Fatigue, weight gain, sexual dysfunction — these are just a few of the symptoms that both men and women can experience when their reproductive hormone levels are low. While these hormones are tasked with overseeing your reproductive health, they cast a surprisingly large net over your general health and wellness as well.
At Louisiana Heart and Vascular in Covington, Louisiana, Farhad Aduli, MD, FACC, is both an interventional cardiologist and an internist, which means our scope extends far beyond your heart health. In this blog, our team explains how hormone imbalances can affect your well-being, and how hormone replacement therapy might be able to help.
When women pass through menopause, their reproductive hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, drop off considerably, leaving them vulnerable to a host of physical and mental side effects. While some women sail through this transition, others are plagued by quality-of-life symptoms that include:
Most women go through menopause in their late 40s or early 50s (the average age is 51) and experience some degree of menopause-related symptoms. To put some numbers to this, half of postmenopausal women in the United States experience vaginal dryness.
While menopause is the primary driver of this type of hormonal balance in women, a hysterectomy or certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, can cause the same loss of estrogen and progesterone.
While men don’t experience the same precipitous drop in their reproductive hormone levels as women passing through menopause do, they can still develop testosterone deficiencies.
For example, men’s testosterone production may decline by about 1% a year after they reach age 30. As men get older, this decline can add up and lead to lower-than-normal testosterone levels. As a result, men may experience the following symptoms:
While the gradual loss of testosterone may lead to a hormone deficiency, low testosterone can also be caused by injury to your testicles, chemotherapy, infection, autoimmune disorders — such as HIV — or a congenital issue.
First we review your symptoms and give you a simple blood test. If we find that your reproductive hormone levels are low, we may recommend hormone replacement therapy. This therapy aims to correct the imbalance and thereby lessen or eliminate the symptoms.
With hormone replacement therapy, we use synthetic hormones that are identical in structure to the hormones your body creates. These hormones can be delivered by way of a pill, a cream, or an implant.
If you suspect that declining hormone levels are behind recent changes in your health and wellness, book an appointment online or over the phone with Louisiana Heart and Vascular today. We serve patients from all over, including Covington, Mandeville, and Slidell, Louisiana.