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Do the Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy Outweigh the Risks?

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Hormone replacement treatment is a thorny subject. The cure for low testosterone has many side effects. Some may think that the risks are not worth it, that they would rather live with their symptoms, thank you very much. But knowledge is power, in this case the power to make an informed decision. Read below for a brief summarization of hormone replacement treatment. At the very least, you will feel more knowledgeable when you discuss the matter with your doctor.

The Easy to Miss Symptoms of Low Testosterone.

Some estimates say that in men older than 45, four out of 10 of them actually have low testosterone. Normal levels of the male hormone are between 300 and 1200 ng/dl, so low levels are usually between 100 and 300 ng/dl. Age makes a difference, as after the age of 30 men’s testosterone levels will drop by around 1% each year. There are a number of diseases that can contribute to this drop off, such as testicular cancer, obesity, HIV/AIDS, or Type 2 diabetes. Unlike low estrogen, which causes fairly specific problems, low testosterone symptoms include:

    -High blood pressure
    -Coronary heart disease
    -Lowered sex drive

There is a problem with these symptoms: they can easily be attributed to something else, such as a poor diet or simply a side effect of aging. While feeling depressed and having high blood pressure are not a sure sign of low levels of testosterone, they might be. It never hurts to get checked.

Low Testosterone Treatment Options: The Benefits.

For testosterone hormone replacement treatment may come in the form of injections, gels, sprays, or injectable pellets, although that last option is still fairly new. Your doctor will recommend which is best for you, based on your lifestyle, hormone levels, age, and if you and your spouse are trying to have a baby. There are multiple factors which go into determining treatment. Men who begin treatment tend to see a subtle yet noticeable difference in mood and libido within a few weeks.

Low Testosterone Treatment: The Negative Effects.

This treatment is not without its risk factors. When playing with the body’s hormones, there is the chance of side effects because the body is not producing the hormones itself and so its self-regulating abilities are, in some cases more than others, thrown off. Men may experience a growth in breast tissue, and men who have a risk of breast cancer are actually discouraged from hormone treatment. There is also the possibility of prostate growth, which has its own complications. An increased risk of blood clots and stroke are another side effect.

Hormone replacement treatment is a topic that requires frank discussion with your doctor. There are risks, and yet there are also benefits. Take care to weigh your options carefully. Truthfully, there is the risk of cancer of the breast tissue and/or the prostate. When taken in small doses for a short period of time, many doctors believe that risk can be minimized with the patient still experiencing a relief in low testosterone symptoms.

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