Hormone Therapy – Which Hormones Are Used
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has become a popular option for those seeking relief from symptoms of menopause and andropause. These natural stages of life cause a dramatic dip in a person’s hormone levels, which is why HRT seeks to supplement this need for hormones with a variety of treatment options.
Hormone replacement therapies help to make the transition through menopause or andropause a bit easier by providing a solution to a number of troublesome symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, and more.
Which Hormones are the Most Important to HRT?
An important part of hormone replacement therapy is understanding which hormones will be used to assist in relieving such symptoms. The primary three that are involved in this process are estrogen, testosterone, and progestin.
Many women recognize estrogen as a hormone that is at the center of their body’s reproductive functions. Estrogen is what enables your uterus for the fertilization of an egg. It is also responsible for many of the changes that ladies begin to notice as they go through puberty, such as:
- The development of breasts
- Growth of pubic and armpit hair
- The beginning of a woman’s menstrual cycle
- Wider hips to assist during childbirth
Just as estrogen is essential for a woman’s body, testosterone is essential for a man’s. Levels of both of these hormones exist within all men and women, just at different levels.
Testosterone is produced in a man’s testes and is responsible for the development of male characteristics like:
- Body and facial hair
- Sperm production
- Bone and muscle density
- Sexual desire and drive
Progesterone is essential to a woman’s reproductive system. This hormone is both a steroid and a hormone that causes the ovaries to release an egg each month, a process called ovulation, to begin the menstrual cycle. The progesterone hormone is also very important in regards to fertility and pregnancy because it works to make the uterus as hospitable as possible for an embryo.
Progestin is an artificial form of progesterone. The purpose of progestin is to recreate the effects of progesterone. Progestin is also a key component of many forms of birth control and treatment methods for female health conditions like endometriosis or amenorrhea. By emulating the progesterone hormone, medical professionals can manipulate a female body’s response to certain occurrences, like menopause.