Many unpleasant symptoms come with age. As we reach menopause or andropause, our hair thins, we lose energy, and we gain weight. Many of these symptoms are due to diminished amounts of specific hormones in our bodies. Hormones are difficult, but not impossible, to control. Many people find hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is helpful in coping with symptoms. There are many types of HRT designed to alleviate symptoms and restore confidence.
Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Many types of hormone replacement therapy are aimed at replacing a specific hormone, the lack of which is causing symptoms. At Sophy’s Clinique, our physician team uses estrogen and testosterone replacement therapy, thyroid replacements, and progesterone doses. There are specific protocols for certain patients, such as those going through menopause or andropause. Hormone replacement therapy comes in several different forms, from pills and skin gels to injections, patches, nasal spray, and vaginal creams or rings.
Who is a Candidate for HRT?
When most people think of HRT, they think of menopause. Indeed, HRT is a great treatment course for menopausal women, especially since 80% of menopausal women experience symptoms. However, menopause is not the only reason to seek HRT. Women who have had surgeries such as hysterectomies to remove ovaries and other sexual organs often benefit from HRT. Men and women with family histories of colon cancer or osteoporosis can use HRT to decrease their risk of developing these diseases. Men experiencing andropause or a general loss of libido may benefit from HRT as well.
Many people pursue HRT for reasons not connected to menopause, andropause, or sexual function. It can be used to treat rare conditions such as hypothyroidism, wherein an underactive thyroid cause symptoms like unusual fatigue and muscle weakness, increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and unexplained weight gain.
Risks Associated with HRT
People with histories of heart disease, blood clots, and stroke should not pursue HRT because of its association with increased risk of blood clots. Those with high blood pressure should avoid HRT for the same reason. Depending on the type of HRT you use, your risk of a venous thromboembolism, or VTE, may increase. Do not start HRT if you have a family history of breast cancer, as HRT has been shown to increase the risk of developing this disease. Do not start HRT until or unless you experience severe menopausal or andropausal symptoms.