Special Assignment: Prescription for Love

May 11, 2009, News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Let's face it. We're all busy. Between careers and kids there's just not much time left for the husband and wife these days. And when you are home alone. Together. Most couples just want to get some rest. But hundreds of couples right here in Augusta are rediscovering each other again. Thanks to some modern day science and a prescription for love.

Welcome to one of the compounding labs at DuraMed in Augusta. During our visit, Eric Holgate treats it like a classroom.

"Well, you know, testosterone is called the hormone of desire, " he tells us.

For more then 2,500 women, this is ground zero for hormone replacement therapy. Eric says they treat men too.

"Men and women. I have more women than I have men, but men are my fastest growing percentage-wise part of my business."

Blane and Sally Bailey are both patients.

"I had no energy. I would go to work, come home and be in bed by 7:30 or 8 o'clock," Blane explains.

"And I was grumpy all the time," Sally adds, "not only with Blane but with everybody I know. I had a short fuse that was just generally all the time."

The Baileys have been married 34 years.
"It didn't alarm me at first when things started slowing down," Sally admitted. Then there was a point I was like, is it me that's not doin' it for you, or what?"

Blane and Sally went to see Eric Holgate. He's a a compounding pharmacist who loves helping couples rediscover themselves.

"Men's testosterone starts dropping by a hundred points per decade," Holgate explains. Women's hormones start changing as they start going into peremenopause and into menopause."

(News 12) "What do they tell you when they come in?"
"Most women it would be hot flashing, or they notice their moods are changing, they don't handle stress as well or their fuse has gotten shorter. Those are usually signs of progesterone deficiency," according to Holgate.

Estrogen is another culprit. Holgate says estrogen means brain fog, memory issues, women feel less feminine, elasticity of the skin is gone, you see more wrinkles.

And don't forget testosterone.
"Testosterone is energy, libido, zest for life. So all these anti depressants we see people getting on, lot of times its a progesterone and testosterone deficiency. Not a Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Welbutrine deficiency," Holgate says.

He may be a pharmacist, but he'd rather see people give up the prescription pills and replace them with natural stuff. The stuff you had plenty of when you were younger. Stuff that affects the way you feel.

"If you don't have sensation or you lack desire or don't have sexual thoughts, it doesn't take long for the intimacy in a relationship to go," according to Holgate.

"And so what we do, when we give women back their testosterone, all the sudden their husbands get better looking without going to the gym," he says with a smile.

Eric sent the Bailey's home with a couple of creams. They're in tubes that look like a big syringe. Blane's testosterone has a blue cap. Sally's progesterone cream has a white cap.

Sally says, "it has been absolutely totally life changing. The rejuvenation of energy. The rejuvenation of our love life."
"We're back in our 20's," Blane adds, "yeah, we're back in our 20's thirty years later."

And in this lab, Viagra isn't just for men, they crush it up and add it to a cream base for women.

"That have desire but lack sensation. We make Viagra cream for women," Holgate says.
(News 12) "Does it work?"
"Oh yeah. well, let me put it to you this way, they keep coming back and handing me 50 dollars for more."

You might not realize it, but Augusta has a reputation for being the hormone capitol of the world because of some pioneering research that went on here starting in the 1970's.

What about the downside of all of this? The concerns about cancer risks? Holgate says that used to be a big concern back when they were using hormones like premrin which actually stands for pregnant mare urine. He says it gave women a hormone that had never occurred in their body before. So they started doing this bio identical hormone replacement- which is actually the same hormones that were in your body to start with.

Having said all that, this is a process that starts with your family doctor. Someone who can watch the blood work and find the right balance of hormones for you.

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