• What Are the Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones for Menopause?

    by Dr. Harlan South
    on Feb 7th, 2018

Menopause is your body's way of telling you that you reached the end of your reproductive journey. It means that you can no longer have biological children. Menopause can also be associated with a number of symptoms. You may experience hot flashes, mood swings, general aches and pains that make it hard for you to have fun with your loved ones and to do all your favorite activities. While doctors may recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you can also consider using bioidentical hormones instead. These hormones are safer than synthetic hormones, have fewer side effects, and can reduce the symptoms associated with other chronic conditions.

Symptoms of Menopause

As the human body ages, it naturally slows down a little. While you may not experience any symptoms of menopause until you are in your 50s or even your 60s, you'll likely experience changes due to the aging process in your younger years. These signs can appear in women as young as 35.

Symptoms of menopause including changes in menstruation, are different for every woman. Below are some of the most common symptoms of menopause:

One of the more common signs that your hormones are out of balance is when you suddenly gain weight for no explained reason. Many women have an easier time of controlling their weight loss at a younger age but then find that they start putting on weight later in life. This can occur because your body produces fewer of the hormones that help you regulate your weight.

What is BHRT?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a type of therapy similar to HRT that professionals call BHRT. It uses natural hormones that are identical in every way to the hormones that the human body produces. The main difference is that these hormones are much safer than the synthetic hormones used in HRT. Most of these hormones replace the hormones associated with reproduction that your body stopped producing, including estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.

How Does BHRT Treatment Work?

When you meet with your physician to go over your symptoms, you'll have the chance to learn about how this treatment works and how you can use bioidentical hormones. BHRT works in the same way that HRT does. You'll use products designed to increase the production of hormones in your body. Your body will slowly increase its production of progesterone and other hormones to relieve your symptoms and to help you feel better.

Some of the products that you can use include lotions, gels, tablets, and creams that manufacturers design for home use. This allows you to use the product at home and to see how you feel without needing to make an appointment with your doctor. Creams, gels, and lotions are safe to use right on your skin. You'll follow the recommendations on the package to apply the proper dose and then gently massage it into your skin.

Not all people feel comfortable treating themselves at home, which is why physicians also offer injections for those who want to use these hormones. Instead of taking a pill or applying lotion to your skin, you can schedule an appointment and come into the office for your injection. The number of injections or appointments that you need will depend on your symptoms and the dosage that is right for you.

What Are the Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones?

One of the more common questions asked is whether there are any benefits to choosing bioidentical over synthetic hormones. The biggest benefit is that bioidentical hormones are made from natural substances. Bioidentical hormones have fewer side effects, too. Some of the side effects that can occur when you take synthetic hormones include:

The use of synthetic hormones can also wreak havoc on your libido and make it difficult or impossible for you to feel sexually aroused. Long-term use can even increase your risks of suffering from gallbladder attacks, heart disease, and breast cancer. There are fewer side effects associated with using a bioidentical hormone therapy.

Another benefit of taking the bioidentical route is that you can actually prevent your risks of suffering from chronic conditions and diseases in the future. For example, many studies have found that estrogen and testosterone have benefits for preventing bone loss, which means that BHRT might help prevent osteoporosis.

People should also consider the benefits that BHRT has on their general sense of well-being. When you regulate your body's production of hormones, you'll find that you have all the energy you need every day. Many patients also find that they have better mental focus and that they can concentrate better than they did in the past.

Are You Interested in BHRT?

If you think you’re a candidate for BHRT, schedule an appointment to talk to renounced integrative physician, Dr. Harlan South M.D. or reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Lonnele Ball PhD. They are highly trained in understanding hormone imbalances. Dr. South and Dr. Ball will provide a personalized treatment plan regarding the ideal hormone replacement therapy for you.  

Author Dr. Harlan South Dr. Harlan South is a Holistic Integrative and Age Management Physician located in Pacific Heights, San Francisco.

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