What is androgen therapy

Information from the Nurses' Health Study indicated that the combination of estrogen and androgen used to treat hypoandrogenism could increase breast cancer risk. However, other studies indicated androgens may decrease breast cancer risk. Follow-up studies on the Women's Health Initiative found women who received estrogen and no progestogen showed a significant decrease in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and breast cancer. This has caused a reconsideration of androgens added to estrogens. Still, the FDA requires demonstration of CVD and breast cancer safety for any product containing androgens or estrogen plus an androgen; that has not been done.

Unlike estrogen, androgen levels don't suddenly drop when you reach natural menopause. Instead, androgen production begins slowly falling in your twenties. By the time you reach menopause, you're producing about half as much as you made at puberty. However, your ovaries may still continue to produce small amounts of androgens even after menopause. Some studies show menopausal ovaries continue to produce testosterone; other studies show they do not. One thing is for sure: if your ovaries are removed or damaged, you will go into surgical or early menopause. Some women who experience surgical menopause report a drop in sexual desire and drive.

All women produce androgens, which may contribute to maintaining normal ovarian function, bone metabolism, cognition, and sexual function. This topic will review androgen production in pre- and postmenopausal women, the possible consequences of androgen deficiency, and the effects of androgen therapy in postmenopausal women. A more detailed discussion of the diagnosis and management of female sexual dysfunction, specifically, female sexual interest/arousal disorder (formerly referred to as hypoactive sexual desire disorder), is found separately. (See "Sexual dysfunction in women: Management" .)

Early versus delayed treatment: For men who need (or will eventually need) hormone therapy, such as men whose PSA levels are rising after surgery or radiation or men with advanced prostate cancer who don’t yet have symptoms, it’s not always clear when it is best to start hormone treatment. Some doctors think that hormone therapy works better if it’s started as soon as possible, even if a man feels well and is not having any symptoms. Some studies have shown that hormone treatment may slow the disease down and perhaps even help men live longer.

What is androgen therapy

what is androgen therapy

Early versus delayed treatment: For men who need (or will eventually need) hormone therapy, such as men whose PSA levels are rising after surgery or radiation or men with advanced prostate cancer who don’t yet have symptoms, it’s not always clear when it is best to start hormone treatment. Some doctors think that hormone therapy works better if it’s started as soon as possible, even if a man feels well and is not having any symptoms. Some studies have shown that hormone treatment may slow the disease down and perhaps even help men live longer.

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