that carries hormones, vitamins, enzymes, and more through the body
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT): A liver enzyme
A $45 charge covers the cost of the kit itself, all lab work, and a virtual physician consultation to discuss results and necessary next steps as determined by your doctor. It’s worth noting that all of this – seeing a specialist in person, getting referred to a local lab – can easily cost in excess of $300. By way of comparison, another popular at-home testosterone test option offered by LetsGetChecked costs $69.
Yes, this process does require a small blood sample. However, Hone’s at-home testing kit reduces collection to a quick, painless finger prick, which provides enough blood for the lab to properly analyze. The consultation is an opportunity for you to review test results with a physician one-on-one and decide whether or not to move forward with treatment.
If you have recent lab work you can share with Hone’s medical team, you might not have to complete the testing kit in order to receive treatment. Check with [email protected] for more details.
2) Monthly subscription of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
HRT treatments vary per individual, but they usually include one of the following combos:
- Testosterone only
- Testosterone and clomid
- Testosterone and anastrozole
- Testosterone, clomid, and anastrozole
- Preventative and customized proactive supplements packs
Testosterone treatment is available as a cream, an intramuscular injection, or sublingual troches (medicated tablets that dissolve beneath your tongue). Clomid and anastrozole both come in the form of pills. Monthly prescriptions usually cost between $160 – $200 and include scheduled Rx delivery, 24/7 Hone access, and video consultations with a doctor. Retesting and monitoring your levels every 90 days are also included in the cost.
Before we delve too deep into TRT, let’s quickly review the basics.
Is there an age requirement to use Hone's hormone therapy?
Hone Health doesn’t have an age requirement, but they only offer treatment to qualified candidates based on bloodwork, reported symptoms, and medical history.
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