You might think that hormone replacement therapy is a treatment of women's concern but this is not true. The testosterone levels among men are usually at their peak levels in their late teens and soon after that age, they start declining by about 1% every year around the age of 30. Proper level of testosterone is needed for effective sexual development among men and it also enhances their reproductive function, level of red blood cells, bone density and muscle bulk. Many men are concerned about their natural decline in their hormone which is produced by testicles. Although medical experts deny about the significance of this decline, yet they are of the opinion that the health advantages of HRT always outweigh the few risks associated with it.
Do you really need hormone replacement therapy?
The million dollar question among men is that if their testosterone levels decline naturally due to aging, do they still require HRT? Well, this has been an indeed tough question for the researchers. There are not too many studies which observed the impacts of testosterone therapy among men who have healthy levels of hormone and all those studies yielded unclear results. HRT can assist men who are suffering from symptoms of low testosterone and who suffer from diseases like hypogonadism, which is the condition of testicles not functioning properly and not being able to produce the exact amount of testosterone which is needed for the body. But something which is not certain is whether or not this therapy can help healthy men whose decline in levels of testosterone is simply due to their growing age.
HRT - What types are available for men?
In case you meet your doctor and he suggests you about the requirement of testosterone therapy for treating hypogonadism, there are a few options available. Here are some:
- Testosterone replacement can be administered into your body through muscular injections every 2-3 weeks.
- Men can even wear daily testosterone patches on their body which might be rotated between the arms, abdomen, buttocks and the back
- Testosterone gels can also be applied topically to the arms, shoulders and abdomen
As per the Cleaveland Clinic, there are presently no pills or oral medicines available within the US market which can offer men with the required level of testosterone hormones.
Are there any risks of HRT for men?
As such, there are no noteworthy drawbacks of using HRT by men but the side effects are some of the most common pitfalls While there are some side-effects which are pretty minor, some others are serious. The minor side effects are:
- Retention of fluids
- Increased urination
Some other serious side effects might include:
- Enlargement of breasts
- Reduction in the size of testicles
- Sleep disorder
- Changes in the level of cholesterol within the body
- Decrease in sperm count
- Increase in red blood cells
Besides, HRT can also cause growth of the prostate among men and this could increase chances of prostate cancer if there is existence of the disease in its early stages. Therefore, the Cleaveland Clinic recommends avoiding HRT in case you have prostate cancer.
The HMS or Harvard Medical School reveals that though there is a growing number of men in the US who have started undergoing HRT to reverse the actual age related to the decline of testosterone hormones, this might not always be the best choice for them. Some other better alternatives can be exercising and walking to keep your heart healthy. If you have a doubt about whether or not to seek help of this therapy, you may visit National HRT for more information.