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All About Hormone Replacement Therapy
Monday, August 15th, 2016

There are many people seeking hormone replacement therapy in California, or any other state, for many reasons. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is where a person receives hormones as part of their medical treatment. This is done when a person’s body is not producing the right amount of hormones. The treatment is done to administer the lacking hormones to a patient.

There are three common reasons why people seek or are prescribed hormone replacement therapy: menopause, cross-sex, and androgen replacement. 

Hormone Replacement Therapy for menopause

Menopause is known as the time when women’s menstrual periods permanently stop and they are no longer able to get pregnant. It usually happens when a woman reaches their late forties. Menopause has already happened when a woman has not had any periods for a year. It also happens when the levels of hormones that the ovaries produce falls. Hormone replacement therapy can be given to women who went into menopausal because of surgery (such as the removal of ovaries or the uterus), perimenopausal (or the years before menopause actually starts and when the ovaries start to produces less estrogen), and postmenopausal (or when the ovaries do not release any more eggs and have stopped producing estrogen).

When estrogen levels drop during menopause, women experience a lot of discomfort. The goal of hormone replacement therapy in menopausal women is to decrease the discomfort they feel. The therapy also helps with the sexual dysfunction women experience, such as sexual pain, vaginal dryness,  low sex drive, and lack of desire for sex. Since sexuality can alter a woman’s way of life, some seek replacement therapy which can either be just estrogen or a combination of hormones. 

Androgen replacement therapy

Androgen replacement therapy can also be referred to as the replacement of testosterone. Androgen is a hormone that maintains masculine characteristics in males. Testosterone is the most active androgen. Men seek this treatment because as they age, they experience many things that are related to the decline of testosterone caused by aging such as fewer erections, less muscle mass and more body fat, and thinning skin. Testosterone is usually administered to the patient through injections, patches, any topical cream or gel, or pellets. Men’s menopause is called andropause, which is when the testosterone levels in men gradually drop. 

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Transgender People (cross-sex)

This is hormone therapy for transgender people, where androgen is administered to transmen and estrogen is administered to transwomen. The purpose of this is to give transgender people characteristics of their gender identity. Intersex people can also ask for this therapy if ever they choose a gender identity. This kind of therapy can also be applied to people who’ve had sex reassignment.

The goal of this therapy is feminization for male individuals to become female transgender people and masculinization for female individuals to become male transgender people.

These are the common reasons why people seek hormone replacement therapy. It may be because of medical reasons like the lack of hormones or something age-related such as menopause or andropause. In some occasions, the therapy is for something personal such as the transition and confirmation of gender identity.

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