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Do Hormone Therapy Treatments Truly Help Men?


Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is pushing boundaries and redefining its usage. Today, more and more men seem to be doing hormone therapy treatments for various benefits. Clinics are prescribing it to men as well as family doctors who also specialize in the area. For men who have lower levels of testosterone, HRT becomes an important recourse for men typically over the age of 30.

In this article, we will dive deeper into hormone therapy for men and help determine if it’s something men should consider or if they should hold off for the time being.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before making any changes to your supplement or testosterone regimen.

What Happens to Your Testosterone Level as You Age?

Testosterone, a key male hormone, typically peaks during adolescence and gradually declines with age, about 1% per year after 30 or 40. For older men, distinguishing between normal age-related decline and a medical condition (hypogonadism) causing low testosterone is crucial.

Hypogonadism, affecting testicular or pituitary gland function, can be addressed with testosterone replacement therapy. Various forms like injections, pellets, patches, or gels are available, effectively alleviating symptoms of low testosterone in affected individuals.

Types of Hormone Therapy for Men

Hormone replacement therapy has two forms: direct and alternate.

Direct testosterone therapy refers to augmenting your body with the same form of testosterone that is naturally found and is often considered the primary option to eradicate fertility concerns.

Alternative therapies are used to stimulate the body to produce more testosterone.

Forms of Direct Testosterone Therapy

  • Topical gels for application on the skin
  • Skin patches are worn every night and changed every 24 hours
  • Nasal gels that are applied to the nostrils 3 times a day
  • Oral capsules are to be consumed twice daily with food
  • Short and long-acting intramuscular injections

Forms of Alternative Testosterone Therapy

  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injections
  • Oral selective estrogen receptor modulators
  • Oral aromatase inhibitors

What are the Benefits of Hormone Treatment for Men?

Below are some of the benefits men can experience:

  1. Enhance Sex Drive

One of the major benefits of HRT is an increased sex drive for males with reduced testosterone levels. By Increasing testosterone levels with HRT, men experience an increased libido.

In a study, results have shown that 66% of males with low testosterone showed an increase in sexual function. However, it must be noted that testosterone alone cannot be the only cause of an increased sex drive. Sometimes, there are ancillary factors like the cause itself of the dwindling testosterone levels.

  1. Erectile Functioning

Erectile dysfunction affects millions of men around the globe. It continues to increase as men cross the threshold of “seniority.” According to a study conducted in Massachusetts on aging men, a decrease in testosterone was followed up by erectile dysfunction in 625 patients.

With testosterone therapy, the problem of erectile dysfunction can be reversed in men. It has been noticed that as a result of this therapy, there is an increased synthesis of nitric oxide (the same thing that helps give you a pump in the gym), which results in improved erectile functioning.

However, some studies have shown that the impact is not immediate and that it can take anywhere from 3-6 months for the results to become evident.

  1. Muscle Growth

As people (in general) age, muscle pain becomes much more frequent, and bone density can worsen, which leaves people more vulnerable to fractures and injuries. Mitigation of testosterone can aggravate these conditions, which can be countered by hormone replacement therapy to a certain extent.

study has shown that hormone therapy treatments can help build skeletal muscle mass, lean body mass, and strength in 44 men with low testosterone.

  1. Improve Blood Sugar

Hypogonadism often results in the deposition of fat in the body, especially visceral fat. A lot of studies implicate low testosterone as the culprit behind obesity and diabetes. Researchers have often remarked that if there are these two diseases as the consequence of low testosterone, there might be others.

However, it has been found that HRT can address the problem of insulin resistance. In a randomized control trial, it was seen that hormone treatment can reduce waist circumference, control cholesterol levels, and improve fasting glucose.

  1. Heighten Cognitive Functioning

In a study, upon administering neuropsychological tests of verbal and visual memory, it was observed that hypogonadal men have significantly lower scores on verbal and visuospatial performance.

These results hint at a possible beneficial relationship between men with higher free testosterone and cognitive functioning.

  1. Support Heart Health

Low testosterone can lead to cardiac complications like stroke and other forms of heart disease.

In a study conducted over 1950 men, it was hypothesized that men with cardiovascular mortality had lower testosterone levels. However, for men who had gone for hormone treatment, the mortality rate reduced from an alarming 21% down to 10%.

The “Other” Side of the Hormone Therapy Story

While hormone therapy does come with its own set of benefits, there is a risk of some side effects that shouldn’t be ignored.

People undergoing hormone therapy have demonstrated an increase in acne, sleep apnea complications, mood swings, and a condition known as gynecomastia, which is an enlargement of the breast tissues in males.

Is hormone therapy something you should consider? Talk to your doctor and see what options you have for your current situation.

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