March 20, 2022
Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men
Hormone replacement therapy for men replenishes testosterone levels by administering testosterone via intramuscular injections, patches, or gels.
Testosterone levels can deplete due to factors like age and certain illnesses. Low testosterone impacts everything from bone density to sex drive to muscle mass, resulting in unwanted sexual, physical, and emotional changes. Conditions including erectile dysfunction, increased body fat, and depression can be caused or exasperated by low testosterone levels.
In recent years, there has been significant research into the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for men. While there is a lot we still need to learn about the immediate and long-term effects of HRT, there is much evidence that testosterone therapy has many beneficial effects that can improve health and quality of life.
Benefits Of Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men
Higher Sex Drive
Low testosterone levels can cause a condition known as hypogonadism, where sex glands known as gonads produce little to no sex hormones. This can lead to not only a diminished sex drive, but also erectile dysfunction.
Hormone replacement therapy for men is one of the best treatments for hypogonadism. According to one study, hypogonadal men undergoing testosterone therapy reported significantly higher libidos and an increase in the frequency of sexual acts.
Increased Bone Mineral Density
Hypogonadism and low testosterone levels, in general, can have a negative impact on bone mineral density (BMD), putting you at increased risk for bone and hip fractures and conditions like osteoporosis. There has been some promising research that indicates hormone replacement therapy could potentially improve BMD in men.
One study investigated the effect of testosterone replacement therapy in 21 men and found a significant improvement in the lumbar spine BMD after 56 months. Another study of 72 hypogonadal men noted a substantial increase in BMD after one year of testosterone treatment. While further studies are needed to see the full picture, there is a growing body of evidence that hormone replacement therapy for men could significantly improve bone mineral density.
Improved Muscle Mass
Age-related declines in testosterone levels can lead to decreased muscle mass, resulting in limited mobility and increased risk of falls and fractures. Hormone replacement therapy for men can help slow or reverse age-depended body composition changes, improving overall health.
Several studies have shown an improvement in grip strength and a modest decrease in fat mass for men undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Cross-sectional studies have also found positive correlations between testosterone levels and muscle strength parameters in the upper and lower body. While there is limited evidence on whether hormone replacement therapy has a major impact on managing frailty in older men, it seems to improve muscle mass and overall physical fitness.
Lowers The Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of disorders that collectively increase your risk of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have found that low levels of testosterone and the sex hormone-binding globulin can lead to metabolic syndrome.
Studies have seen an improvement in insulin sensitivity after testosterone replacement therapy for men. When combined with other lifestyle changes such as weight loss, hormone replacement therapy may help reduce your risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Enhances Your Mood
Irritability and fatigue are all associated with low testosterone levels and an increased risk of depression is linked with hypogonadism. Some studies indicate that testosterone replacement therapy could be an effective antidepressant for hypogonadal men. One study found that hypogonadal men undergoing testosterone therapy reported an increase in energy, good feelings, and friendliness and a decrease in anger, anxiety, and irritability.
There is less research on the impact of testosterone on mood in non-hypogonadal men, but preliminary studies have been promising. One 2019 study, for example, found that testosterone had a moderate antidepressant effect on men, regardless of their initial testosterone levels.
Are There Risks Associated With Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Every medical treatment has some risks associated with it, and we still do not know the long-term effects of HRT for men. Some patients experience minor side effects such as fluid retention, acne, and increased urination. However, more severe side effects may occur, including:
- Decreased sperm count
- Increased cholesterol
- Breast enlargement
- Increased number of red blood cells
An experienced medical professional can help determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks given your circumstances. Working with a reputable provider greatly reduces your risk of complications. Your practitioner should take every precaution to ensure your safety, including going over your medical history and current health before treatment and monitoring your hormone levels throughout treatment.
Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men: The Bottom Line
While further research is needed, hormone replacement therapy for men has several notable benefits, especially for men with low testosterone levels. The best way to decide if treatment is right for you is to talk with a medical professional.
Interested in hormone replacement therapy? At CORR, our team has experience providing innovative medical treatment and comprehensive therapies tailored to individual patients’ needs. Reach out today to learn more.