Hormone replacement therapy is used to help balance estrogen and progesterone in women around the time of menopause.
Also known as hormone therapy (HT) or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help relieve sweating, hot flashes, and other symptoms of menopause. It can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis.Some types of HRT contain both progesterone and estrogen, some only estrogen, and sometimes testosterone is used.Hormone replacement treatments are also used in male hormonal therapy and treatment for individuals who undergo a sex change.This article focuses on HRT as a way of relieving symptoms in women around the time of menopause.
Fast facts on hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy is an effective way to relieve symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.
- It can reduce the incidence and severity of hot flashes, and also the risk of osteoporosis.
- Past studies have suggested a link with cancer, but this is still being investigated.
- It may help keep skin young, but it cannot reverse or delay the overall effects of aging.
- Any woman who is considering HRT should talk to a physician who knows her medical history.
What is male hormone replacement therapy?
In male hormone replacement therapy, a man is given testosterone, the hormone responsible for developing the male sex organs and producing male characteristics such as facial hair and muscularity. Male hormone replacement therapy is most often used to correct the symptoms of male hypogonadism, a condition in which a man's body makes very little testosterone.
Male hypogonadism is caused by a man's testes failing to produce normal levels of testosterone. Some men are born with hypogonadism, while others may develop the condition later in life. In adults, it can cause lowered sex drive, infertility, impotence, a loss of body and facial hair, and osteoporosis.
After diagnosing hypogonadism – often by a blood test – a doctor may recommend male hormone replacement therapy to replace the missing testosterone. This can restore sexual function and muscle strength, and prevent bone loss.
The testosterone levels in a man's body naturally begin to lower after age 40.
Testosterone can be given in several different forms, including injections, transdermal systems (patches), and gels.
Although male hormone replacement therapy has been used successfully for years to treat male hypogonadism, some studies suggest that increasing testosterone levels may cause a man's prostate to enlarge. Other side effects may include sleeping problems and infertility. We will monitor your health through regular checkups and tests when you are taking replacement testosterone.