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Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

What are bioidentical hormones? Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are derived from soy and yam.

These hormones are molecularly identical to the hormones that are produced by your ovaries during your reproductive years.  When ovarian function wanes and stops in the menopause years, these 3 major hormones, estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, can be administered in a custom compounded lotion which is applied to your skin.

The amount of hormone given to each woman is determined by her symptom profile and blood levels of her reproductive hormones; these compounds can be adjusted as needed as the woman transitions through the menopause years.  The goal is to give the lowest amount of hormone necessary to control menopause symptoms, maintain optimal health and bone density.  The goal is NOT to recreate the menstrual cycle, although this can be accomplished by cycling of hormones for a subset of women who desire this effect, sometimes during the earlier years in menopause.

Symptoms that you can expect to be alleviated and/or eliminated include:

  • Hot flashes

  • Night sweats

  • Disrupted sleep

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Painful intercourse

  • Decreased libido

  • Moodiness

  • Anxiety/depression

  • Fatigue

  • Aching joints

  • Loss of bone density

  • Loss of muscle strength

  • Loss of collagen support for skin structure

Hormones that were typically given to women for menopause and to which most of the published studies refer, are the synthetic forms of hormones, most commonly Prempro.  The estrogen component of Prempro is Premarin which is an equine derived estrogen and is bioidentical only if you happen to be a horse.  The Progesterone component is Provera (medroxyprogesterone) which is a synthetic form of progesterone and does not “fit” well into receptor sites due to its different molecular structure. Provera, though it does protect the uterine lining, has now been found to be associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. Synthetic hormones are also associated with an increased risk for blood clotting, heart attack and stroke partly due to the fact that they are delivered orally and impact on blood clotting factors in the liver and lipid metabolism. Bioidentical HRT does not carry these same risks.

In addition to prescribing customized doses of bioidentical hormones to ease the transition to and throughout the menopause years, Martha is also able to counsel women on diet, exercise, healthy lifestyle, and the use of supplements to promote health.