How Long Does Hormone Therapy Last for HRT?
Men with low testosterone levels, often known as “Low T,” generally have a lack of energy and productivity as well as decreased sex drive, depression, and mental fog. On the other hand, low levels of female hormones like estrogen and progesterone have significant physical and emotional effects on women like hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and others. And to get relief from such symptoms there are many ways of treatment but the one that is most common nowadays is hormone replacement therapy or HRT.
Hormone replacement therapy is an efficient treatment however, after starting the treatment many people are found curious about how long it takes to show the results. Therefore, we have discussed in detail below how long does hormone therapy last for HRT for your better understanding.
What is the process of HRT?
Getting Ready, Testing, and Diagnosing
HRT can be started as soon as symptoms appear; testing is typically not required beforehand. So when you are considering starting HRT, consult a doctor who can explain the various forms of HRT that are available and assist you in selecting one that is right for you. A doctor will typically advise trying the medication for three months to determine if it works and if it does not, they might advise adjusting your dosage or switching the type of HRT you are using.
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After starting the treatment, the results of HRT typically take a few weeks to become apparent, and to fully experience the results, it may take up to three months because your body may need some time to adjust to the therapy. And if you have not experienced its benefits after 4 to 6 months then an alternative form of HRT is chosen. Also, you could get adverse effects when you begin HRT like cramping in the legs and painful breasts, but they usually go away after 6 to 8 weeks.
When you decide to stop taking hormones, you can either quit abruptly or ease off the medication. However, most medical professionals advise tapering by gradually lowering your dosage until it is zero. To do this, you can either reduce the dose, or take fewer doses each week, or even adopt a combination of the two. Depending on your condition, tapering off hormones may take several months or perhaps a year or more. Therefore, to determine the best tapering plan for you, consult with your healthcare provider.
Once you discontinue your hormone therapy it is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle to not get those symptoms again. Some of the common things that you should take care of are:
- Getting enough sleep.
- Exercising regularly.
- Avoiding alcohol and coffee.
- Healthy eating habits.
- Avoiding stress.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid spicy foods.
How long you should take HRT?
As there is no time limit on how long you should get HRT, ask your doctor for it. However, the estimated time for hormone replacement therapy for different purposes is as follows:
- You should use HRT for two to three years if it is intended to treat menopausal symptoms.
- You should use HRT for at least five years to achieve the best result in lowering your risk of osteoporosis.
- And for low testosterone levels it depends on many factors that’s why it is a long-term treatment. Like, the effects of treatment on sexual interest start to appear after three weeks and plateau at six weeks, with no additional increases anticipated after that; while ejaculatory/erection changes could take up to six months. And the effects on life quality start to show after 3–4 weeks, but it takes longer to see the full effects.
Thus, now you must have understood that Hormone replacement therapy is a long-term process and your condition and the type of therapy you are receiving will determine how long will the therapy last. Furthermore, HRT is a slow process and it takes time to get your hormones back into their proper balance. Generally, the following timelines are usually followed for improvement however the situation varies from person to person.
- The early effects are felt after several weeks.
- And after three months or more the effects are completely felt.
What if I forget to take my hormone therapy medicine?
Don’t take the doses of your HRT medication that you forgot to take when you recall, just take the subsequent dose.
What are the different types of HRT?
HRT can be taken using pills, skin patches, creams, or gels.
What Are the side effects of HRT?
Typical negative effects in both men and women include:
- Breast soreness
- Mood swings.
- Vaginal bleeding (in women).
When HRT is not effective?
HRT might not be appropriate for you or you might require a specialist’s assessment if you:
- Either breastfeeding or pregnant.
- have high blood pressure; you must first get your blood pressure under control before beginning hormone replacement therapy.
- Have a history of blood clots; in this condition tablet HRT is not advised however HRT applied topically may be considered.
- Have a liver issue.
- Have a history of cardiovascular illness or stroke.
- Possess a history of uterine (womb) cancer, ovarian cancer, or breast cancer.