Women who are suffering from a combination of menopause symptoms and whose symptoms are affecting their daily life may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT involves taking plant-derived hormones to bring the body’s hormones back to a healthy level.
Common menopause symptoms
Women often experience several symptoms when going through menopause, these include:
- Irregular periods
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Dry skin
- Thinning hair
Symptoms can be different for all women, but many experience symptoms which have a negative impact. Wrestling with insomnia and mood swings can make normal daily activities difficult.
What is BHRT?
Bioidentical hormones are made from plant hormones which are identical to those made in the human body. This is why it is often called natural hormone therapy. The human body cannot distinguish bioidentical hormones from the ones produced in the endocrine system. Bioidentical estrogen is made into numerous products which are approved by the FDA. These include:
- Vaginal preparations
FDA approved bioidentical hormones are available with a prescription at any pharmacy.
How does BHRT help menopause symptoms?
BHRT replaces the hormones that are depleted due to perimenopause and menopause. Because of the increase in hormones, particularly estrogen, menopause symptoms will gradually improve. At this time, medical experts believe that the benefits and risks of bioidentical and conventional hormones are the same.
How much BHRT is needed to treat menopause?
Women who use BHRT are monitored very closely by their doctor. Typically, the dose is adjusted to suit each individual’s symptoms and needs. The aim of BHRT is to alleviate symptoms with the lowest possible dose. Often the doctor will order routine saliva or urine tests to check hormone levels. This allows the doctor to tweak the dose as hormone levels change.
What are compounded bioidentical hormones?
Compounded bioidentical hormone therapy (cBHT) uses compounded formulations containing a form of bioidentical estrogen, such as estradiol, estriol or estrone. cBHT can contain progesterone and sometimes androgens. Custom-compounded bioidentical hormones are made specifically for an individual patient. A compounding pharmacy takes the patient’s blood or saliva sample results to create a personalized prescription.