1. What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)?
BHRT is a medically monitored treatment used to alleviate or eliminate symptoms caused by suboptimal hormone levels or hormone imbalances. Under the supervision of a healthcare provider, hormones levels are restored to optimal ranges. This can be accomplished with weekly micro-injections, topical creams, transdermal patches, bioidentical hormone pellets, or a combination of these treatment options.
2. What are the symptoms of low hormone levels?
There are dozens of symptoms associated with hormone decline and hormone imbalance. Some common symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, decreased sex drive, painful intercourse from vaginal dryness, thinning hair, and low or depressed mood. For some women, these symptoms begin after they give birth. They may also arise following long-term use of oral contraceptives, or when you begin to approach menopause. Comprehensive lab testing can help your healthcare provider identify the causes of your symptoms and assist them in determining solutions to help you feel better.
3. How is menopause officially defined, and when does it start?
The National Institute on Aging defines menopause as the point in time when a woman hasn’t had a period for twelve consecutive months. The transition to menopause generally begins between the ages 45 and 55, but it can occur earlier or later. At this point in a woman’s life, the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone. The transition from perimenopause to menopause can happen in as quickly as seven years or can take as long as fourteen years to complete. This varies from person to person and can be influenced by multiple factors including overall health, diet, and genetics.
4. How long does it take to for BHRT to start working?
This varies from person to person and can depend on the treatment methods being utilized by your healthcare provider. Many patients start to feel better within a few weeks of starting therapy. Quality of sleep and energy levels may improve quickly, while hot flashes or weight loss may take a bit longer to achieve. Your individual diet, activity level, physical training program, and quality of restful sleep can also play a role in how quickly you’ll notice these changes.
5. What are the potential side effects of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
Some potential side effects of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy include nausea, bloating, breast tenderness, and headache. It is important to monitor labs closely during BHRT and to communicate questions and concerns to your provider so they can be promptly addressed.
6. Is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy safe?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is generally recognized as safe with proper monitoring under the guidance of a healthcare professional. As with any medical treatment, there are potential risks and side effects that must be taken into consideration. Your healthcare provider at 22 Health & Hormone will carefully review your medical history and discuss the risks and benefits of your treatment plan. Your provider will use regular blood testing and in-person office visits to monitor and assess the effectiveness of your unique treatment plan. Additionally, your treatment plan may be modified along the way to optimize your results.
If you have additional questions, we’re ready to help. Call (321) 972-6159 to speak with a member of our care team or click here to request an appointment. We look forward to helping you feel amazing!