As you grow older, hormone therapy can sound promising. However, many misconceptions exist about what treatment may and may not do for you.
Hormone therapy may seem like an ultimate anti-aging formula. But some health benefits that come with hormone therapy aren’t completely clear.
How Hormone Therapy Works
Hormone therapy for men works by stopping testosterone from reaching cancer cells or stopping your body from producing testosterone. Usually, prostate cancerous cells need testosterone to grow. It as well controls other male traits, like the function/size of testicles and penis, erections, and muscle strength.
Mostly, testosterone in the body is made by the testicles. A small amount of testosterone as well comes from adrenal glands that sit above your kidneys. Testosterone doesn’t cause issues, but if you are suffering from prostate cancer, it will make more sense for cancerous cells to grow faster.
Hormone therapy, just on its own, can’t cure prostate cancer. But if you have it done on its own, it will just control it and manage or delay any symptoms associated with cancer.
Examples of Hormones Common in Men
There are several important hormones men must understand and be aware of. Good examples are thyroxine, cortisol, LH (luteinizing hormone), testosterone, and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone).
Testosterone and Why It’s Important
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones for men and is important in different aspects of their general health. Production of testosterone increases during puberty and is responsible for physical changes as boys mature into adult men. These changes may include the following:
- Deepening of voice
- Increased libido
- Pubic and facial hair growth
- Increased muscle mass
Testosterone does affect physical traits. It is also involved when it comes to regulating reproductive functions, like fertility and sperm production. Because of that, low testosterone may result in difficulty getting an erection and decreased libido, negatively affecting the sex life of a man.
Plus, low levels of testosterone may contribute to bone loss, resulting in low energy levels/fatigue, causing fat accumulation, reducing muscle strength/mass, and causing depression. Mentally, the hormone regulates mood by balancing neurotransmitter activity in the brain while combating depression symptoms by increasing the production of serotonin.
Benefits of Hormone Therapy in Men
Hormone therapy in men helps to improve general well-being by aligning their physical bodies with gender. Based on your goals for treatment, hormone therapy in men will allow you to experience gender congruence, increase sexual satisfaction, and improve mental health/psychological well-being.
Although there is no cure, the key goal of hormone therapy in men is to improve quality of life and counteract symptoms. People prescribed hormone therapy can also lead to stronger bones. For instance, testosterone is important in keeping bones healthy and strong. The density of bone decreases when the level of testosterone drops. Hence, osteoporosis becomes prevalent among men as they grow older, making hormone therapy more important.
Hormone therapy might be a very helpful treatment for men with low testosterone levels but comes with many risks. Those risks can outweigh the benefits if you consider the therapy so as to make up for the decrease in testosterone. So talk to a professional doctor to recommend safer options or advise you accordingly.