Hormone Replacement Therapy: Why, When and How?

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If you haven’t heard anything about hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, it’s high time you did, and it doesn’t go for women reaching the period of menopause only; actually, men may be interested in it even more than women. Mayo Clinic research reveals that men enjoy the peak of the testosterone level as they are nearing twenty years of age, and after 30 the level starts to decline gradually at the rate of 1 percent a year or so. It means that HRT can be helpful to both sexes, in what ways exactly is the big question.

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What is hormone replacement therapy?

HRT is a course of medical treatment within which the patient undergoes any of various forms of hormone therapy – that is, introduction of hormones aimed at compensating for a shortage of natural supply of hormones or substituting natural hormones for other desirable kind of hormones (you can get more information here).

Hormone replacement therapy embraces the following forms:

  • Hormone replacement therapy for menopause,
  • Transgender hormones,
  • Androgen replacement therapy (andropausal and ergogenic use).

Let’s look at these in detail.

Menopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy

As a woman gets impoverished of her hormone levels, menopausal hormone therapy undertakes to replace the shortage by administrating synthetic estrogen and progestogen. It helps to take the edge off menopause and mitigate the worst of menopausal symptoms.

Some of the gravest possible menopausal symptoms are as follows:

  • hot flashes,
  • heavy perspiration at night,
  • painful intercourse,
  • causeless bouts of anxiety, excitability, irritability,
  • more frequent urination.

Besides, postmenopausal women run the risk of developing osteoporosis; as medical studies show, both the standard kind of HRT and the low-dose HRT (LD-HRT) help diminish the risk.

The hormone is available in various forms including gel, spray, vaginal rings, daily pills and patches which are the two most popular ways of administering.

Hormone replacement therapy for transgender people

With women, it is the ovaries that generate testosterone and estrogen. Men and women differ in the generation of testosterone that is linked with muscle strength, sexual arousal, and the general feeling of well-being: men’s testes generate 10 times more testosterone than women’s ovaries. When the body needs it, testosterone can be processed into estrogen.

Hormone therapy is conducted so as to originate the onset of a second puberty by dint of hormone levels adjustment. Reasonably, it can’t be as potent as the natural puberty, but it changes secondary sex characteristics of either gender effectively. Men desiring to turn into women receive estrogen and antiandrogens which hinder the physical manifestations of testosterone. The estrogen reduces muscle mass, redistributes fat layers, minifies body hair, and changes the voice so that it sounds higher. All these alterations require something from two to three years before they set in properly. Women turning into men receive more testosterone, thereby arresting the menstrual cycle, making shoulders wider and breasts smaller. Later, within a year or two, women become muscular, grow facial hair, and their voices begin to sound deeper.

Androgen replacement therapy

Hypogonadism is another health issue that HRT can help hold in check in many cases. The treatment involves the introduction of hormones that are in deficient supply in your body in medications which usually contain testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, or various pituitary hormones so your body doesn’t suffer from shortage. Mostly it comes to testosterone being administered in all possible ways: in skin creams, gels, patches, or through injections and inserting subcutaneous pellets.

Treatment for hypogonadism in women is mostly effected by introducing extra female sex hormones into the body. With the rise of estrogen and progesterone levels bones grow stronger, sex drive gets more intense, and cholesterol gets into better balance.

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