We get to a certain age and things are not like they were before. Hormone replacement therapy becomes an option. For women, as we enter menopause, our estrogen levels plummet. For men, it is their testosterone. Here we explore the symptoms alleviated with hormone replacement and the various types available.
Female hormone replacement therapy:
Age we age, we all know the common symptoms of menopause: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, even rage. There are two types of treatment that we need to explore based upon what is going on in our bodies.
- Estrogen therapy: This type of therapy is used for women who had a hysterectomy. That is, they had their uterus removed. There are many options available to ease your troubles.
- The pill – It is not the pill but it is a low dose of estrogen taken orally on a daily basis. I suppose it is a lot like the pill.
- Patch – these are worn on your belly and are changed every couple days or once a week. Throughout that time they give you your daily dose of estrogen.
- Vaginal – This form of estrogen, whether in a ring, a cream, or a pill (yes, there are pills, vaginally inserted) is mostly used to alleviate vaginal dryness.
- Progesterone therapy: This sort of hormone replacement therapy is used if you still have your uterus. Progesterone therapy is not just progesterone, but a combination of estrogen and progesterone. In the U.S. it is only available in a pill form.
Male Hormone Replacement Therapy:
Testosterone replacement is much more controversial than estrogen/progesterone replacement. It is used for men with unnaturally low testosterone levels. Yet, even this comes with side effects. Testosterone is administered in an injection into the muscle every couple of weeks, through patches, or in a topical gel. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is that if you are facing low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and/or depression, make sure you contact your doctor to see if this sort of hormone replacement is right for you.
In fact, if you are a man or a woman, we have a new staff member, Lindsey Ackle PA-C, who specializes in male and female hormone replacement. Contact her immediately to see if you can get relief from the most common symptoms of aging.