Getting older is hard. Getting older as a man can be really hard. In our culture, guys are expected to be energetic and virile, decisively striding through any situation they encounter. By and large, that’s true when you’re in your 20’s and 30’s. But once you get into your 40’s and beyond, things change. You might start losing your hair, your sex drive might go down, and keeping flab off just gets harder and harder. Does that mean you’re essentially doomed? Not necessarily.

More and more, men are turning to hormone replacement therapy as a means of recapturing their youth and vitality. Loss of strength, sex drive, and accelerated aging are all generally caused by a shortage of hormones. But with HRT treatments, those hormone levels can essentially be “topped off.” Before you leap for your cellphone to call your doctor, remember that HRT isn’t for everyone. Keep reading for 5 things to bear in mind before you begin the process.

  1. If you’re looking into undergoing HRT treatments, you undoubtedly want to slow down, stop, or reverse the effects of aging. It can also improve aspects of your life and health, like reviving a flagging libido, boosting strength, and improving energy levels. However, the process takes time. For best results, you should plan to begin treatments when you’re in your 20’s and have the maximum levels possible of testosterone. For older guys, don’t worry that the process won’t work. It will, it will just take a longer amount of time.
  2. Some men believe, mistakenly, that once they have begun testosterone therapy and brought their levels up to where they were in the past, they can stop taking the prescription. There are a few reasons not to do that. First, you can’t necessarily assume that once your body’s hormone production levels have been jumpstarted, they will continue at those levels. They won’t, and by not continuing on the therapy, the levels will drop. Second, it’s wise to keep taking the medications to avoid side effects, such as anxiety, depression, lack of energy, low sex drive, and testicular shrinkage.
  3. Before you commit to HRT, a very smart move is to get your testosterone levels checked beforehand. Hormone levels in your body can be affected by a wide range of things, and sometimes the negative results you’re experiencing are strictly temporary. HRT is a commitment, so make sure to do your due diligence and get your levels checked before you begin.
  4. Remember we talked about some of the potential side effects of HRT? In some cases with men experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer, going into hormone therapy can turn into a serious problem. HRT can enlarge the prostate and when it gets larger, there are higher chances of becoming afflicted by cancer.
  5. However, there are positive side effects to participating in HRT. If you’re someone who is a fan of weightlifting, hormone therapy can not only increase your energy for a better workout but also boost muscle so you’ll pack it on more efficiently. Just be sure to have all of your necessary levels checked before you begin treatment.