Sex hormones and your heart

Here's the latest thinking about how estrogen or testosterone therapy may affect cardiovascular risk.

The two main sex hormones — estrogen and testosterone — have wide-ranging effects in the body. Produced primarily by the ovaries (estrogen) and testes (testosterone), these hormones affect not just your sexual function but also your bones, brain, and blood vessels, for example.

As people age, the natural decline in sex hormone levels sometimes causes undesirable symptoms, such as hot flashes or a flagging sex drive. Doctors can prescribe pills, patches, gels, and creams containing estrogen or testosterone to ease those symptoms. But are these products safe for your heart?

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