Understanding How Hormone Therapy Works
Hormone therapy is a practice that is well known by women who suffer from the side effects of menopause. Over time, technology has allowed hormone therapy to evolve into something that can be used for other medical purposes. Nonetheless, some people are still curious about the risks associated with hormone therapy and how safe the treatment actually is.
Understanding hormone therapy
Below is a quick overview of hormone therapy, including an explanation of what it is and how it works, as well as some safety information. This information can be helpful to review when looking into alternative ways to approach health concerns related to sexual wellness.
What is hormone therapy and how does it work?
Hormone therapy is used for both males and females, but most people are more familiar with it as a treatment for women. When a person has low testosterone or estrogen, their body can malfunction, sexually and physically. The result may be hot flashes, a lack of sexual drive or satisfaction and even discomfort. General practitioners may recommend hormone therapy as a way to address these problems.
Hormone therapy works by simply increasing the needed hormones in a man's body or a woman's body. If there are no hormones left in the body, the therapy will introduce new hormones into the body.
Typically, hormone therapy is administered through oral medications. However, it can also come in gels, patches, creams, sprays or insert rings. The patient's specific needs will be used to determine which treatment is most appropriate.
Health conditions that hormone therapy can be used for
Hormone therapy is typically used for women going through menopause. However, it is also prescribed by general practitioners to individuals looking to prevent bone loss and bone fractures. Women who have an estrogen deficiency and men who suffer from low testosterone levels may also benefit from hormone therapy. Lastly, individuals who are undergoing sexual transitions due to gender confirmation processes can undergo hormone therapy to encourage proper development and healing.
Is it safe?
Hormone therapy is not necessarily unsafe, but not all practitioners recommend it, as there are a few potential risks. Of course, with any medical practice, the outcome is always much more positive when done in a professional setting. Hormone therapy, in particular, is the safest when performed by a licensed and experienced general practitioner who specializes in sexual wellness.
Outlined below are a few of the risks associated with hormone therapy. It is important to be aware of these risks when considering treatment of any kind.
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
- Gallbladder and gallstone problems
- Breast cancer
Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your chances of developing the problems listed above. General practitioners recommend minimizing the amount of medication consumed, making routine medical appointments and going through trial and error to determine the best practice.
Find out more about hormone therapy
When looking to learn more about hormone therapy and what it is used for, it is best to reach out directly to a general practitioner. An evaluation can be done to determine the most appropriate course of action. Additionally, questions and concerns can be addressed, which can be helpful for identifying goals.
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