Prescription of hormonal drugs often frightens people. There is a lot of myths around hormones. But most of them are wrong.
Myth 1: Hormones are special control pills for women.
No. Hormonal drugs are obtained synthetically. They act like natural hormones, produced in our body. Human body has many organs that emit hormones: male and female sexual organs, endocrine glands, central nervous system and others. Accordingly, hormonal drugs also can be different, and are prescribed for a variety of diseases.
Female hormones (contain female sex hormones) can have a contraceptive effect. Sometimes, on the contrary, they normalize hormonal background, and contribute to pregnancy. Preparations containing male sex hormones are prescribed for men while ejaculate debasement (ie, mobility of sperm), hypofunction, decrease of male sex hormones level.
Myth 2: Hormones are prescribed only while very severe diseases
No. There is a number of minor illnesses, which also require hormones. For example, hypothyroidism. In such cases doctors often prescribe hormones, such as thyroxin or eutiroks.
Myth 3: If you forget to take a hormonal pill intime, nothing terrible will happen
No. Hormones must be taken strictly dead on time. For example, a hormonal contraceptive pill is valid for 24 hours. Accordingly, make sure to drink it everyday. There are medicines that need to be taken 2 times a day. These are some of male sex hormones, and corticosteroids (eg dexamethasone). Moreover, taking hormones is recommended at the same time. If you take hormones irregularly, or forget to take them, level of necessary hormone may be dramatically reduced.
Here is an example. If a woman forgets to take a hormonal contraceptive pill, next day she should take a forgotten evening one, and in the evening of the same day - another pill. If an interval between acceptions is more than a day (recall: hormonal contraceptive pill is valid for 24 hours), level of hormones in blood falls a lot. In response, it will necessarily cause minor blood-tinged discharge. In such cases you can continue taking a contraceptive pill, but practise safe sex next week. If, however, more than 3 days passed, you should stop taking hormones, use of other contraceptives, wait for arrival of menstruation and further consult with your doctor.
Myth 4: If you take hormones, they are accumulated in body
No. When hormone enters body, it is immediately broke down on chemical compounds, that are then derived from organism. For example, a contraceptive pill is destroyed and «go» from body during a day: that is why you need to take it every 24 hours.
However, hormones continue to «work» even after you stopped taking them. But they act indirectly. For example, a woman is drinking hormonal pills for a few months, and then stops taking them, and thereafter she has no problems with cycle.
Why does it happen? Hormonal drugs act on different bodies-«targets». For example, women’s birth control pills affect ovaries, uterus, breast, brain sections. When tablet «left» the body, mechanism it launched continues working.
We need to know: mechanism of long action of hormones is not associated with their accumulation in body. This is just a principle of their action: «work» through other body structures.
Myth 5: Hormones are not prescribed during pregnancy
They are. If before pregnancy a woman had hormonal disorders, then, at the time of child bearing, she needs medicinal support to keep female and male hormones production normal, and a child will develop normally.
Or other situation. Before pregnancy a woman felt fine, but with pregnancy something went wrong. For example, she suddenly notices an intense pilosis down navel and around nipples. In this case, she definitely needs to see a doctor, who may prescribe a hormone test and, if necessary, hormones. Not necessarily women’s sex - these may be, for example, adrenal hormones.
Myth 6: Hormones have a lot of side effects, most notable - body weight increase
There are practically no drugs without side effects. But we must distinguish side effects that do not require abolition of drug. For example, swelling of mammary glands while taking of contraceptive hormones is considered a normal phenomenon. Scarce blood discharge during the first-second months of acception in pre-menstrual period also can occur. Headache, dizziness, changes in weight (plus or minus 2 kg) - this is not a pathology, and no sign of disease. Hormonal drugs are prescribed for a sufficiently long period of time. By the end of the first month organism adapts, and everything comes to normal.
However, to avoid serious problems related to, say, vessels, before prescription of drugs and during their reception, you should pass tests. Only your doctor may appoint you specific hormones, which do not harm your health.
Myth 7: You always can find alternative to hormones
Not always. There are situations when hormones are indispensable. For example, a woman in late 40ies had her ovaries removed. As a result, she starts getting old quickly and losing health. In this case, her body should be supported by hormones up to 55-60 years. Of course, on condition that her main disease (because of which ovaries were removed) has no contraindication to such use.
Moreover, in some cases female sex hormones may be strongly advised even by a neuropsychiatrist. For example, against depression.