If you’ve ever considered hormone replacement therapy but if you’re not quite sure what it entails or the benefits it could provide for you, here’s everything you need to know.
What is the function of testosterone and why is it important for men?
Testosterone is a hormone—or regulatory substance in the body—that’s required for every male’s sexual development, reproductive function, as well as healthy muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cell count.
What causes low testosterone levels and what are the symptoms?
It’s natural for a man’s testosterone level to decrease with age. However, a significant decrease can cause serious health concerns.
A number of factors can affect testosterone levels in men, like abnormalities in the hormone DHEA, the enzyme aromatase, or SHBG levels. Learn more about what these mean here.
Obesity and increased belly fat can be a risk factor due to its impact on hormone levels. A decrease in liver function can also be responsible for hormonal imbalances including healthy testosterone levels. Conditions like hypogonadism—a dysfunction of the testicles that prevents the body from producing adequate testosterone—can also be a cause.
Symptoms of a hormone imbalance in men may include decreased sex drive or erection frequency, reduced bone density, muscle mass, strength, or energy, as well as fatigue, depression, or anxiety.
What is hormone therapy and how can it help?
Hormone replacement therapy can be administered in several different ways. Patients may receive testosterone through injections into the muscle multiple times a week, creams that are absorbed through the skin each day, or pellets of pressed powder that are inserted under the skin and release hormones into the body over a 3-4 month period. Most insurances will cover at least a portion of hormone replacement therapy.
The risks of hormone replacement therapy for men are minimal but may include acne, increased urination, or fluid retention. Severe side effects are rare, but you should still always consult with a physician prior to starting hormone therapy.
The benefits of testosterone hormone replacement therapy are substantial for some men. Many experiences improved libido, energy, mood, mental and physical performance, and muscle mass. Most men report relief and improvement within 3 months of starting hormone replacement therapy.
To see if hormone replacement therapy is right for you, request an appointment with the team Spring Creek Medical Center in Logan, Utah.