Taking HRT for men and women is beneficial for many reasons. For women, HRT can help with managing menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. For men, HRT can improve sexual function, energy levels, and mood. But what about taking HRT long-term? Is it safe to take HRT forever?
The answer to this question is it depends. In this blog post, we will go over how long you can take HRT for both men and women. We will also touch on the risks and benefits of taking HRT long-term.
Most women can take HRT for around five to seven years, according to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). However, some women may be able to take HRT for longer periods. The benefits of taking HRT usually last around five years, but some women may experience benefits for longer than that.
When it comes to women they will often start HRT when they are dealing with menopausal symptoms. These can include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. For some women, these symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with their daily lives.
The thing is some women abruptly enter menopause at a younger age which could cause them to have more severe symptoms. And for some women, menopause doesn’t happen until they are in their late 50s or early 60s. This means that the length of time a woman takes HRT may vary.
HRT can help ease these symptoms and improve a woman’s quality of life. In addition to easing menopausal symptoms, HRT can also help prevent osteoporosis.
Women will usually take HRT until their menopausal symptoms subside. However, some women may choose to take HRT long-term.
Several symptoms can occur if a woman takes HRT for too long. These symptoms include:
Deep Vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg. This clot can travel to other parts of the body, including the lungs, and cause serious problems.
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that travels to the lungs and blocks one or more of the blood vessels in the lungs. This can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and even death.
There is a small increased risk of developing heart disease in women who take HRT long-term. This risk increases the longer a woman takes HRT.
There is also a small increased risk of stroke in women who take HRT long-term.
The risk of developing breast cancer is slightly increased in women who take HRT long-term.
There are several symptoms that can occur when a woman stops taking HRT. These symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Joint pain
The severity of these symptoms varies from woman to woman. Some women may only have a few symptoms, while others may have many.
Women usually stop taking HRT because their symptoms have gone away. However, some women may choose to stop taking HRT because of the risks associated with taking it long-term, and then their menopause symptoms might come back.
If you are a woman who wants to stop taking HRT, it’s important to do so gradually. This means slowly decreasing the dose of HRT over time.
For example, if you are taking 1 mg of estradiol per day, you would decrease the dose to 0.5 mg per day for two weeks, then to 0.25 mg per day for two weeks, and finally to 0.125 mg per day for two weeks. After that, you would stop taking HRT.
It’s important to consult with your doctor before stopping HRT. They can help you decide the best way to get off of HRT safely.
As men age their testosterone levels start to decline. This can cause several symptoms, including:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased bone density
These symptoms can interfere with a man’s quality of life. HRT can help alleviate some of these symptoms.
When it comes to the length of how long you can take HRT, it’s a bit different for every man. The goal of HRT is to bring a man’s testosterone levels back to where they were when he was younger.
For some men, this might mean taking HRT for a few years. For other men, it might mean taking HRT long-term.
So the answer isn't certain. One thing to keep in mind is that Testosterone replacement therapy for men doesn't cure low testosterone levels, it only raises testosterone levels to a normal level.
Getting off TRT may be something you have to do eventually due to the serious side effects of TRT, which can cause your low testosterone to return.
Having a healthy lifestyle can help make it easier to get off TRT. This includes eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
There's a chance if you change your lifestyle to a healthy one you can improve your testosterone levels without needing to take TRT.
Some men may need to take TRT for a short time while they make lifestyle changes. After they have made these changes, they can try getting off TRT again.
Making these changes can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that your health is worth it.
There are several risks associated with taking HRT for too long. These risks include:
When you suddenly stop taking TRT, your body could go into shock. This is because your body becomes so used to the high levels of testosterone that it doesn’t know how to function without it.
This shock will make you feel extremely uncomfortable and you will also put yourself at risk to revert to the symptoms of having low testosterone levels.
If you want to stop taking TRT, it’s important to do so gradually. This means slowly decreasing the dose of testosterone over time.
For example, if you are taking 1000 mg of testosterone per week, you would decrease the dose to 500 mg per week for two weeks, then to 250 mg per week for two weeks, and finally to 125 mg per week for two weeks. After that, you would stop taking testosterone.
It’s important to consult with your doctor before stopping TRT. They can help you decide the best way to get off of TRT safely.
We hope this article helped you understand everything you need to know about how long you can stay on HRT for both men and women. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.
If you are thinking about starting HRT, we recommend talking to your doctor first. They can help you decide if HRT is right for you and answer any other questions you may have.