Patients ask, “What is the safety of hormone replacing using male hormone replacement therapy in Portland?”
The aging process does not just bring lines and wrinkles. Changes in hormone levels can affect your energy levels, personal drive, muscle, and bone density. For patients in the Portland, OR area, hormone replacement therapy is available for men and women experiencing symptoms of an imbalance. Male hormone replacement therapy has become a growing trend and can be done safely and effectively under the direction of Dr. Adam Maddox and the team at Thrive.
What is testosterone?
To understand hormone therapy, we must first know more about testosterone and its purpose. Testosterone is a male hormone that helps to maintain bone density, fat, muscle bulk and strength, hair, red blood cell production, sex drive, and sperm quality and count.
Testosterone levels peak between the ages of 18 and 25. With age, the levels gradually decline. The rate of decline is generally about 1 percent per year after the age of 30 or 40. For older men, lowered testosterone levels may be a normal part of aging or due to a disease called hypogonadism. Patients with hypogonadism have a problem with the testicles or pituitary gland resulting in the inability to produce normal amounts of testosterone.
Lowered testosterone levels can cause changes that affect a man’s daily life. These changes may include:
- Sexual function – Men may experience reduced sexual drive, fewer erections, and even infertility.
- Sleep – Low testosterone levels can cause problems sleeping including insomnia.
- Physical changes – Body changes are possible with hormone imbalances. Physical changes may include increased body fat, less muscle, and decreased bone density. Gynecomastia, or swollen male breasts, may occur. Patients may have less energy.
- Emotional changes – Patients with low testosterone may experience a decrease in motivation, confidence, or memory. They may feel depressed or have trouble concentrating.
Although these symptoms may be caused by various factors including medications or medical conditions such as diabetes or depression, hormone changes are a possibility as well. It is necessary to have blood work and a physical exam done to determine the underlying cause and to create the appropriate treatment plan.
Benefits of hormone replacement therapy
In testosterone therapy, injections, pellets, patches, or gels may be used to treat the decline in normal testosterone. Men suffering from hypogonadism or natural testosterone loss with age may benefit from hormone replacement therapy. The effects of the lowered hormone levels are reversed with this therapy. Therapy helps promote the effects of youth and vitality that may have been lost with abnormal testosterone production.
For men, hormone replacement therapy may involve the following:
- Intramuscular injections are injected into the buttocks every two to three weeks.
- Testosterone patches are applied daily to the back, arms, buttocks, or abdomen.
- Testosterone gel is applied daily to the shoulders, arms, or abdomen.
Dr. Maddox also uses bioidentical testosterone pellet therapy as a more natural alternative. Pellet therapy offers a steady dose to sustain testosterone levels for up to 3 to 6 months. Made from wild yams, pellets are placed just under the skin through a tiny incision. The procedure is performed in the office in just 30 minutes. Downtime is not necessary but avoiding exercising may be recommended to allow the pellet to set up.
Risks or concerns of treatment
There are differing views on the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy on healthy men. Some believe that because testosterone is lost as a natural part of aging, there is no need to replace it. However, hormone replacement therapy may help reverse the changes you have felt with aging. You can function and participate more fully in daily activities and feel better about yourself in general.
With any treatment, there may be risks but there are benefits as well. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your unique needs to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks. Dr. Maddox has been successfully treating andropause and using hormone replacement therapy for nearly 15 years. Your detailed medical history, current health, and laboratory results measuring your testosterone levels will be used to customize your treatment plan. In addition to testosterone therapy, natural treatment options such as weight loss and exercise may be suggested to help boost testosterone.