Hormone replacement therapy – Types, benefits, and more

Hormone replacement therapy – Types, benefits, and more

Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT for men, is a procedure that helps increase testosterone levels in men, which can help improve libido, muscle mass, and energy. The objective of this therapy is to help maintain the hormone balance in the body as it ages. However, while this therapy has some benefits, some risks are involved too. So let us take a detailed look and understand how HRT works for men.

Types and benefits of hormone replacement therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy
This is a therapy for those men who have unnaturally low levels of testosterone or otherwise called a testosterone deficiency. This therapy helps restore the body’s balanced levels of testosterone when other conventional methods have not worked.
Some of the benefits of this therapy include increased bone density, improved libido, sex drive, increased facial and body hair production increased overall energy levels, and helps reduce fatigue in general. It also stimulates red blood cell production, encourages muscle growth, and helps improve workouts.

HGH therapy
Human growth hormone therapy is another type of hormone replacement therapy used in adults to help with some medical conditions that demand it. HGH is a naturally occurring hormone in the body; however, in the case of a deficiency, this affects reproduction, growth, and cell regeneration.

Some of the benefits of this therapy include an increased capacity to exercise, which helps improve workouts, increases bone density levels, helps muscle building, reduces body fat, and increases metabolism.

Symptoms of declining testosterone

Sexual changes
This leads to a decreased level of sexual desire which also leads to fewer spontaneous erections, even during sleep. Infertility is another sign of decreased testosterone levels.

Physical changes
Apart from sexual changes, some other physical signs involve reduced muscle mass, increased body fat, decreased bone density, swollen breasts, and loss of body hair. There is also a change in energy level where being more fatigued is common.

Emotional changes
Declining self-confidence and also being less motivated for anything. It is common to experience a lack of focus and concentration, and may also feel sad or depressed. Apart from this, it may be hard to remember things or events.

Risks of HRT
Hormone Replacement Therapy has some benefits but also several risks that need to be considered.

Sleep apnea complications
This is a severe sleep disorder in which the breathing of an individual repeatedly and frequently stops and restarts on its own during sleep. If not treated, this could lead to suffocation.

Skin issues
This therapy can lead to skin complications like acne and other reactions, which may need the intervention of a dermatologist. This will only add to more treatments for a different health issues.

Benign cyst
These treatments can lead to stimulating but noncancerous growth of the prostate. While this is benign at the start, it may grow to become a serious complication like prostate cancer.

Enlarged breasts
Swollen or enlarged breasts are a common complication/side effect that affects those taking HRT.

Sperm count
Limited sperm count is also a common side effect, along with the shrinking of the testicles.

Red blood cell production
Increased red blood cell production can lead to risks of the formation of blood clots in the system. For example, this blood clot could get loose and lodged in the lungs, blocking the blood flow in and out of the respiratory system.

Procedure options
There are several ways in which this therapy can be performed on individuals. Some of the ways include:

Intramuscular testosterone
This is an intravenous method of treatment that needs a health professional’s attention. After careful diagnosis, the doctor will apply this treatment method intravenously to the buttocks every two to three weeks.

Testosterone patches
These patches are given by the doctor and can be applied to any of these areas on the body – abdomen, buttocks, back, or arms. These can be applied every day, and it is suggested to change the location of the patch every once in a while not to stress any one particular area of the body.

Testosterone gel
This topical method of treatment involves applying this gel on areas like shoulders, arms, or the abdomen. This is to be applied every day. The doctor will suggest how long the treatment needs to continue.

A couple of factors determine the cost of the treatment, like the number of doses, treatment, and also the place or city where the treatment is taking place. Just the blood work can cost up to $1500 at a lab. Different treatment options will have varied costs; for example, intravenous testosterone treatment may cost anywhere between $40 to $100 a month. Speak to your doctor to understand the cost better.

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