Today a new medical trend is developing – in the treatment of delicate female problems, doctors began to use male hormones. To whom and when such an approach can come in handy?
Until now, male hormones have been considered an absolute evil for women’s health. And suddenly they become a medicine. How can this be?
Indeed, new drugs are being created abroad for hormone replacement therapy in women. For the first time, they include three components: the female hormones estrogen and progesterone and the male hormone testosterone.
There are also patches and gels with a male hormone. They are already being used, including in our country, for the treatment of certain female disorders. And there is nothing paradoxical in this.
Nowadays, in connection with the accumulated scientific data, the division of hormones into female and male is becoming more and more conditional. Indeed, in fact, both of them are necessary for representatives of both sexes. It is only in their concentration.
In the body of any person, all three sex hormones must be present – estrogens, progesterone, testosterone. This “troika of players” literally affects all life processes, the state of all organs and tissues.
So, the following factors depend on the male hormone in women: slimness, muscle development, bone strength, and the level of the hormone insulin.
With normal testosterone, women do not suffer from depression and fatigue. They are energetic and better tolerate physical and emotional stress. Male hormone maintains their good mood, healthy ambition and pleasure in an intimate life.
And why is its level in women going down?
This process can be influenced by different circumstances. Sometimes some chronic diseases are negatively affected. In other cases, surgery and taking certain medications are guilty.
But most often the level of testosterone, like other sex hormones, decreases with age. This is due to the extinction of ovarian function.
A similar condition is now called female andropause. Previously, such a concept simply did not exist.
The lady falls interest in the opposite sex and intimate life. Muscle weaken, there is a prolonged causeless fatigue. She is worried about constant anxiety or depression.
With a more pronounced hormone deficiency, problems with the bladder and insomnia appear. As a result, headaches become more frequent, blood pressure and blood sugar increase.
Previously, these typical climacteric phenomena were associated with a deficiency of only female hormones. But in fact, for many women, estrogen levels may remain normal. But testosterone is lacking.
Therefore, henceforth, in women with such problems, we will also examine male hormones in the blood. And if their content approaches the lower limit of the norm, we prescribe treatment. Thus, we act on the deep roots of the disorders, and do not mask their symptoms.
What kind of treatment are we talking about?
The deficiency of any hormone can be filled with the help of replacement therapy. And just like there are drugs for female hormones, there are drugs with testosterone. They are produced in different versions – in the form of tablets, injections, gels, skin patches and subcutaneous implants. Each form of release has its own characteristics, pluses and minuses. But for women, among all the options, local remedies are more preferable – gel, cream or patch.
What disorders can be corrected with these agents?
First of all, these drugs are addressed to women who have ineffective or prohibited standard hormone therapy.
In particular, these are patients with uterine fibroids, endometriosis and adenomyosis. With these diseases, the level of female hormones usually exceeds the norm. You can’t add them from the outside, with medicines, so as not to provoke deterioration.
But at the same time, menopausal problems must also be somehow solved – loss of strength, pain in muscles and joints, sleep disturbances, nervousness, excessive sweating. This is where testosterone preparations come to the rescue.
Another case of their successful appointment is a condition after removal of the ovaries. In a woman, the level of all sex hormones in the blood drops sharply. And, as a result, severe sexual dysfunction develops. Here, testosterone can be used both in addition to traditional hormone replacement therapy, and independently. For example, in the form of a gel that is applied to the skin twice a week.
Another application is the treatment of atrophic vaginitis. This is a fairly common problem in menopause. But local use of the cream with male hormone helps to successfully solve it. The lady disappears dryness and soreness in the intimate zone.
This treatment is suitable even for women after breast cancer. They can’t take female hormones – male ones help out.
Another new use of testosterone is the prevention of genital prolapse in women. The hormone helps strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. Slows down the age-related loss of collagen in tissues. Sometimes the right medication prescribed on time helps to avoid a not too pleasant operation.
The same goes for another delicate problem – an overactive bladder. It manifests itself in the form of frequent nightly urination and daytime urinary incontinence. The additional intake of testosterone helps to relax the vessels of the bladder. And he ceases to contract excessively.
All this is good, but testosterone has its drawbacks. You also need to know about them. Is it true that male hormone has a bad effect on blood vessels and metabolism and even contributes to obesity?
No, in fact, everything is exactly the opposite. In postmenopausal women, when progesterone and estrogens “disappear” in a woman, it is testosterone that maintains the health of the heart and blood vessels for some time. He continues to be responsible for bone strength.
Previously, doctors did not know about his such protective role. Therefore, conflicting opinions appeared.
As for obesity, testosterone alone does not increase weight. Does not violate insulin sensitivity. Moreover, in postmenopausal women, applying testosterone gel to the stomach can reduce body fat.
But the course of treatment should be short-lived – no more than six months. In addition, a woman should not initially be overweight.
And they say that male hormones provoke the growth of unwanted hair, contribute to baldness, greasy skin, the appearance of acne.
All of the above occurs in women only with a significant excess of male hormones. And not just like that, but with a certain disease. He must be sought and treated.
Of course, the abundance of male hormones, as well as their deficiency, affects women’s health negatively. So, in reproductive age, an excess of testosterone prevents the maturation of the egg. So, a woman cannot become pregnant and safely bear a baby. This condition is often observed with polycystic ovary syndrome.
But we are now talking about the minimum maintenance dose of the hormone. And only about those ladies who have a significant deficit.
If you take testosterone uncontrollably, without a doctor’s prescription, then you can hurt yourself. It is like with any medicine.
Understand that there is no universal solution for absolutely all ladies. Some require more estrogen, others need extra testosterone. For this, there are experienced endocrinologists – to choose the best option for every woman.
Can hormonal deficiency be recognized even before unpleasant symptoms? What and from what age should I pay attention to?
Not only possible, but necessary. Self-examination is a reasonable and useful matter. But laboratory diagnostics are also important. She is objective.
The level of all sex hormones – both female and male – begins to decline gradually from the age of 35.
The fact that a person has testosterone deficiency is indicated by sagging back muscles. Outwardly, it looks like horizontal folds on the sides. It is also worth paying attention to indifference to intimacy, difficulties in achieving pleasure.
With a lack of estrogens, dryness of the skin, eyes, intimate zone occurs. Another sign is a crunch in the joints.
If you rarely have ovulation, premenstrual syndrome is pronounced, your breast swells before your period – this indicates a progesterone deficiency. When it is lacking, sensitivity to pain also increases.