Middle age is a time of increased wisdom, emotional growth, and, yes, hormonal change. Whether it’s menopause for women or andropause for men, your hormones are in flux. It affects your bodily functions, sends you on an emotional roller coaster, and torpedoes your sex drive.

Fortunately, hormone replacement therapy, including the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Aleksander Bodnar uses at Viva Health in Clifton and Clark, New Jersey, can stabilize your hormone levels and help you get your mojo back.

Symptoms of menopause and andropause

Menopausal symptoms are caused by a decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels, and they can drag on for years during perimenopause, the period just before menopause when a woman’s body winds down its reproductive capacity. These include:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Poor sleep
  • Depression, mood changes, and irritability
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Loss of lean muscle mass
  • Overall weight gain

Andropausal symptoms are caused by a slow decrease in testosterone production (low T) that generally starts after age 30. These symptoms include:

  • Low blood counts
  • Mood changes
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Poor sleep
  • Unexplained weight gain leading to obesity

In addition, both sexes can experience sexual dysfunction. Vaginal atrophy (thinning of the vaginal tissue) is common in women, erectile dysfunction in men. Both sexes also see a decrease in libido.

What are bioidentical hormones?

Hormone replacement therapy restores estrogen and testosterone levels to their pre-menopausal or pre-andropausal levels, respectively.

Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to those produced in the body and manufactured from plant estrogens. They interact as regular hormones do with their receptors, which evens out your physical and emotional responses and diminishes uncomfortable symptoms.

Bioidentical hormones can be administered in many forms: oral pills, implanted pellets, patches, injections, and topical creams and gels.

Dr. Bodnar prefers inserting hormone-containing pellets just under the skin or administering a topical cream. These methods lessen the risks of side effects and adverse reactions.

The pellets release the hormone for about 3-4 months, after which the doctor reevaluates your status. If you’re doing fine, he reimplants the pellets; if not, he modifies your treatment.

Benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

The first major benefit of HRT is it reduces the problematic symptoms of menopause and andropause.

The second benefit is that it can help you maintain bone density, preventing the development of osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease caused by decreasing hormone levels. A fragile bone structure can leave you vulnerable to spontaneous fractures, especially in the spine.

The third benefit is it may reduce your risk of a number of medical problems, including diabetes, tooth loss (related to bone loss in the jaw), and cataracts.

And the fourth benefit is that HRT increases your sex drive, decreases painful symptoms of sex, and enhances your performance in the bedroom — all important to a healthy, happy life.

Are you experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of decreased hormone levels, including a diminished sex drive? It’s time to come into Viva Health for a consultation with Dr. Bodnar to determine if hormone replacement therapy is right for you. Call or book online today.

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