Hormone Replacement Therapies in Chandler, AZ

HRT Treatments for Hormonal Imbalance

HRT For Men & Women – Feel Better. Live Better.

Dr. Sarah Shell

The importance of hormone health.

"The role of our hormones and their level is crucial for our wellbeing and overall health, and HRT is a simple and effective way to optimal health.
As we age, one of the key changes in our bodies is a decrease in hormone production, which can affect many other parts of our overall wellbeing, including emotional, mental, and physical health. This affects both men and women. Hormone replacement therapies, also referred to as HRT and hormone imbalance treatments, supplement the hormones in our body returning them to normal levels, and bringing “balance” back to our overall health and wellness."

What Are the Different Types of Hormone Replacement Therapies?

There are several types of hormone therapies for both men and women. Options include:

  • Tablets are one of the more common methods for hormone replacement therapy. However, risks are higher with pills than with non-daily HRT methods – particularly blood clots and increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Patches have fewer side effects than HRT tablets. In addition, patients often find them less annoying, as they don't have to remember to take a pill every day.
  • Gels and creams are another popular HRT option. However, women who have not had a radical hysterectomy will likely need a separate method to deliver progestogen.
  • Intramuscular testosterone injections may need to be administered in your doctor's office every two to three weeks, although some patients are able to self-administer.
  • Vaginal rings or creams can help women relieve vaginal dryness, but they don't do much to help with other symptoms of menopause.
  • Implants that release a steady stream of the hormone have become more available in recent years. Also known as hormone pellet therapy, the implant is about the size of a grain of rice and is placed under the skin. Don't worry; the treatment area is numbed with a local anesthetic before implantation.

Hormone Replacement Therapies for Women

Your doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to help manage the symptoms of menopause. Starting with pre-menopause (perimenopause), a decade – or more – can pass before the menopause cycle ends.

Hormone therapy won’t “cure” menopause, because there’s nothing to cure. Menopause is simply the biological process that marks the end of menstruation. However, HRT can help alleviate the symptoms of menopause, which may include:

  • Depression, irritability, and other mood changes
  • Hair and skin changes
  • Hot flashes, chills, and other temperature sensitivities
  • Irregular periods during perimenopause
  • Low sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

There are two main types of HRT for women:

  • Estrogen may be taken alone for patients who do not have a uterus. It helps relieve the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. It also reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Estrogen progesterone (or progestin) hormone therapy, or EPT, is more often prescribed for women who still have a uterus, as taking estrogen alone increases your risk of cancer of the endometrium (the tissue that lines the uterus)

Your healthcare provider may also prescribe a testosterone supplement to help improve libido. And, as it does in men, testosterone also plays a role in women’s mental health and helps strengthen bones.

Hormone Replacement Therapies for Men

While men don’t go through menopause, they do experience age-related hormone changes, especially reduced testosterone production. When the imbalance is great enough, it’s known as andropause.

The same way women’s bodies produce testosterone, men’s bodies produce estrogen. But unlike their testosterone levels, which decrease with age, men’s estrogen levels usually increase.

Physical symptoms of a hormonal imbalance in men may include:

  • Difficulty concentrating and other cognitive changes
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability, depression, and other mood changes
  • Lagging sex drive and erectile dysfunction
  • Reduced bone density
  • Weakness and loss of muscle mass
  • Weight gain

Testosterone replacement therapy may be prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. The most common delivery methods are intramuscular testosterone injections, topical gels or creams, and hormone pellet therapy.

Low T Treatment For Men In Chandler Az

Hormone Replacement Therapy FAQ

What are the signs you need hormone replacement therapy?

Men and women experience similar symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. There are some differences, though.
Signs you might need HRT if you're a woman include:
  • Hot flashes, night sweats, and other temperature-related sensitivities
  • Vaginal dryness and/or discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Bone loss
  • Low libido
  • Irritability, depression, and other mood changes
  • Sleep issues

Men share some of these symptoms, but also have a few unique issues that may indicate they're low on testosterone. These include:
  • Fatigue, low energy
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sex drive
  • Weight gain, loss of muscle mass
  • Changes to hair and skin (dryer and/or thinner)
  • Anxiety, depression, and other mood changes

What does hormone replacement therapy do?

Hormone replacement therapy helps relieve the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance.
For example, if you're going through menopause, HRT helps alleviate hot flashes, improve sex drive, and stabilize mood. Testosterone replacement therapy also helps with mood and sex drive. HRT can also help reduce some of the common signs of aging, like weight gain, bone and muscle loss, and changes to your skin and hair.

When should you start hormone replacement therapy?

This is a decision between you and your healthcare provider. Women may want to start as soon as they begin perimenopause; men if they've noticed a dip in libido, mood changes, or that they struggle to get or maintain an erection.

It's important to pay attention to your body. If you feel like you never get enough rest, have noticed you're more irritable or depressed (without a known cause), or are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, you might want to schedule an appointment for a blood test to check your hormone levels.

