What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)—also known as hormone therapy (HT)—treats and diminishes the often-debilitating symptoms experienced by men and women during all stages of menopause and testosterone deficiency.

Why Get HRT?

For women, the uncomfortable symptoms that coincide with peri-menopause and menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, painful intercourse, and vaginal dryness are unbearable. For men, the symptoms that come with testosterone deficiency such as low sex drive, breast enlargement, and fatigue are difficult to manage. 
For these men and women, HRT delivers much-needed relief.

How Is HRT Administered?

HRT comes in many forms. Working with your physician, you can determine which form is most effective and works best with your lifestyle.

If you are prescribed estrogen, it is available for you in the form of:

Estrogen alone is recommended for women who experience surgical menopause (menopause induced after a hysterectomy, or because of damaged ovaries due to radiation, chemotherapy, or other medications.)

If you are prescribed testosterone therapy, it is available in the form of:

Testosterone is recommended for men who experience unnatural testosterone deficiencies such as a level seen in hypogonadism. HRT can also benefit men who are losing testosterone simply due to age.

Side Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy

As with any medical treatment, there is a potential for side effects and risks with HRT. Some minor side effects for men and women may include:

More serious, but uncommon side effects may include:

Serious side effects for women such as uterine cancer, breast cancer and vaginal bleeding coincide with other mitigating factors that increase the risks associated with HRT. These include smoking, obesity, long-term HRT treatment, and existing heart disease.

For men, increased cholesterol levels, increased red blood cells and decreased testicle size are additional serious side effects of HRT that may not be dependent on age.

However, current studies prove that when HRT is used under the careful supervision of a physician and on a temporary basis, it is a safe and effective means of treating symptoms of menopause and testosterone deficiency.

Is HRT for You?

Is HRT for you? As a woman, you might want to consider it if:

As a man, you might consider HRT if:

There are women for whom HRT is discouraged. They include women who:

For men, HRT is discouraged if they:

In these cases, it’s important to speak with your physician to discuss alternative treatments for symptoms of low testosterone or menopause.

Want to Learn More About Hormone Replacement Therapy? Contact Us.

Making important medical decisions, such as receiving HRT, requires careful thought, in-depth knowledge, and consultation with a medical professional. 

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