Hormonal imbalance is a common medical condition that occurs when the body stops or decreases the production of certain hormones. Its presence is so subtle that many people rarely notice its effects on the body as it causes minor complications such as fatigue, sweating, weight gain, and decreased sexual function. Most adults simply attribute their health issues to aging and rarely think to seek medical treatment, leading them to ignore the telltale signs until their condition worsens.
Although hormonal imbalance affects both men and women, it is seen more commonly in women during the latter stages of their life. However, hormonal imbalance can also become a real problem for older men as they experience symptoms of low testosterone, such as decreased muscle mass and memory loss.
But thanks to the modern era of technology and science, there is a treatment that can help men restore their testosterone levels to optimal standards. So if you’re a man over the age of 30 and you’re experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance, then it may be time to consult with your physician about male hormone therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) helps restore and maintain a man’s hormone balance by utilizing natural or synthetic hormones to replenish the loss of hormones naturally produced by the human body. With HRT, men can increase their testosterone levels and improve muscle mass, energy, and libido.
There are several forms of HRT for men that may be prescribed depending on your treatment plan. So before you begin comparing the costs of various hormone therapy clinics, it may help to know a little bit about your potential options to help you decide how to start hormone replacement therapy. Knowing your options can help you find the best treatment to fit your therapy plan and your budget.
What are the Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men?
There are several forms of hormone replacement for men. Depending on your condition, your doctor may present you with four different treatment programs to help restore your hormonal balance. They include:
- Bioidentical hormone therapy
- Testosterone replacement
- Peptide therapy
- HGH therapy
These treatment plans are the four most common programs used in HRT for men. To figure out how to start hormone replacement therapy, you must be familiar with how these four HRT programs work.
Bioidentical hormones therapy
Bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) incorporates hormones derived from plant estrogens identical to natural chemicals produced by the body. Bioidentical hormones can be manufactured in various forms, including:
If you’re wondering how to increase testosterone, then it may be time to consult with your physician about the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a medical regimen that incorporates synthetic testosterone to help boost low testosterone levels. There are various types of testosterone supplements, which can include:
Any of these male hormone replacement therapy options can help with restoring men’s low T levels, but doctors may recommend testosterone injections for men as they are considered the most effective form of treatment.
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Peptide therapy utilizes synthetic peptides to help boost human growth hormone production and direct cells to perform specific functions depending on the type of peptide used. There are several types of peptides used in peptide therapy, but each one is capable of providing numerous benefits, including:
- Decreased joint and muscle pain
- Enhance cognitive function and memory
- Improved sleep
- Increased levels of energy
- Improved immune function
HGH therapy uses synthetic hormones to help patients with growth hormone deficiency raise their HGH levels to adequate standards. Synthetic HGH is manufactured by using chemically compounding hormones to imitate the functions of the natural hormones found in the human body to help boost decreased HGH levels. With human growth hormone therapy, men can discover several health benefits, including:
- Increased bone density
- Increased muscle mass
- Improved exercise ability
- Loss of body fat
HRT Therapy For Men: Is It Right For You?
Hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment for healthy men with low testosterone levels or men who have hypogonadism–a testicle disorder that prevents the body from producing adequate amounts of testosterone. HRT can also help men over 40 boost testosterone levels that have declined due to aging.
How Much Does HRT Cost?
Hormone replacement therapy costs can vary depending on your frequency of visits and the hormone replacement therapy medications you’re using for treatment.
If you’re purchasing pills without insurance, your monthly prescription costs can run anywhere from $130 to $240 a month. However, the average co-pay cost is $30 to $90 every month for patients with an insurance provider.
Patients who prefer creams or gels usually pay $120-$1,020 annually without insurance. With an insurance provider, patients normally pay a lower co-pay of $60 to $360 a year.
Injections can vary in price depending on the materials used to administer the injection and the dosage prescribed. Based on those factors, uninsured patients can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 per month, with insured patients paying considerably less.
Remember to keep in mind that office visits can also affect the average cost of hormone replacement therapy. In addition, comprehensive lab testing, which may include periodic blood work to monitor your hormone levels, can also increase your average expenses depending on your physician and insurance provider.
What are the Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy doctors can help create an effective HRT program to restore declining hormone levels and optimize your overall well-being. HRT is proven to provide aging men with several benefits, including:
- Improved energy levels
- Stronger bone density
- Increase muscle mass
- Improved mental concentration
- Increased sexual stimulation
What are the Hormone Replacement Therapy Risks?
Although men’s hormone replacement therapy is a safe treatment, it does have its fair share of minor risks, which include:
- Increased urination
- Increased risk for sleep apnea
- High cholesterol levels
- Fluid retention
- High blood pressure
Other known side effects include:
- Blurry vision
- Chest pain
- Blood clots
Who Shouldn’t Take HRT?
Men with pre-existing heart conditions may need to avoid HRT as it can increase blood cell count and their capacity to carry oxygen to the heart, leading to an increased possibility of heart attacks and strokes.
How Soon Will I See Results From HRT?
Just like any other new medical regimen, it will take your body some time to get used to HRT. Once treatment begins, it may take six to eight weeks before your body is fully adjusted to the hormone replacement therapy medications. However, after four to six months, you should be able to completely experience the benefits of male hormone replacement therapy.
How to Start HRT? What Do I Need?
To start the HRT process, you will need to schedule an appointment with your licensed mental health provider so they can provide you with a referral letter and a Release of Information Form. The release form will allow male hormone replacement therapy doctors to review your referral letter and records so they can accurately determine your needs for HRT and create a plan to help you get started.
The doctors and support staff at Renew Vitality can help optimize your overall health and wellbeing with customized wellness plans that utilize male hormone replacement therapy. With hormone replacement clinics all over the United States, you can always find a Renew Vitality location nearby to schedule an appointment and discuss your HRT options with a doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Since every patient’s body type is different, not everyone will experience the same side effects. However, there are some common side effects that most patients may experience during their HRT treatments, which include:
- Hot flashes
- Loss of memory retention
- Changes in mood
Yes, hormone replacement therapy can lead to extra weight gain. However, with a good diet and an effective exercise regimen, men can still manage their weight as they undergo treatment.
No. So far, hormone replacement therapy has not been shown to cause cancer. Studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy can actually decrease the risk of certain cancers and can even be used to treat prostate cancer.
Yes. Men with low testosterone are also at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, so using HRT to increase testosterone levels to normal standards can help with insulin resistance and glycemic control.
Hormone replacement therapy is an ongoing treatment that is typically long-term and, in some cases, indefinitely. You should discuss your treatment process with your doctor to determine how long you may need hormone replacement therapy.
Declining hormone levels can lead to several noticeable minor complications that can drastically alter your lifestyle. The most common symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Decreased sexual performance
- Memory loss
- Low sperm count
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may need to discuss hormone replacement therapy options with your doctor.
Yes, hormone replacement therapy is FDA approved and considered a safe treatment for men with low hormone levels.