Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a type of therapy used by men who experience lower levels of testosterone in their blood. HRT can help replace testosterone in men as they age and their levels decrease.
Risks of Reduced Testosterone
Lowering levels of testosterone are common with age, but can have severe effects on a man’s well-being. Metabolic syndrome is associated with lowering levels of testosterone; conditions from metabolic syndrome include abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, strokes, type two diabetes, and heart attacks. Many common health conditions that come with age can be related to low levels of testosterone in the blood.
Benefits of HRT in Men
Testosterone is required for male sexual development, reproductive function, building muscle bulk, maintaining healthy levels of red blood cells, and keeping bone density. While HRT can help reclaim all of these functions, it also has psychological benefits. It is known to improve a man’s mood and general mental well-being. Along with the benefits listed above, hormone replacement therapy can improve erectile dysfunction, increase facial and body hair production, and improve muscle mass production.
Intramuscular Testosterone Injections
The first type of HRT for men is called intramuscular testosterone injections. This type of hormone replacement therapy is an injection similar to a shot. The injections are done in the buttocks and are only needed every two to three weeks.
Another hormone replacement therapy method is patches. Comparable to other types of medical patches, these are applied each day to a person’s back, arms, buttocks, or abdomen. The application site must be rotated for this method to be effective.
Topical Testosterone Gel
The last method of hormone replacement therapy is in a gel form. Similar to the patch, it is applied each day. It can be applied to a man’s shoulders, arms, or abdomen.
Are There Risks to HRT?
Yes, there are risks to hormone replacement therapy. Although most are minor, there are some more serious side effects involved in the process. Some of the easier-to-manage side effects include fluid retention, acne, and increased urination. More serious side effects include breast enlargement, decreased testicle size, worsening of preexisting sleep apnea, increased cholesterol levels, decreased sperm count, and increased red blood cells.
Is HRT Perfect for You or a Loved One?
If you or a loved one are suffering from low or decreased levels of testosterone, HRT might be just what you need. Although there are risks to the process, millions of men have seen real health results with HRT. Call your doctor or speak with your endocrinologist about starting your therapy today.