Hormone replacement therapy for men is a developing approach to male ailments. Learn everything you need to know about the process and when it should be an option for you in this article.
In this article:
- What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men?
- Who Are the Prime Candidates for Hormone Replacement Therapy?
- When Is Getting Hormone Replacement Therapy Unsafe?
- Where Can You Get Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men?
- How Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Help Middle-Aged Men?
- Are There Other Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels?
What You Should Know About Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men?
Male hormone replacement therapy is the process of artificially increasing the body’s testosterone levels to ease the symptoms of hormone deficiencies. It can be given in different forms:
- Testosterone Patches: Place these on the arms, back, abdomen, and buttocks. Make sure you alternate between these parts daily.
- Intramuscular Testosterone Injections: A medical professional injects the testosterone in your buttocks routinely every two to three weeks. The duration of the treatment depends on the severity of your disease.
- Topical Testosterone Gel: Topical testosterone gel is applied daily on the abdomen, arms, or shoulders.
Who Are the Prime Candidates for Hormone Replacement Therapy?
As men age, the body’s ability to naturally produce testosterone decreases significantly. This may lead to:
- Lower libido levels
- Thinner facial hair
- Erectile dysfunction
- Overall moodiness
- Hypogonadism in younger men
Hypogonadism Definition: A condition of decreased hormone production in the testes or ovaries
But not all with these conditions are viable with hormone replacement. A man’s age and overall health status are also important considerations.
Other options given to them may include supplements and prescription drugs that may improve libido or hair growth and stimulate stronger erections.
When Is Getting Hormone Replacement Therapy Unsafe?
With hormone replacement therapy (HRT), men are taking artificial stimulants to increase their body’s testosterone levels. And so, they interact directly with the body’s function-regulating compounds.
Uncareful introduction or dosage calculation may produce side effects. The same goes for prolonged use.
Major HRT for Men Side Effects
Some major side effects men should watch out for are:
- Reduced size of testicles
- Enlarged breasts (gynecomastia)
- Lower sperm count
- Higher cholesterol levels
- Poor sleeping patterns
- Excessive amount of red blood cells
Generally, testosterone helps increase your libido levels, but it doesn’t much in improving your sperm count or fertility rate. In fact, studies show that testosterone is an active contraceptive that you should avoid if you want to become fertile.
Gynecomastia is a drawback commonly seen in ex-bodybuilders and wrestlers who used to take performance-enhancing drugs like steroids. The sudden drop in testosterone when they stopped taking steroids caused their bodies to develop secondary female characteristics such as breast enlargement.
Minor HRT for Men Side Effects
Minor side effects are usually easy to treat and don’t cause much trouble, but patients should still watch out for them:
- Frequent urination
- Retention of fluids
- Acne breakouts
Acne breakouts, specifically, are signs that say your hormones are out of control. Your body’s hormone levels are reverting to that of an unstable, moody teen.
Where Can You Get Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men?
Hormone replacement therapy treatments for men are on a prescription basis only. LIV Health provides an integrated health care service that can connect you to a medical professional with the right and trusted expertise.
How Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Help Middle-Aged Men?
As the male body ages, its ability to produce testosterone drops significantly. For some, a lot faster than others because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, and of course, genetics.
A clinical review published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that androgen replacement therapy showed promising results when used with adequate diet and lifestyle and increased physical activity. It helped address hypogonadism symptoms in aging men such as the following:
- Decreased bone density
- Age-associated osteopenia
- Decreased muscle and body mass
- Slow cognitive function
- Increased abdominal fat
- Decreased insulin sensitivity
- Decreased hematopoiesis or blood cell production
- Low genital sensitivity
- Moodiness due to low or fluctuating hormone levels
- Dependence on medical care or medications
Are There Other Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels?
Hormone replacement therapy for men isn’t the only way to increase testosterone levels. Some other things you can do are:
1. Exercise Regularly
Working out not only improves your overall health and appearance, but it also boosts your natural testosterone levels. In fact, studies show that physically active men were at lesser risk of testosterone drops caused by aging.
You don’t have to follow an intense strength-training program right off the bat. You can start with some simple cardio and resistance training exercises.
As you progress, gradually increase the intensity of your workouts to keep challenging and pushing the body further.
2. Stress Less
Yes, stress and low testosterone levels are related. Stress leads to high cortisol levels, a hormone naturally produced by the body when it’s under intense pressure, and it may hamper the production of testosterone.
A study on professional cyclists revealed that high cortisol levels almost automatically decrease one’s testosterone levels. You should note, however, that the decrease in testosterone levels did not affect their short-term performance and endurance.
3. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
This especially applies to older gentlemen who already have naturally low testosterone levels.
Alcohol negatively affects the pituitary gland’s ability to function. In the long run, the damage may be permanent and the pituitary gland may weaken.
You don’t necessarily need to cut out alcohol from your life, but reduce your consumption to a healthier level. There’s no need to get intoxicated every time you go for a drink.
Overall, hormone replacement therapy for men is for the use of patients suffering from unnaturally low testosterone deficiencies such as male hypogonadism. It may be an option for you in place of invasive surgery.
Still, see a medical professional for proper advice and before taking prescription drugs.
Are you still unsure of what hormone replacement therapy for men does? Post your questions in the comments section below!