Hormone Replacement Therapy, sometimes referred to as HRT, is a medical procedure used to treat various health conditions, most notably male and female hormonal deficiencies. The following brief piece discusses how hormone replacement therapy works.
Why Is Such Therapy Employed?
Hormone Replacement Therapy is most often used to replenish diminished estrogen production in women and testosterone output in men. In females, lessened and/or no estrogen production is typically the result of a medical condition, yet naturally occurring phenomenon known as menopause. During menopause, which usually happens in the late forties to early fifties, the precipitous drop in estrogen gradually results in the disruption and eventual end to a woman experiencing regular menstrual cycles. In addition, several untoward, possibly serious manifestations may be felt including:
- Hot flashes.
- Mood swings.
- Heart Disease.
The administration of synthetic estrogen and/or other necessary hormones provides a means of replenishing lost hormone, as well as easing and/or eliminating menopausal symptoms.
Many adult men are adversely affected by what is known as andropause, or a diminished bodily output of testosterone. Aging can precipitate this malady. However, numerous other medical conditions might elicit low testosterone, such as:
- Poor dietary habits.
- The use of certain medications.
- Various health problems.
Andropause can manifest in symptoms like diminished libido, erectile problems, depression, muscle loss, weight gain, bone weakness and/or fractures, tiredness and a slower metabolism.
How This Therapy Works?
In most cases, HRT is only needed if you are experiencing moderate to serious manifestations of menopause and andropause. There are several different methods of hormonal replacement you can chose from. Over-the-counter supplements containing estrogen and testosterone are available for purchase at establishments like pharmacies and/or nutritional supplement retailers. However, such products are used mainly to remediate mild forms of hormonal deficiencies.
That said, most replacement therapies are available through a doctor’s prescription and are administered under the supervision of a physician. The specific therapies and how often they should be given will depend upon how severe your condition is and/or if you have any underlying medical conditions that might cause the therapy to interfere with, counteract and/or precipitate other health concerns. Several different modes of administration exist, including:
Oral administration is quite common and involves the ingestion of a tablet at a dosage level and schedule established by your doctor.
Gels are absorbed into your body and bloodstream through your skin.
Patches are positioned at various points in your skin and replaced every few days. Like gels, patches enable therapeutic amounts of estrogen and testosterone to enter your body through the skin.
Hormonal implants are fitted under your skin and administer therapeutic dosages over a period typically lasting several months.
This form of therapy involves receiving shots directly into a vein resulting in immediate entry of needed hormones into your bloodstream. Hormone replacement therapy does pose certain health risks, including the potential to develop blood clots and certain forms of cancer. Before considering and/or beginning a therapeutic regiment of hormone administration, it is advisable to consult with your doctor to determine if you possess any risk factors.