Human beings are amazing when all is said and done. We go through life largely oblivious to the many things that are needed to enable our bodies to function to the right level. With so many complex systems with us it is no surprise that things go wrong occasionally, and we feel ill or run down. We take a lot of these functions within us for granted.
Hormones, for example: you’ve heard of them and know they’re inside you, but what do they actually do? In the article that follows we’ll be looking at the role hormones play in the body and our lives, why hormone levels in both men and women can fall, and why some people choose to undergo hormone replacement therapy.
We’ll also be looking at how hormone replacement therapy is enabled, and whether there are risks attached. Let’s look in the first instance at what hormones are and why they are important.
What is the Purpose of Hormones?
The hormones we are interested in here are the prevalent female hormone known as estrogen, and the male hormone testosterone. Think of each as a message carrier. These chemicals carry their instructions to the organs and the neural system, instructing them to perform essential functions. In both men and women this is mainly but not limited to the sexual and reproductive system.
Many people seek hormone therapy in and around Aventura because of low levels of hormone production, especially as they age. However, there can be further reasons for losing estrogen in women. Let’s look at why hormone levels fall and then at the various hormone replacement therapy options.
Why Do Hormone Levels Fall?
Many women who need hormone therapy in Miami are low in estrogen simply because they are ageing. We know this as the menopause, a time when the biological processes in a woman’s body change. Women can also suffer low hormone levels following a hysterectomy, or an oophorectomy which is the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. These routines are performed for medical reasons.
In the male, testosterone production falls naturally as they age, leading to a loss of sex drive, a feeling of low self-esteem, and also possible depression. In both cases while the lower hormone levels are not necessarily dangerous, they can be a problem. This is where hormone replacement therapy comes into play.
Hormone Therapy for Women
Hormone replacement therapy for women is a commonly sought treatment. Let’s have a look at it in more detail.
Why it is Needed
As we mentioned above, the levels of estrogen in the female body naturally reduce during the menopause. This can lead to some uncomfortable problems such as vaginal dryness – which leads to problems enjoying sex – and hot flushes which are not pleasant. Hormone replacement therapy can help combat these problems and is easy to undertake.
How it is Done
Estrogen therapy is not the only form of hormone replacement therapy, but it is the one we are interested in here. It can be provided in several different methods, these being:
- An estrogen pill, usually taken once a day.
- Estrogen patches which are worn on the abdomen and release the hormone through the skin.
- Topical estrogen in the shape of sprays and creams.
- Vaginal estrogen in various forms for those experiencing vaginal dryness.
A doctor will recommend the best method of therapy for each individual case.
The Risks Involved
Although the process of estrogen replacement therapy is simple and non-invasive there are some risks involved. For example, women who already suffer the following conditions are recommended not to have hormone therapy:
- Blood clots
- Cancer (such as breast, uterine, or endometrial)
- Heart or liver disease
- Heart attack
- Known or suspected pregnancy
Common side effects are:
- Breast swelling or tenderness
- Mood changes
- Vaginal bleeding
Should a patient experience any of the above they should contact their doctor immediately.
Hormone Therapy for Men
The demand for hormone therapy for men in the Coral Gables area is surprisingly high, so let’s find out why.
Why it is Needed
Low levels of testosterone can cause the following effects on the patient:
- A loss of sex drive
- Worsening Erectile dysfunction
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Decreased muscle mass
- Hair loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor well-being
Many men seek testosterone replacement therapy for the sex drive problem and find that it helps them regain their mood and feel better in themselves.
How it is Done
Male hormone therapy can take many forms, the main of which are as follows:
- Skin patch : a skin patch worn on the arm or upper body. It’s applied once a day.
- Gels: gels are applied to the skin and deliver the testosterone gradually. They are applied once per day.
- Mouth patch: Mouth patches are applied inside the mouth delivering the gel into the bloodstream.
- Injections and implants: Testosterone can also be injected, or an implant put in the body to deliver the hormone over time.
The most appropriate method for each individual will be discussed at consultation.
The Risks Involved
The risks with testosterone replacement therapy are not major, but they should be considered. Side-effects may include the following:
- More frequent urination.
- Outbreaks of Acne.
- Fluid retention problems.
- Decrease in testicle size and poor sperm count.
- Enlarged breasts.
- Sleeping pattern problems.
- Rise in cholesterol levels.
- Increased number of red blood cells.
Although not usually dangerous the rise in red blood cells can cause further problems, and if the patient experiences any of the above they should contact a doctor right away.
Hormone therapy can play a large part in improving the quality of life for both men and women, especially as the production of estrogen and testosterone falls away naturally with age. The above is a guide to the various methods of hormone therapy for men and women, and should you be looking to undergo such therapy you should contact a medical professional and arrange a consultation.