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Give low hormones the heave-ho!

Low hormone levels can lead to flagging sexual desire. But low hormones don't have to spell the end of your sex life! Here are the treatment options available for low hormone levels.

For men with andropause, the main treatment is testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone is available in patch, injection, gel, topical solution, or capsule form. Testosterone patches, gel and topical solution are all applied once daily. Capsules are given at least twice daily with food. The injection is given once every week to 4 weeks in a doctor's office. The most appropriate form of testosterone depends on the man's lifestyle as well as his overall health.

Some of the possible side effects of testosterone replacement therapy include change in mood, hair loss, high blood pressure, weight gain, fluid retention, acne, stimulation of prostate growth, sleep apnea (brief episodes where breathing stops during sleep), increased blood cell production, and decreased sperm production. Testosterone replacement therapy is not suitable for all men - men with prostate or breast cancer should not use it. Keep in mind that for every individual, the balance of benefits and risks may be different. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you on the risks and benefits of different options in relation to your own health history.

For women, the main treatment for menopause symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which means receiving estrogen and/or progesterone. Because using estrogen alone can increase the risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus), women who have not had a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) need to use estrogen in combination with progesterone (which reduces the risk of endometrial cancer by causing the lining of the uterus to shed). Women who have had a hysterectomy are not at risk of endometrial cancer and can use estrogen alone.

Estrogen and progesterone are available in a variety of different dosage forms. Estrogen is available as creams, patches, tablets, vaginal tablets, and a vaginal ring. Progesterone is available as tablets and creams. The tablets and creams are usually used once daily. Patches are usually applied to the skin once or twice weekly. The vaginal tablets are inserted into the vagina twice a week. The vaginal ring is inserted in the vagina and changed once every 3 months.

Although HRT is the main treatment used to treat menopausal symptoms, there are other options as well. One is the tissue selective estrogen complex (TSEC), which combines estrogen with bazedoxifene, mimicking the effect of estrogen in some parts of the body to improve menopausal symptoms while simultaneously blocking estrogen in the endometrium to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer from taking estrogen. Another option is tibolone, a synthetic steroid that also improves menopausal symptoms without the need for progesterone. Both TSEC and tibolone are tablets taken once a day, and have similar side effects to the traditional HRT.

There are many different forms of hormone therapy for menopause, and sometimes switching from one form to another can reduce the side effects and long-term risks a woman experiences. Estrogen plus progesterone may have long-term health risks including a higher risk of blood clots, heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke. Women taking estrogen alone may be at a higher risk of stroke, dementia (problems with memory and thinking), and blood clots. If you are considering hormone therapy, it's important to see your doctor to discuss your own personal balance of risk and benefit.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2024. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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