It is important to HerKare that you understand the risks and benefits associated with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) before beginning or continuing treatment. HRT is not a new area of medicine, however the treatment modalities employed by HerKare may involve innovative therapies. The hormones that may be prescribed as part of treatment may include Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone, as well as other treatments for thyroid function, and Vitamins D and B12, where indicated. Testosterone therapy is a treatment that may be used to raise a woman’s sexual interest, muscle mass, or physical function.
Testosterone therapy is sometimes used for women who are on estrogen therapy, have had their ovaries removed, or suffer from an adrenal system problem, or hypopituitarism. It is associated with the relief of symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, incontinence and urinary urgency), and may enhance mental clarity and focus.
Testosterone therapy has been shown in some instances to increase bone density, decrease body fat and cellulite, and increase lean muscle mass.
Some studies associate testosterone therapy with reduced cardiac risk, and breast-protection, particularly for patients on estrogen therapy.
When a drug is approved for medical use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the manufacturer produces a “label” to explain its use. Once a medication is approved by the FDA, physicians may use it “off-label” for other purposes if they are well-informed about the product, base its use on firm scientific principles and sound medical evidence, and maintain records of its use and effects. Testosterone is approved by the FDA only for use in men. This means that physician directed low-dose testosterone therapy in women is “off-label.” Because testosterone therapy is “off label” your health insurance may not provide coverage for testosterone therapy. This means that you will be required to pay for these services at the time they are rendered.
You can learn more about side effects and contraindications for these drugs by contacting your Provider or the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. HRT is not for women that are thinking about or could become pregnant. There are a number of potential side effects related to HRT. Generally, these side effects could include bloating, breakthrough bleeding, breast swelling and tenderness, clitoral enlargement, fluid retention, weight gain, liver cysts, mood swings, increased red blood cells, acne, hair growth, vocal changes, sleep apnea, or heightened cholesterol levels. In some patients there could be increased risks of endometrial, uterine, or breast cancer, blood clots, stroke, gallbladder disease, or high blood pressure. Certain types of HRT have a higher risk, and each woman’s own risks can vary depending upon her health history and lifestyle, so it is important to talk to your Provider before commencing therapy.