Women experience the dramatic drop in estrogen at menopause, but men are also affected by a natural decline in testosterone as they get older. Since both hormones have a body-wide impact, you’re at risk for numerous health problems when their levels decline.
Here at BioAge Health, we help patients in Eagan, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities area restore their health and vitality with safe bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Here’s what you need to know about the impact of estrogen and testosterone on your body, and the health benefits of HRT.
Impact of low estrogen in women
In the years before and after menopause, women expect to experience hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. But those aren’t the only changes occurring in your body, because estrogen affects nearly every tissue, including your:
You have estrogen receptors in areas of your brain involved in emotion, cognition, and memory. Estrogen even affects levels of certain neurotransmitters. This is why menopause leads to problems like irritability, anxiety, depression, and memory loss.
Throughout your lifetime, your bones continuously lose old or damaged bone and replace it with new, healthy bone. As you get older, bones become weak because new bone production can’t keep up with bone loss.
Estrogen is vital for strong bones because it promotes bone building. Bone loss significantly accelerates in the first 5 years after menopause, increasing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Estrogen serves an important anti-aging function in your skin by promoting collagen production and maintaining skin thickness and hydration. On the flip side, loss of estrogen leads to skin that’s thin, dry, and less elastic.
Estrogen protects your cardiovascular health by increasing good cholesterol, decreasing bad cholesterol, and relaxing blood vessels. Estrogen also helps keep heart muscles strong and healthy.
The vagina is often the first place where women feel the impact of low estrogen. Estrogen maintains vaginal health in much the same way it helps your skin: It keeps the vaginal lining strong, elastic, and well-lubricated. Loss of estrogen causes a condition called vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal atrophy affects your sexual health
About half of all women develop vaginal atrophy after menopause. The condition occurs when lack of estrogen leads to vaginal dryness, thinning of the vaginal lining, and loss of blood supply.
Women who have vaginal atrophy experience symptoms such as:
- Vaginal burning and itching
- Pain during intercourse
- Less lubrication during intercourse
- Bleeding after intercourse
The same changes (drying and thinning) affect your urinary tract, causing urinary incontinence and burning during urination.
Impact of low testosterone in men
Although men don’t experience the extreme loss of hormones as women do at menopause, their levels of testosterone decline as they get older. Beginning around the age of 30, testosterone levels drop by as much as 2% every year.
Testosterone has a body-wide impact in men, both directly and indirectly, as a small amount of testosterone is converted into a form of estrogen. Low testosterone causes:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Loss of bone density
- Decline in muscle mass and strength
- Thinning of beard and body hair
- Development of breast tissue
- Fatigue and depression
Low testosterone is also associated with a higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
How bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help
You can reverse the problems associated with low hormones and prevent chronic disease with HRT that restores your hormones back to their normal levels.
HRT begins with a complete blood profile to determine your exact hormone levels and the dose needed to replenish them. Then Dr. Kodama orders SottoPelle® bioidentical hormones, which are specially formulated to meet your individual hormone needs. The hormones are delivered in the form of a pellet that’s placed under your skin.
Bioidentical hormones match the molecular structure of your body’s natural hormones. You receive the same body-wide response as you would with your body’s natural hormones, and there’s only a minimal risk of side effects.
Pellets are small cylinders that are packed with natural estrogen or testosterone. They’re about the same size as a grain of rice, so Dr. Kodama can easily insert a pellet under your skin.
Once your pellet is implanted, it delivers a continuous supply of hormones, keeping blood levels steady and delivering hormones around-the-clock just like your body.
With SottoPelle pellets, you avoid the sudden, unhealthy surge of hormones produced by other delivery methods, like pills and injections. Pellets are also the most convenient form of HRT because one pellet lasts 4-6 months.
If you feel the effects of low hormones, call BioAge Health to learn more about how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can restore your energy and health. Or click the button on this website to book an appointment online.