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Hormone replacement therapy for men

Patient information A-Z

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is indicated when your body is unable to produce a sufficient amount of hormones itself to maintain normal function. As one of the functions of the testes is to produce testosterone, which maintains male characteristics and sexual function, this needs to be replaced with life long medication.

HRT is needed when both testicles have been removed or, rarely, when the remaining testicle does not produce sufficient testosterone. The signs of a low level of testosterone include a reduction in body hair, (e.g.: beard growth), lethargy, problems achieving or maintaining an erection, a low sex drive and a low mood.

The aim of treatment is to restore your primary and secondary male sexual characteristics and avoid problems associated with unstable levels of testosterone.

There are a variety of different ways to replace hormones:

  • Three monthly injections
  • Dermal gel, absorbed through the skin and applied on a daily basis
  • Implants under the skin lasting several months
  • Patches applied to the skin
  • Tablets

You will be referred to a specialist in the management of hormone therapy, or endocrinologist, at your local hospital to discuss the different methods with you so you can decide which is the most suitable for your lifestyle.

Privacy and dignity

We are committed to treating all patients with privacy and dignity in a safe, clean and comfortable environment. This means, with a few exceptions, we will care for you in same sex bays in wards with separate sanitary facilities for men and women.

In some areas, due to the nature of the equipment or specialist care involved, we may not be able to care for you in same sex bays. In these cases staff will always do their best to respect your privacy and dignity, eg with the use of curtains or, where possible, moving you next to a patient of the same sex. If you have any concerns, please speak to the ward sister or charge nurse.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151