Side effects of hormone therapy

Because hormone therapy lowers your testosterone levels, you may notice some symptoms or changes to your tinana. These changes are normal to go through and you should expect them, but just how much some of them affect you may still come as a surprise.

Possible side effects
of hormone therapy

  • loss of muscle mass and possibly strength

  • increase in body fat

  • thinning of the bones

  • decrease in body hair

  • large or tender breasts

  • changes in your metabolism

  • changes in your mood

You might also experience changes to your tinana, relationships and libido (overall sexual desire) that could affect your sex life.

Some common issues include:

  • erectile dysfunction (ED)

  • lower sex drive

  • smaller penis and testicles

  • changes in how you see yourself or your partner

If you’re having hormone therapy and another treatment, it’s important to know the side effects of the other treatment too.

All of these changes can be hard on both your tinana and hinengaro, leaving you worn down and feeling low.

Some tāne also experience depression and anxiety, and even have trouble concentrating or remembering things. You’re not alone, and this is a critical moment to reach out for any help you need. There are people (like friends, whānau, support groups or your care team) that could provide support and help you to manage the impact of those side effects on your life.

Speak to your doctor, care team, hauora provider or a counsellor if you're feeling overwhelmed.

For support from a trained counsellor, you can free call or text 1737, or use the Depression Helpline 0800 111 757 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
You can also access cancer support and counselling services by visiting the You can also access cancer support and counselling services by visiting the or calling their helpline 0800 226 237 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm).

If you have a history of depression and anxiety, it's important to let your care team know. They can help choose the best treatment options to support you and your mental wellbeing.

Taking action

There are ways to manage side effects and improve your quality of life. Learning more about what to expect, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and talking to your care team will play a big part in how you feel before, during, and after hormone therapy.

What's next?

Now that you've read up on Side effects of hormone therapy , here are some related articles to explore as you continue to build your knowledge and understanding of this topic.
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