The Role of Aromatase Inhibitors in TRT for Men

Blog post by Steven Van Keuren - Published at Jul 31, 2023

The Role of Aromatase Inhibitors in TRT for Men

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a widely accepted treatment for men with low testosterone levels. While TRT can effectively restore testosterone levels, it also has potential side effects, one of which is an increase in estrogen levels. This happens because the body naturally converts testosterone to estrogen through an enzyme called aromatase. Therefore, aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are sometimes used in combination with TRT to prevent excess estrogen production. 

This blog post will dive into the role of aromatase inhibitors in TRT and provide an overview of existing research on their effects and potential side effects.

Aromatase Inhibitors: A Brief Overview

Aromatase inhibitors are a class of drugs that block the aromatase enzyme and inhibit the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. There are two main types: steroidal AIs and nonsteroidal AIs. Both types effectively reduce estrogen levels but differ in their mechanisms.

The use of AIs in TRT is primarily aimed at preventing or managing risks of elevated estrogen levels, such as gynecomastia (breast enlargement), fluid retention, and an increased risk of blood clots. 

While elevated estrogen can certainly be a concern, the effects of estrogen being eliminated from the male hormone profile can be just as dangerous. For example, crashing this vital sex hormone can negatively impact sex drive, cause irritability, increase the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and can have lasting effects on the brain. 

Estrogen plays a vital role in the male hormone profile and should always be kept at sustainable levels that are never too high or too low.

Conclusion: Balancing Benefits and Risks

The use of aromatase inhibitors in testosterone replacement therapy remains a nuanced topic. While AIs can help manage the estrogen-related side effects of TRT, their use should be tailored to individual patient needs and potential risks should be taken into account. 

Remember, it's essential to discuss any treatment plan with a healthcare provider to weigh the benefits and risks based on individual circumstances. 


[1]: Fui, Mark Ng Tang1,2; Dupuis, Philippe1,2; Grossmann, Mathis1,2,. Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management. Asian Journal of Andrology 16(2):p 223-231, Mar–Apr 2014. | DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.122365

[2]: Sherri-Ann M. Burnett-Bowie and others, Effects of Aromatase Inhibition on Bone Mineral Density and Bone Turnover in Older Men with Low Testosterone Levels, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 94, Issue 12, 1 December 2009, Pages 4785–4792, 

[3] Chen T, Wu F, Wang X, Ma G, Xuan X, Tang R, Ding S, Lu J. Different levels of estradiol are correlated with sexual dysfunction in adult men. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 29;10(1):12660. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69712-6. PMID: 32728148; PMCID: PMC7391660.

[4] Moreno, A. Growing Memories with Estrogen. Inquirer, 3.

Steven Van Keuren

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