Hormone replacement for men is a treatment option for males who are in the phase of their lives where they experience symptoms related to menopause or the so-called andropause. Hormone replacement therapy is also referred to as testosterone replacement therapy or low t therapy. But for men, before they decide to undergo with the therapy they often have a few questions that they want to be answered. So, what really is the therapy all about and how does it help with andropause?
About Hormone Replacement Therapy
Before starting with hormone replacement for men, a complete general exam should be done first. This examination includes PSA test, liver function tests, digital rectal examination, cardiac function tests, and blood test in order to determine the testosterone levels. In some cases, a prostate biopsy is also done. These tests are necessary and should be done again every 3-6 months while the patient is still being treated. This is done because the side effects could be significant and this may include an increased tendency for blood clots, liver toxicity, thrombophlebitis, urinary tract blockage, rise in PSA levels, sleep apnea, and breast enlargement.
Different Hormones Available for the Therapy
Some oral forms are linked to having high risk of liver toxicity, but the newer forms bypass the liver and are not so toxic.
There are two forms of injectable available: testosterone enanthate and testosterone cypionate. These should be given every 2-3 weeks to maintain the desired levels of hormone. The use of injectable testosterone might result in excess hormone that is being converted to estrogen. This is not a good thing, though.
Subcutaneous pellets known as Testopel are implanted under the skin in the buttocks every 3-4 months. This procedure is performed in a doctor’s office and is done is a short time like five minutes. Given that testosterone implant provides a constant hormone level in the blood, it is the more preferred form of therapy.
Since testosterone implants provide a constant level of the hormone in the blood, it is a preferred form of testosterone replacement therapy.
READ MORE: Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Sydney
Topical testosterone gels (Axilron, Androgel, Testim, Fortesta) can be applied every day to the shoulders, thigh, or underarms. Gels cause very minimal side effects and just like implants, they are also a preferred form of hormone replacement.
Use of transdermal patches for testosterone very effective when it comes to restoring testosterone levels. These patches should be applied on a daily basis to either the back, arm, or upper buttocks. They provide continuous 24-hour release of the hormone. However, in case of side effect, the most common is skin irritation.
The goal of the therapy is to help men achieve and maintain their testosterone level that is right for their age and state of health without any significant side effects. To be certain that this is reached and maintain, males should have their blood tested regularly and their treatment altered if needed.