Hormone replacement therapy is often thought of as something that women undergo during the menopause. In fact, that’s just one instance in which hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be administered. There are HRT procedures for men as well as women, and these deal with different health problems.
We will be taking about the main HRT procedures for men and women in the article that follows, so we’ll begin with an explanation of what hormones are and why they are important to our wellbeing.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers that are created in glands around the body and carried through the bloodstream to instruct various parts of our bodies to perform certain acts. They are responsible in many areas including the sexual and reproductive systems, our growth and development, the metabolism and digestion functions, and our cognitive function and mental health.
The problem with hormones is that as we grow older many of them stop being produced in adequate quantities. This is why, for example, male sexual performance becomes less potent with age. It is also worth knowing that it is not only age that affects hormone production as many medical issues can interfere. Let’s begin by talking about some of the HRT routines that are specifically for women.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
How do you know when you need hormone replacement therapy and what are the symptoms? For women, these can be such as low energy and fatigue, loss of self-esteem, poor concentration, reduced interest in sex, and a lack of enthusiasm for general life. These come about often when the woman enters the menopause – the time when she loses her reproductive ability – which is usually between the ages of 45 and 55. This results in a massive hormonal change that can have a dramatic effect. Let’s look at menopause treatment right now.
One of the most common hormone treatment routines is that for the menopause. During the time of biological change, a woman’s hormonal balance will alter considerably. This can lead to exaggerated symptoms described above. What is the answer? HRT for the menopause can involve the replacement of Estrogen – the ‘female hormone’ – combined with another known as the Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
This combined routine will restore vitality in women and give them back their life as they know it. It is simple and tried and tested and can be done by taking a pill or by patches and gels that are applied to the skin.
Bioidentical Hormone Treatment
Another form of HRT is known as bioidentical. This routine involves hormones that are laboratory created to be identical to those in the body. The benefit of this method is that there is less likelihood of the body reacting adversely to the ingested new hormones as the match is as close as it can get. This method is fast overtaking the use of synthetic hormones in HRT treatment.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
There are some treatment that can be used for both men and women – HGH for example is usable by both sexes – yet there are three main areas of male health that may require HRT to help. These are testosterone therapy, erectile dysfunction, and the andropause. Let’s have a brief look at each.
Testosterone is often referred as the ‘male hormone’ and is the male equivalent of estrogen in women. Usually associated with sexual performance – in which it does play a large role – testosterone is also associated with muscle mass growth, bone density, and mental health. As a man ages the testes will start to produce less and less testosterone. The symptoms include tiredness, loss of libido, poor sexual performance, low self-esteem and generally feeling low, among many others.
A man will usually start to feel this way in his 50’s but is not unusual for males in the 30’s to experience low testosterone. The answer lies in supplements and hormone replacement pills and patches that restore the levels to closer than they are and give a man a new lease f life. Loss of testosterone can also be one cause of our next subject, Erectile Dysfunction or ED.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
ED is the inability to get an erection or to maintain one. It is caused by poor blood flow to the penis. Erections are enabled by a rush of blood to two sacs in the penis which enable the firmness. As a man ages he may experience problems with blood flow such as narrowing arteries. ED is usually treated today using an ultrasound device but depending on the cause of the problem can also be a hormonal issue. A consultant will carry out a thorough diagnosis and recommend either the ultrasound method or the HRT route whichever is most suitable.
The Andropause is also known as the Male Menopause and affects some – but not all – men usually into the 50’s. It comes about thanks to hormonal changes similar to those experienced by women enduring the menopause. This can be triggered by low testosterone which in turn will have an effect on the production of other hormones.
Symptoms are as with low testosterone and can include ED. This is why it essential to get a diagnosis if a man notices ED as it can also be a symptom of other issues such as diabetes. Andropause treatment again involves HRT using pills or patches and can also be administered by injection. A man will feel much rejuvenated once he gets into the stride of any HRT treatment routine.
The above are not the only available HRT treatments – the thyroid, for example, can stop producing which can result in health problems and the need for thyroxin treatment – but they are the main ones offered by a reputable HRT clinic. If you have noticed any of the symptoms described, we recommend you make an appointment to see a consultant and undergo diagnosis for possible hormone deficiency and start your path to a better life.