Our natural production of hormones diminishes with older age, causing menopause in women and andropause in men. This hormone loss can manifest itself in a wide array of symptoms that affects the quality of life, and there is little that can be done naturally to boost those hormones in a way that effectively gets rid of those symptoms. Studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy is one of the best ways of reducing negative symptoms as a result of diminished hormone production in the body.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a type of treatment available at our Delray Beach center for people whose natural production of hormones has decreased and is causing negative side effects. This is most commonly used in peri-menopausal or post-menopausal women to replace the estrogen and progesterone that is no longer produced in large quantities by their body, and it can be used to treat symptoms of menopause that may be causing discomfort or distress. HRT is occasionally used in men to replace low levels of testosterone. Hormone replacement therapy can be administered orally or through an injection into the muscles or skin, and in some cases, doctors may offer hormone patches for a more non-invasive delivery method.
Currently, HRT is the most effective form of treatment for symptoms associated with menopause. More than 85% of women deal with distressing menopause symptoms. The most common symptoms that women seek treatment for include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and bone density loss, but research has shown that there are many different benefits that HRT can offer women. Though the benefits and possible risks of HRT vary depending on underlying risk factors and health concerns, hormone replacement therapy for women is typically a safe and easy way to improve these symptoms for a short period of time (usually less than 5 years). The two hormones that are used in HRT for women are estrogen and progesterone.
Effective treatment of low estrogen levels through hormone replacement has been shown to reduce the risk of fractures due to decreased bone density. This can decrease the risk of osteoporosis as well. HRT decreases vaginal dryness and increases sexual function. Most women also experience:
All of these improvements greatly increase the quality of life in women who are experiencing the symptoms of menopause. In many cases, HRT can help women feel like they have regained a sense of ownership over their bodies.
HRT is not typically the first-line treatment in men because lowered testosterone is normal later in life and does not typically result in uncomfortable or painful symptoms. That being said, it can be used to target specific symptoms such as diminished libido, erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass, lowered bone density, depression, and anemia as a result of hormone imbalance, also known as andropause. Though between 2 and 4 million men display some of these symptoms due to lowered levels of testosterone, currently only around 5% receive testosterone through hormone replacement therapy. This is mainly due to the fact that andropause is slow to start and slow to progress, typically beginning between ages 45 to 65, and usually taking many years to produce noticeable effects.
Though the symptoms associated with decreased testosterone in men are less severe and usually start in the late 40s, they progress so slowly that many men don’t even notice them until much later in life. Some of the ways that HRT can benefit men suffering from decreased testosterone are:
Anyone who is experiencing undesirable effects of menopause or andropause in Delray Beach should speak to our hormone replacement therapy specialists about the possible benefits and risks. Though there is evidence that these therapies help, if left unmonitored they can lead to too much hormone production which can have some side effects as well. Women with a history of breast cancer, uterine cancer, blood clotting disorders, or any type of liver or heart disease should not introduce synthetic hormones into the body and should discuss these issues with their specialist before receiving any type of HRT. Women who believe they are pregnant and women who have a history of strokes or heart attack should also not receive HRT. Specialists will monitor symptoms such as abnormal uterine bleeding, fluid retention, breast tenderness, headaches, and mood changes, all of which can indicate abnormal levels of hormones.
Here at Basis Medical, we offer a primary assessment that includes a physical exam, bloodwork, review of your medical history, medications you may take, and what might affect your individual hormone replacement treatment plan. After that, our team will prescribe your individual plan of hormone replacement therapy plus ways in which you can naturally regulate those hormones to optimize the benefits of this therapy.
A consultation with our team here at our Delray Beach hormone replacement therapy clinic is risk-free and can help you discover what may be causing your symptoms and how best to treat them. We offer comprehensive plans made to address your individual needs following extensive exams that rule out any other causes or risk factors that may affect your treatment plan.