Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
What is “Menospuase”?
Throughout the aging process, our bodies change and we develop certain hormone deficiencies or imbalances occur. Menopause is defined as the time at which menses has stopped for one year. That being said symptoms can become apparent several years before actual menopause occurs. This is referred to premenopause or perimenopause. These feelings can be uncomfortable and can be alleviated by Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Common Symptoms of Menopause Include:
- hot flashes
- mood swings
- weight gain
- decrease libido
- trouble with concentration
- vaginal dryness
- trouble sleeping
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bio-Identical Hormone replacement therapy (aka BHRT) is a means of replacing those hormones that are no longer being produced by the body. Not only are we replacing deficient hormones, but we are trying to balance current hormones to eliminate symptoms of menopause and the symptoms of the aging process. The hormones that we check not only include estrogen, but we also are concerned with progesterone and testosterone.
- Estrogen imbalance is responsible for: night sweats, hot flashes, dry skin, and also contributes to fatigue.
- Progesterone imbalance is responsible for: sleep difficulties, depression, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, migraines, and palpitations.
- Testosterone imbalance is responsible for: low libido or sex drive, inability to orgasm, fatigue, memory issues, poor concentration, and magnification of joint pain and stiffness.
At Center for Advanced Medicine, your evaluation will include a detailed consultation and extensive blood analysis to identify both deficiencies and imbalances. We use bio-identical hormones as these have shown to be extremely effective but more importantly safer than pharmaceutical counterparts like premarin, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), and other synthetic hormones. Bio-identical hormones are the exact chemical structure that your body intended to use. Studies have shown that the use of bioidentical hormones decrease the rate of hormonal related cancers (breast, endometrial), and there is less risk of blood clots or cardiovascular events as compared to non-bioidentical hormones alternatives like premarin and MPA.
The hormones that we use come in multiple formulations including: pellets and creams both of which we can tailor to each individual patient’s needs and circumstances.
- Creams – Are applied to skin daily and hormones are absorbed through the skin. The creams are tolerated well and do not require any type of procedure. These are the preferred method for delivering hormones as they can be easily titrated as hormone needs change. Creams can also be stopped for a few days a month to allow hormones receptors in the body to maintain their sensitivity to circulating hormones. In most cases if multiple hormones are needed (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) then all the hormones can be combined in one cream to make it easy to use.
- Pills – Some hormones are available in oral formulations. Estrogen and testosterone should not be taken orally as this increases the risk potential side effects. However bio-identical Progesterone is safe and may be prescribed this way, if deemed necessary by your physician.
- Pellets – Are tiny cylindrical structures that inserted every 3-4 months. Hormones are released from the pellets over a period of about 4 months. This procedure involves implanting the pellets directly under the skin and takes less than 30 minutes and is done in the office.
Additional Benefits of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Decrease Blood Pressure
- Decreases oxidation of LDL and increases HDL (good cholesterol), which diminishes your risk of coronary artery disease and decreases risk of stroke
- Improved mood and sense of well being
- Diminished fine line and wrinkles
- Aids in formation of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which depresses anxiety, irritability and decreases pain sensitivity
- Some studies show that estrogen may stimulate production of choline acetyltransferase an enzyme that helps prevent Alzheimer’s
- Maintain bone density and prevents osteoporosis
- Fewer blood clots (DVT) compared to synthetic hormones like conjugated estrogens, premarin, prempro, and provera
Keep in mind Bio-Identical hormones are always superior to pharmaceutical alternatives like Premarin and Prempro.
To learn more about bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for women…