Hormone replacement therapy has been commonly used to help women combat the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. These symptoms—hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and more—can be uncomfortable and add unneeded stress to a woman’s daily life.
In 2002, however, traditional hormone therapy was called into question by the Women’s Health Initiative due to increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, and heart disease when the treatment was used long-term.
When these risk factors were exposed, alternative methods started being developed. One of these alternative methods is bioidentical hormone therapy.
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
The main question that we get from many of our patients is: What are bio-identical hormones? This question is an important one because it shows patients how this type of hormone replacement therapy is different from others.
Bio-identical hormones are hormones that are chemically the same as those that the patient’s body produces. Even though these hormones are created in a lab, they mimic the hormones that are naturally produced in the human body.
The benefit to using bio-identical hormones instead of synthetic hormones is that the body can’t tell the difference between its own hormones and the bio-identical ones.
Since bio-identical hormones are made in a laboratory, many people are curious about what is used to make the hormones. Many are surprised to learn that bio-identical hormones are made using a variety of plant products. Unlike synthetic hormones, bio-identical hormones have the exact chemical and molecular structure as human-created hormones. Synthetic hormones often cause a reaction from the body, which can lead to health issues over extended periods of time.
Uses for Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
One of the most common uses for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is to treat the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause in women. These hormones can help with the following:
- Reduced hot flashes
- Less dry skin
- Better sleep
- Reduced bloating
- Increased sex drive
- Reduced vaginal dryness
- Reduced fatigue
- Better thinking and memory
Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause and can last several years. A woman is considered to be menopausal when she is without a period for 12 consecutive months.
Bio-identical hormones are even better for women who don’t respond well to other types of hormone therapy.
How to Use Bioidentical Hormones
To provide the most benefit to the most people, bio-identical hormones have been made into a variety of different forms depending on the symptoms that they need to target.
Types of bio-identical hormones include:
The goal of using bioidentical hormones is to restore the natural hormones that women experience a reduction in as they age.
When determining the type of hormones needed, a woman will be tested for hormone levels by her doctor through a simple blood test. At this point, the doctor will take into consideration the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and lab results to determine what hormones are needed and prescribe them in the appropriate form.
It is important that a woman’s hormone levels are routinely monitored to ensure that the dosage is correct and to adjust as needed
If you are looking for a hormone replacement clinic specializing in bio-identical hormone therapy in the Kansas City Metro Area, contact Mirabile M.D. today at 913-888-7546.