Do you gain weight from hormone replacement therapy?

There is no evidence that patients gain weight due to hormone replacement therapy. You may experience bloating when you first begin HRT, but it typically subsides within two to three weeks.

Weight gain and fat redistribution are common signs of hormonal deficiency – particularly as regards estrogen and testosterone. One of the benefits of HRT is it can help redistribute body fat.

What are the negative effects of hormone replacement therapy?

As with most medications, you may experience certain side effects with hormone replacement therapy. Potential side effects vary according to the type of hormone therapy, the administration method (pellets, cream, pills, etc.), and any other medications you take.

Possible side effects include:
  • Breast tenderness
  • Changes in menstrual flow, including spotting and bleeding between periods
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Fluid retention that may cause bloating or swelling of the extremities (hands, feet, and lower legs)
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach, vomiting, cramps, or bloating
  • Weight and appetite changes

Most minor side effects recede within a few weeks. But there are potential side effects that are more serious. If you experience any of these, call your healthcare provider immediately:
  • Dark urine or light-colored stool
  • Discoloration of the skin or eyes (e.g., rashes or yellowing)
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness
  • Fever
  • Lost appetite
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe depression
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Vision problems

It is very important to share your full medical history with your healthcare provider, including any prescription or over-the-counter medications, supplements, or vitamins you take. Follow your provider's instructions exactly for best results.

Will HRT help me lose weight?

HRT may help you lose weight, simply because when your hormones are in the healthy range, it helps control weight. But also, hormone therapy can help alleviate the exhaustion and depression many people experience with hormonal imbalance – two symptoms that make exercise difficult for many.

Will HRT make me look younger?

It is possible that hormone replacement therapy will make you look younger. Many of the common signs of aging are due to hormonal changes, particularly loss of estrogen and testosterone.

With HRT, you may notice improvements to your skin in the form of reduced fine lines. It also promotes hair growth, and thinning hair is something that strikes both sexes as they age.

Will HRT help me sleep?

Studies indicate that hormone replacement therapy may indeed help improve sleep. Patients report not only falling asleep more easily but also enjoying more restful sleep and waking feeling refreshed instead of tired.

Reasons vary, but researchers point to:
  • Reduced hot flashes and night sweats, making sleep easier
  • Improved mood, depression, and anxiety, which also makes it easier to fall asleep

Again, hormones dictate most of your body's processes and functions – including sleep. It's not surprising that people living with an imbalance experience insomnia and other sleep issues – or that remedying that imbalance alleviates those problems.

Will HRT improve skin and hair?

Yes, you will likely see improvements to your skin and hair if you begin hormone therapy. Estrogen, in particular, plays a role in the production of collagen, which is one of the main proteins protecting your skin's elasticity. Collagen breaks down with age, but HRT can give it a boost, improving elasticity as well as thickness, tightness, and hydration. The same is true for testosterone supplements, which produce the same skin effects as estrogen.
Estrogen and testosterone may also increase hair growth in both men and women.

What is the oldest age to take HRT?

Most people begin hormone therapy in their 40s. However, there is no maximum age limit for HRT. Only your healthcare provider can tell you whether hormone therapy is safe for you.

Is it too late to take HRT at 60?

There is no set rule on when you must begin or end hormone therapy. A study of over 310,000 women aged 80 or older found no ill effects in continuing hormone therapy – or starting a new regimen.

Is hormone replacement therapy the same as testosterone therapy?

There are many types of hormone replacement therapy; testosterone is only one of them. Both men and women may be prescribed testosterone, although it is much more commonly prescribed for men.

Is testosterone a hormone replacement therapy?

Yes, testosterone is a type of hormone replacement therapy, typically prescribed for men whose bodies do not produce healthy levels of the hormone.

What is the difference between growth hormone and testosterone?

Testosterone and growth hormone (GH) are both anabolic hormones, meaning they help with cell and tissue growth. When either is deficient, i.e., your body doesn't produce enough, it can lead to loss of muscle and bone mass. Your body's self-healing processes will also be affected.

As the name implies, growth hormone stimulates the growth of all tissues in your body. It is produced by the pituitary gland and distributed throughout the body by the blood. In adulthood, it helps build muscle and bone density, as well as playing a role in fat distribution. Low GH, for example, may contribute to the "spare tire" many men complain of as they age.

Testosterone is the main hormone that produces what we think of as "masculine" characteristics: facial hair, muscle mass, strength, and fat distribution. Produced by the testicles in men and ovaries in women, testosterone also helps regulate sex drive.

When should you get testosterone therapy?

You should consult a licensed healthcare provider to determine whether testosterone therapy is right for you.

Most men prescribed testosterone HRT begin around the age of 50, which is when testosterone levels tend to dip. However, some men never produce a healthy level of testosterone, resulting in mood disorders, sexual dysfunction, and more. They may be prescribed hormone replacement therapy at whatever age this deficiency is diagnosed.

Happy hormones, happy life!

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