Side Effects: What Are the Side Effects of Hormone Therapy?

Hormone therapy is a common treatment plan for everything from gender confirmation in transgender patients to menopause and hormone imbalances.

If you’re thinking about undergoing hormone therapy, you may wonder what side effects you’ll encounter.

While it’s a safe course of treatment, it’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into. That’s why we’ve detailed some of the biggest side effects you can expect to encounter when you start your treatment.


This is one of the nastier hormone therapy side effects, and unfortunately, one of the most common for patients undergoing estrogen treatment.

Ultimately, it’s because of the influx of new chemicals in the body. The brain gets overwhelmed. Not knowing what to do, the brain then constricts blood vessels in the head.

Estrogen gels or patches are a good way around this according to some theorists, so speak with your doctor if you’re experiencing more migraines.

Brain Fog

Brain fog is a term used to describe the slowing of thoughts and reactions as well as difficulty with recall.

Ironically, it’s both one of the telltale signs of a hormone issue, as noted by healthy living family medical, and a side effect of estrogen treatment.

Like with migraines, it has to do with the signals the brain receives and often goes away on its own.

Likewise, brain fog is a common symptom of depression, too. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you’re feeling blue or feel as though you’re undergoing a depressive episode.

Libido Shift

According to The North American Menopause Society, an increase in estrogen can help women struggling with their libido and can even decrease pain and vaginal dryness during sex.

On the other hand, testosterone bioidentical hormone therapy can help both men and women looking to ramp up their libidos.

Truth be told, there’s still a bit of discussion about this one. Researchers say they don’t have conclusive evidence one way or the other, so as always, your best bet is to talk with a physician.

Hair Changes

This is particularly common in patients undergoing hormone replacement therapy to transition.

Depending on the hormone in question, patients will likely experience a fair bit of hair loss or a shocking amount of hair growth. For the latter, that includes areas like the face, armpits, and pubic region.

Though hair loss is quite rare, patients may want to prepare for some hair thinning.

What to Expect When Undergoing Hormone Therapy

As you can see, some of the side effects associated with hormone therapy can be unpleasant. The good news, however, is that most are temporary and should go away on their own given time.

If you do notice any of these symptoms persisting, or if you’re curious to learn more about the hormone therapy process, talk with your doctor today.

Hormone therapy can be a great way to treat a variety of issues, so see if it’s a viable option for you.

For more tips to keep you happy and healthy, check out the other content on our healthcare blog!