Hormone therapy isn't just for
Hormone therapy for men isn't
brand new, but it is substantially underused. New formulations
are now available, and so this is changing and men can now reverse
many effects of depleting hormone balances and obtain some other very enjoyable
Hormones can be prescribed for a
variety of conditions, but as men grow older, they will lose
substantial portions of their testosterone production. Our
entire body ages over time and just like every other part of our
body, those parts that produce hormones tend to slow down.
The decline starts in the
mid-20's though the effects aren't all that noticeable until the
mid-30's. By early to mid-40's some men find that sexual
performance is questionable and desire is diminishing. By
mid-late 50's most men are having some performance issues
due to low testosterone levels, though this is often the case as
early as the late 30's or early 40's.
The effects of low testosterone
aren't immediately as noticeable as they are for women. While menopause symptoms can hit a woman like a train,
and in and out over a couple of years, ANDROPAUSE (male menopause)
continues to creep up over time and can easily last 15-20 years.
While all humans have decreased
hormone output as they age and these are easily tested, andropause has almost not been
studied as an independent subject. As a result, there are
still a few doctors that doubt it
These of course are the same ones that
said PMS wasn't real 30 years ago and 60 years ago denied menopause. Most
would probably also deny a sunny day if there wasn't a test for it
and it was accepted by the AMA.
The negative results of normal testosterone loss
have become big business in the USA with new products hitting the
market directly aimed at the symptom rather than the cause.
A whole host of sexual dysfunction medications are now available
such as Cialis and Viagra. Beyond that, other creams and
supplements are also being sold to combat what is now known as EDS
(erectile dysfunction) that plague most men sooner or later.
There can be a number of causes
for EDS including other medications, diabetes, high blood pressure, stress,
job pressure, and the
effects of long-term smoking.
In many cases however,
significant testosterone loss is at least a partial contributor. In many cases, just correcting this one
imbalance can make all the difference necessary to live life
Men also tend to
have other effects from the loss of testosterone that can include:
While male hormone
therapy may not immediately reverse these effects, the above
symptoms can be reduced or eliminated over time.
Male hormone therapy does not mean that a 50
year old man will have the body of a 30 year old man. We
still age. However, with proper diet and exercise, you can
probably come close to being as healthy and sexually active as a
30 year old male.
Although it can take time to
change some of these negatives, this doesn't mean you won't
notice wonderful effects right away.
Within a week after
beginning the testosterone replacement therapy, the average man will start to notice a strong increase in sex desire as well as
sexual stamina and capability. Moods can also start to
change and all of these changes will continue to increase as the
hormones continue to become effective. Cases of mild
depression may also be lessened in the short run.
Aside from a direct effect on the
libido, these results can also be very emotionally healthy.
Our emotions are strongly tied to our sexual well-being and we all
need physical attention no matter how old we get.
the engines again can have a dramatic effect on how a person feels
about themselves and their readiness to take on the
Are hormones safe?
This is and should be a
continuously asked and studied question. So far, several
European studies have concluded that bioidentical hormones are safer than
synthetic ones, but it may be years before there is any conclusive
Bottom line, you should have a
thorough checkup before starting any program and have regular
checkups in between. This of course makes for good common
Testing and retesting is
critical. The ideal testosterone levels should be between
240 - 1100ng/dl. While your doctor may suggest that your
level of 250 is in the normal range, it's at the very bottom of
the normal range. Testosterone replacement therapy can raise
it to the upper end of this normal range and give you far more
Conversely, if your testosterone
levels are too high, it can start to shut down your normal body's
production of hormones, and that's most definitely not a good
thing. Your doctor will continue to run blood tests
routinely to make sure all the balances are in check.
Always discuss any treatment
program with all of your doctors. They might be recommending
treatments, drug regimens, or just looking at your entire body
with age in mind. If your hormone levels are different from
that which is expected at your age, your doctor needs to
It is recommended that married
couples start hormone therapy together. Yes, it is that
serious! A man starting on testosterone therapy alone will
almost certainly outpace his wife of the same age, leading to
frustration for both, but for different reasons.
the lesser spikes of bio-identical
hormone implants, many men report a sex drive similar to that
of age 20 somewhere in the cycle. It's nice to have a wife
with that same sex drive at the same time. It should be
noted that many people report a much stronger sex drive for the
first treatment than later on when their body learns to handle the
treatments for women are also available, and yes men... they
include just the right amount of testosterone for her too.
Dust off the vacation club and fire up the Victoria Secret credit
card, because things could get crazy.
Other relatively immediate
benefits might also include an increase in a fun-loving spirit,
more desire for romance, less sleep required because of better
sleep when you get it, a better ability to lose weight, and
interestingly enough - some people report fewer trips to the bathroom. This is
particularly nice in the middle of the night.
Again, these are beneficial side
effects and you may or may not experience them all as each
individual is different.
The downsides are simple:
As you would suspect with any regimen,
you must undergo a battery of blood tests called a hormone panel to
determine what your current balances are. This test will
probably be repeated several times over the first few months to
see if you are getting the right amount and how fast they are
depleting. Your dosage may be changed as a result of these
After the first round, it is
mostly likely that you will only get this test once or twice per
year. This is to determine if you are still
on a good and proper dose, as it may have to increase as you
Tests are also important when self-medicating
with creams and patches because
mistakes do happen and sometimes people think that more of a good
thing is always better. This is not the case. Hormone
levels that are too high can cause other things to go
You should also undergo a checkup for
cancer before you start and this might include additional tests if
the results come back other than as normal. A testicular exam for
abnormalities is also a good idea and this can be used to set a
baseline for future examinations. Talk with your doctor
about additional tests that should be run. For obvious
reasons, these aren't necessary for women.
The cost for hormone therapy isn't
huge compared to treatments for other medical programs, but it's not
like buying aspirin either. If you smoke, give up smoking and you will
save just about as much as the testosterone replacement program
will cost you. Check with your insurance company to
determine if these treatments are covered. Costs of
hormone treatments will vary depending upon how much you
The last negative (depending upon
your perspective) is that you might find that you spend far
more time thinking of sex than what you are used to and your libido exceeds your time
available. A helpful suggestion - plan a long weekend
honeymoon about 3-4 weeks into the program. It might not be
a restful one, but it will be enjoyable.