As you approach your 50s, there is a natural decline in sex hormone production. For women, as you enter menopause, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can all be affected. For men, as you enter andropause, the primary issue is testosterone. As these hormone levels decrease, they produce a variety of symptoms.
Women can experience hot flashes, low libido or sex drive, insomnia, diminished bone density and mood swings. Men can experience a low sex drive, decreased muscle mass, poor stamina, mood difficulties and weight problems.
The Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine offers the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Program to assist you in dealing with this time in your life. Our physicians have a carefully designed protocol to assess symptoms and determine appropriate treatment goals, and offer the most advanced treatment.
What Does the Hormone Replacement Therapy Program Involve?
Once you decide to enter the Program, you will be sent an intake questionnaire prior to your first appointment. This will be reviewed by your physician so that we have an understanding of your current health issues, pertinent symptoms and wellness goals. This allows your first visit to be as meaningful as possible.
At your first visit, you will go through a comprehensive assessment with your physician that includes:
- An initial questionnaire to evaluate your personal needs and goals
- Blood work to check hormonal levels
- Other tests may be scheduled depending upon your specific situation
- A follow-up appointment to discuss test results
During your time together, you will not only address the symptoms of menopause and andropause but also discuss a wide range of lifestyle choices that affect health and wellness, including nutrition, exercise and stress.
At the conclusion of your first visit — in addition to receiving your first bio-identical hormone pellets if appropriate — you will also be given a personalized integrative health diet and additional recommendations to maximize wellness and minimize health risks during midlife.
Your physician will also streamline access to other Brind Center programs and services, including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Fitness and Lifestyle Programs and Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
With this programmatic model, HRT is not just a stand-alone therapy: it's the central component of a broader treatment plan for those suffering from the symptoms of menopause and andropause.
Results of Hormone Replacement Therapy
One month after insertion, you will have another blood test. We will discuss the results of that test with you and make any necessary modifications. Typically, you can expect to feel relief of symptoms by this time. As symptoms begin to recur, usually in about six months, a new blood test will be ordered for the next pellet insertion. We always monitor both your symptoms and your medical lab tests.