A classic way to classify people is by gender – females and males – owing to our hormonal differences. To name, the hormones responsible for the female characteristics of a human being are mainly estrogen and progesterone while the hormone responsible for the male characteristics is mainly the testosterone.
Although the named hormones are the ones responsible for the female and male characteristics, it does not mean that women only have estrogen and progesterone and men only have testosterone. In fact, people, regardless of gender, possess all of these hormones. It just so happens that the dominating hormones in females are estrogen and progesterone and the dominating hormone in males is the testosterone.
Let us focus our attention to females. In early childhood, females are yet to experience their first “menstrual” period. During this period, the hormones in the body are causing the womb to actively shed the lining of the uterus. Some other physiological effects of estrogen and progesterone are improved mood, skin integrity, memory, decreased cortisol level, lowered cholesterol, decreased risk for osteoporosis, and improves insulin sensitivity.
Throughout the course of the precedent menstrual cycles, there will come a time where these cycles vary and eventually will stop. This phenomenon is termed peri-menopause or menopause. During menopause, the body greatly reduces its production of estrogen and progesterone. The first five years of menopause are the most critical as the female body needs to learn to adapt to less hormones. During this time, women may experience hot flashes, night sweat, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, weight gain, fatigue, low libido, and osteoporosis.
Men also have a time when their testosterone levels decrease, it is called andropause. Contrary to women, andoropause is high variable. There is no set time in a man’s life when it will occur. Most men experience andropause around 40 years of age. Some symptoms of low testosterone is decreased energy, libido, memory, increased cortisol levels, trouble losing weight, increased anxiety.
That is why hormone replacement therapy is employed to maintain hormonal balance in the body which is helps to minimize the symptoms of menopause and andropauses. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can all be used to help people achieve a better quality of life and reduce age related risks, such as osteoporosis, fine lines/wrinkles, loose skin, diabetes, weight gain, etc.
Hormone replacement therapy will affect muscle bulk, fat distribution, and hair growth. Other supplements may be used while undergoing hormone replacement therapy to encourage proper metabolism and utilization of the hormones.
The effect of hormone replacement therapy is not limited to physiological changes only, psychological benefits are also observed. A person feels better about themselves with more energy and less anxiety, which leads to an in sync body and mind creates a healthier sense of self.
How much of a prescribed regimen to be taken is dependent on the varied needs and situations of the male and female patients. Advantages and disadvantages of hormone replacement therapy must be thoroughly discussed with a medical professional so as to assure that an appropriate intervention is given. Most of the time, the regimen starts with a low dose then a continual increase until the optimum dose of the therapy is administered to achieve optimum health.