Sex Hormones

Sexual function after bariatric surgery

Sexual function after bariatric surgery

This meta-analysis shows that bariatric surgery significantly improves sexual function in men but that a more limited degree of improvement is achieved in women.

In obese male patients who underwent bariatric surgery, the levels of the sex hormones TT, FT, LH, FSH, and SHBG significantly increased, and the level of E2 decreased. In obese female patients, the levels of the sex hormones TT, FT, and E2 decreased, but the levels of LH, FSH, and SHBG increased.

Future studies should be performed to elucidate the mechanism of the improved sexual function in obese patients after bariatric surgery. 

JES

New FDA approval: intrarosa helps with pain during sex

New FDA approval: intrarosa helps with pain during sex

DHEA is the main testosterone-like substance produced by the adrenal glands. Naturally it declines with age. Once a day vaginal insert of DHEA (intrarosa or prasterone) helps postmenopausal women experience less pain during intercourse. Side effects include abnormal pap smear and vaginal discharge. Currently there is no evidence that over-the-counter oral DHEA supplementation helps with such symptoms.

GT

Subcutaneous testosterone injections

Subcutaneous testosterone injections

Intramuscular testosterone injection is the most common form of androgen supplementation in hypogonadal men.

A group of 11 participants undergoing female-to-male gender transition were analyzed. Findings reveal that weekly subcutaneous testosterone (cypionate/ester) injections work well clinically.  Total and free testosterone measures were overall stable and not influenced by body mass index. 

Superiority of subcutaneous over intramuscular injections relies on improved convenience, safety, and cost. Approximately 25% lower SC than IM dose of testosterone is needed to achieve similar outcomes.

A strength of the study was the female genetic background (XY); contributing trivial amounts of endogenous testosterone to steady serum total and free measures. Alike results would be expected in hypogonadal men requiring androgen supplementation.

These findings could influence clinical practice, as the prevalence of male hypogonadism is significant.

GT

Laboratory interference gives false results on various hormone measures

Laboratory interference gives false results on various hormone measures

An important case pointing to the endocrinologist's dilemma when facing inappropriate or discordant hormonal results. This patient had severely high levels of serum estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol in complete absence of clinical signs and symptoms.

Mass spectrometry, an expensive and poorly available analytical technique, saved the day. Mild monoclonal IgG elevation (hypergammaglobulinemia) was felt to be the interfering agent leading to falsely high hormone measures. Interference could also occur in the setting of heterophilic antibodies, rheumatoid factor and biotin intake, none which were present in this case.

Important to be aware of false deviations in blood work, as inability to realize it could generate unnecessary anxiety, testing, imaging, procedures and even intervention.

GT

Ovarian Suppression by Elagolix

Ovarian Suppression by Elagolix

This study elucidates kinetic and dynamic properties of elagolix, an oral GnRH antagonist. Authors find that elagolix suppresses LH/FSH and Estradiol/Progestorone fully at respective doses of 300 mg and 200 mg BID. As expected the main side effects were hot flashes and headaches (induced menopausal symptoms). A group of 45 healthy premenopausal women were followed for 21 days.

Estrogen/ovarian suppression is needed in certain medical conditions such as hormone-dependent breast carcinomas.

GT

Estradiol and Testosterone vs. Bone Fractures in Women

Estradiol and Testosterone vs. Bone Fractures in Women

The study shows that higher levels of estradiol (E2>0.82 ng/dL) and testosterone (T>13.3 ng/dL) are associated with lower chance of non-vertebral fractures. Risk reduction was as low as 44%. Should postmenopausal women be risk stratified by measuring serum E2 and T levels?

GT