The human body has a wide variety of hormones in it, or communication chemicals used to regulate how the body functions and changes over time. As nearly anyone knows, a person’s hormones become much more active in puberty and remain so for many years, with estrogen in girls and testosterone and vasopressin in boys reaching new levels. This will modify their bodies and their mental faculties alike, and in their mid to late teens, people become sexual beings. Of course, this often comes with sex education and lessons on responsibility for one’s health, and adults are typically able to handle their own sex lives. However, sometimes an adult may suffer from infertility, and infertility solutions may be found at a fertility clinic or when one chooses to find a gynecologist. Meanwhile, adults in their 50s experience a different sort of hormonal change, and women experience menopause while men go through what is called andropause. A major aspect of womens health in particular is finding menopause treatment, and this may be done at hormone replacement therapy centers in one’s area. Such hormone replacement therapy is common among women but may also be done for men, who experience lowering levels of testosterone later in life. When is it time to consider hormone replacement therapy?
Hormone Replacement Therapy
There may be some misconceptions about a woman’s menopause. Strictly speaking, “menopause” is really just a 24 hour-long change in her hormones, and the rest of her life after that is the post-menopausal stage. Women experience menopause at different times of their life, often ranging from their mid-40s to their early 60s or so, but most women experience it. When this happens, her levels of estrogen decrease, and she will become infertile as well. A woman’s mental faculties may change as well, and she will lose some of her maternal instincts and mental habits from her younger adult years. A general trend in menopausal women is an increasing self-interest, and women often use this time to explore their own lives and pursue an education, project, or career that was held off during their child-rearing years. Not that these women are completely cut off from others, however, and grandmothers are an essential part of any society or family, offering support and guidance for others. Men, meanwhile, experience a drop in testosterone, losing some of their competitive attitudes from their younger years and their need to prove themselves and compete with others. At the same time, men’s very low estrogen levels may increase somewhat at this time.
These are natural changes, but many men and women do not like them, so hormone replacement therapy may be considered. Such therapy has proven to be safe, although it may come with some side effects. Women may have supplements of estrogen, and men receive testosterone, and this may reverse some of the changes to their brains. Some side effects of the post-menopausal life, such as irritability or a loss of focus or trouble with sleep, may be reversed, among others. Many women who get hormone replacement therapy report a general upward trend in their mood and daily consistency.
If a man-woman couple are having trouble conceiving a child, they may visit a fertility clinic to get a diagnosis of the problem and pursue a solution. In women, the problem may be the ovaries failing to release an oocyte (egg cell), or an embryo may attach itself to the fallopian tube rather than the placenta, making a proper pregnancy impossible. Drug or alcohol use (including tobacco), or constant stress, may also lower a woman’s fertility. In men, the problem may be radiation exposure or blunt trauma to the testicles, or a man’s drinking or drug use, may reduce his sperm count or quality. Genetic defects may also reduce the count or quality of his sperm.
The solution will match the problem, and some treatments may range from surgery on the woman’s reproductive organs to a hormone treatment to boost the man’s sperm quality or count all the way to medication. In some cases, in-vitro fertilization may be done, or a surrogate mother may be used to carry a fertilized oocyte to term if the mother cannot have a healthy and safe pregnancy on her own for some reason.