- Women's Health
Exploring Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy for Menopausal Women
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Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy for Women in Menopause
Women facing menopause, including peri, pre or post-menopause, sometimes experience physical symptoms that can range from mild and manageable, to quite severe and life-altering. The onset of menopause may be naturally occurring with age, or suddenly brought on through hysterectomy surgery. For some, it becomes critical to find treatment for the problems women face with menopause.
Symptoms of Menopausal Stages
Some common symptoms women may experience in menopausal stages are:
· Mood Swings
· Hot Flashes
· Night Sweats
· Extremely irregular periods
· Extremely heavy periods
· Killer PMS symptoms
· Loss of libido
· Vaginal dryness and pain
· Sleep disruptions
· Weight gain
· Inability to concentrate
· Brittle nails
· Panic attacks
· Changes in body odor
· Irregular heartbeat
· Painful breasts
· Joint Pain
· Digestive problems
· Increase in facial hair
Bio-identical hormone therapy is also known as bio-identical replacement. It alleviates or eliminates some symptoms of menopause, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Hormones in the bio-identical category are chemically identical to those your body produces.
The addition of progestogen to an estrogen protocol reduces the risks from synthetic conjugated estrogens. The BHRT (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy) package was promoted by several medical professionals as being safer, and more effective, than synthetic hormones.
Hormone groups are estrogens, micronized progesterone, or combined preparations. The procedure in the manufacturing of all estrogens, including bio-identical estrogens and compounds that interact with estrogen receptors are similar to estrogen molecules that are not found in nature, that are synthetic. Two examples are diethylstilbestrol and ethinylestradiol. These are also used for anti-aging purposes.
In women, the majority of estrogen produced by the body is estradiol (produced primarily in the ovaries), while estrone (produced in the fat cells of post-menopausal women), is the type of estrogen present in the largest amounts, that enable a woman to convert one type of estrogen to another.
Synthetic estradiol when taken orally is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, inducing bio-identical estradiol to the bloodstream. Another hormone sometimes taken is testosterone, it is said to improve libido in post-menopausal women, but can reduce levels of high-density lipoprotein, which is good cholesterol.
In the case of naturally menopausal women, estradiol is administered in the shortest period of time, and at the lowest effective dose, due of its adverse effect profile. It ranges from breast, skin, eyes, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, genitourinary or central nervous system negative side effects. Ask your medical care provider about these risks.
Different doctors will perform different tests to determine treatment. Some of the tests may be blood work, a saliva test, or a combination.
Hormone replacement therapy shouldn’t be entered into lightly, whichever route a person decides to go. There seems to be conflicting opinions among medical professionals, whether bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is safer than the more commonly used synthetic hormones. Do your due diligence in researching the differences. Ask your medical care provider which is best for your particular needs. Sometimes you have to find doctors that are experienced with prescribing the bio-identical forms, to get their professional opinion as well.