Pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably made a pros and cons list in order to make a big life decision. Perhaps you’ve considered the pros and cons of a new job or moving to a new city, or maybe the pros and cons of an investment or other risky opportunity.
Whether or not you’ve consciously used pros and cons as a tool in decision-making, you probably weigh pros and cons subconsciously every day, even on small decisions, like whether or not to have a second cup of coffee or whether or not to go for a morning run.
When it comes to your health, understanding the possible risks and benefits (a fancier way to say “pros and cons”) of any treatment or regimen is crucial. Working with the right provider is a big piece of this, but doing your own research is also important.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of those treatments that should require a lot of research and weighing the pros and cons. But what are the pros and cons of HRT? There are a few key points to consider.
What is hormone replacement therapy?
Before we dig into the pros and cons of HRT, it’s important to understand what HRT even is. HRT is a specialized health treatment used to address the normal decline of hormone levels we encounter as we age. More specifically, HRT replaces either estrogen or testosterone that is no longer produced naturally by your body to get levels back to their optimal state.
HRT is most often used when men and women start noticing the symptoms of a hormone imbalance, like changes in weight, low libido, or a decrease in energy, and need support to rebalance their system and manage these symptoms. But, HRT can be used even before the onset of symptoms to keep you feeling younger and healthier for longer as you continue to grow older.
As with any health treatment, there are key pros and cons of HRT that must be considered if you’re thinking about starting HRT, and HRT may not be the right choice for every person.
Pros of hormone replacement therapy
Other than the management of preexisting symptoms, HRT can be extremely beneficial to your overall health and wellness, helping you look and feel younger for longer.
For women, some additional pros of HRT include:
- More effective weight loss and muscle growth
- Better sleep
- Higher libido
- Improved energy
For men, some pros of HRT (in the form of testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT) include:
- Improved energy
- Higher libido
- Increased bone density
- Boosted hair growth
Cons of hormone replacement therapy
While there are some wonderful benefits to HRT, it doesn’t come without some possible risks, especially if you have a prior history of certain medical conditions, like breast cancer or heart disease.
Though rare, some potential cons of HRT include an increased risk for:
- Certain cancers
- Heart attack and stroke
- Blood clots
- High cholesterol
Despite these risks, there are a few things you can do when considering HRT and taking hormones to lessen the risks, like:
- Choosing a provider that has significant experience with administering hormones and uses precision dosing to ensure you’re getting the smallest dose needed to replenish your normal levels.
- Ensure you’re starting treatment with a full hormone panel and testing your levels consistently through treatment.
- Carefully monitoring any new or worsening symptoms after starting on hormones to catch potential issues early.
Here at 10X Health System, we pride ourselves in not just our HRT expertise and knowledge, but also our team of Wellness Concierges and Treatment Managers that help guide our clients through every stage of their improving health.
If you’re still on the fence about HRT or wondering if HRT is the right treatment for you, it may be time to contact an expert, like the team at 10X Health System, to discuss your options and get started with a comprehensive blood test and hormone panel. Contact us today.