Whether you’re a woman going through menopause or a man whose testosterone levels are dropping, you may be facing some unwanted side effects that encompass your physical and mental health. To restore balance, you can turn to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but you want to know whether this approach is safe. The answer is yes, in most cases.
At Cosmetic Surgery Center, we not only address aesthetic concerns on the outside, but also wellness concerns on the inside, such as hormone imbalances. Under the direction of Dr. Trent Fogleman, we offer the latest hormone replacement therapies, which allow us to improve many areas of your health and wellness, including your sexual health.
Here’s a look at who may be a good candidate for HRT and whether this treatment option is considered safe.
Ladies first — HRT for women
A woman’s passage through menopause, which typically occurs in her late 40s or early 50s, is caused by a precipitous drop in reproductive hormone production, namely estrogen and progesterone. As a result, many women experience a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Vaginal dryness (and painful sex)
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Bone loss
- Weight gain
- Anxiety and irritability
- A shortening of the vaginal canal
Not all women face these side effects, but many do. As an example, half of postmenopausal women experience vaginal dryness.
To counteract many of these side effects, we can turn to hormone replacement therapy, which was approved by the FDA to:
- Reduce hot flashes
- Prevent bone loss
- Treat vaginal dryness
- Treat vaginal atrophy
We mention the FDA to illustrate that HRT has been rigorously tested and evaluated from a safety and efficacy standpoint.
The FDA goes on to recommend that certain women should not undergo HRT, including those who have a history of breast or uterine cancer, vaginal bleeding, blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or liver disease.
Now, the gents — HRT for men
While men may not experience the sudden drop in reproductive hormones that women do, they can still experience a steady decline in testosterone levels. While this is perfectly normal, the deficit can add up, leading to low testosterone (low-T).
As well, some men may have had an injury to their testicles or another issue, such as obesity, that led to male hypogonadism, which is the medical term for low-T.
Whatever the cause, the end result is that almost 40% of American men over the age of 45 have lower-than-normal testosterone levels, leaving them vulnerable to side effects that include:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Bone loss
- Thinning hair
- Loss of muscle strength
To address these side effects, we can use hormone treatments that increase the amount of testosterone in your body. HRT for men is considered quite safe, but there are some risks, such as limited sperm production, acne, and gynecomastia.
If you have severe sleep apnea, HRT may not be right for you as one study suggests that testosterone replacement therapy may worsen the condition.
If we find that you may benefit from our hormone treatments, we implant special slow-release pellets under your skin, which deliver the desired amount of hormones for 3-6 months, at which point we can insert new pellets.
This delivery system is hassle-free, as there are no pills or injections involved. We can monitor how well the HRT addresses your symptoms and make adjustments, if needed, with the next round of pellets.
If you’d like to explore how HRT may help improve your quality of life, contact our office in Oklahoma City, to set up a consultation.