Hormone Replacement Therapy
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) restores the natural hormonal balance of a woman’s body that is lost during the natural aging process. For many women, it is often the desire to “feel like themselves” again that is the driving force behind seeking relief from the hormonal imbalances caused by both perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Most women begin to experience these hormonal imbalances between the ages of 35 and 55 and could benefit from some level of hormone replacement therapy.
Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy:
- Reduces Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
- Stabilizes Mood and Decreases Anxiety/Depression Symptoms
- Slows Skin Aging and Fine Lines/Wrinkles Caused by Decreased Hormone Production
- Maintains Memory Function
- Regulates Irregular or Long Menstrual Cycles
- Helps to Maintain Muscle Mass and Control Weight Gain
- Improves Libido/Sex Drive
- Prevents Hormonal Hair Thinning and Hair Loss in Women
- Enhanced Sense of Well-Being
- And So Much More!
Hormone Replacement Therapy at The Skin Center treats female hormonal imbalances caused by perimenopause and menopause with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses “natural” hormones that have the same chemical structure as the hormones found in the female body – making them biologically identical. Restoring the natural hormonal balance to the body helps to reduce the symptoms caused by perimenopause and menopause so you enjoy life to its fullest. With The Skin Center’s approach to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), we can naturally restore your hormone levels so you can finally “feel like yourself” again.
Your concierge treatment plan includes:
- An initial consultation to determine if you are a candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy.
- Development of a customized hormone replacement treatment plan.
- Ongoing testing of your hormone levels to assess how your body is responding to treatment.
- Ongoing management including hormone wellness and prevention planning (diet, exercise and micronutrient supplementation can be added).
How Do I Know if I Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?
If you are a woman between the ages of 35 and 55, chances are your hormones are changing. Most women know they are experiencing a hormonal imbalance through unwanted changes in the body. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance include restless sleep, irritability, memory loss, thinning hair, hot flashes, night sweats and irregular periods. You do not need to experience all of these symptoms to benefit from hormone replacement therapy. Many women seek treatment with the onset of even just a few of these symptoms.
How Long Does it Take for the Hormones to Take Effect?
This really depends on how quickly your body responds to the treatment and the severity of your hormonal imbalance. Typically, most women report that they notice the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause beginning to fade within the first few weeks on the BHRT program. As your hormone levels are restored to optimal levels you will begin to feel more alert, energetic and refreshed.
How Long Do I Need to Stay on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement?
You will stay on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for as long as you would like to manage the symptoms of menopause or perimenopause. Unfortunately, if you discontinue your treatment program your hormone levels will gradually return to where they were prior to treatment and your symptoms will return. As you age, your hormone levels continue to change—that is why we approach hormonal aging with a comprehensive concierge treatment plan and continue to monitor your hormone levels.
What is the Difference Between Hormone Therapy (HT) and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)?
Conventional hormone therapy (HT), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) all have essentially the same meaning; to supplement hormone production in the body. The main difference is not in the definition but in the treatment plan and the hormones being prescribed. Conventional hormone therapy (HT) is commonly associated with the prescribed hormone replacement drugs Premarin® and Prempro®. These hormones are derived from the urine of pregnant mares and are often referred to as “synthetic” hormones. Hormone replacement with Premarin and Prempro received negative publicity when the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) inferred from the findings of the study that continued use of these drugs posed an increased risk of developing a number of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and dementia among certain members of the study’s population. As a result the FDA has required that all FDA-approved estrogens and progestogens, including Premarin and Prempro, carry a black box warning. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) uses compounded hormones that have the same chemical structure as the hormones found in your body – making them biologically identical. Some people use the term “natural hormone replacement” when referring to bioidentical hormones because molecular structure of the hormone is identical to what exists in your body. At The Skin Center, we prescribe bioidentical hormones as part of your treatment plan. Hormone Replacement Therapy is a generic term used to describe both hormone therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Safe?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is generally regarded as safe as long as you are in good health. When the hormones are replaced in the proper dosage and based on your individual needs, hormone replacement therapy can significantly improve your overall health and well-being with minimal risk of side effects. At The Skin Center, you will be prescribed customized, compounded hormone replacement creams based on your individual hormone levels. Your hormone levels and compounded, bioidentical hormone replacement creams will be monitored and managed by our experts.
Does Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Increase the Risk of Cancer?
The concern with hormone therapy causing cancer stems primarily from the information gathered during Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study. Researchers noted an increase of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, stroke and osteoporosis (to name a few) among some of the study participants who were prescribed synthetic hormones such as Prempro. It is inconclusive whether this type of synthetic hormone therapy caused these diseases. However since this study, many physicians have stopped prescribing synthetic hormones for long periods and find them most beneficial when used for shorter periods of time to treat specific conditions. At The Skin Center, we do not prescribe synthetic hormones and we do not approach hormone replacement therapy as a one-size-fits-all program. We prescribe customized, compounded bioidentical hormones to replenish only the hormones you need – based on your individual test results. We will continue to monitor your hormone levels and adjust your dosage accordingly. Most women who are on bioidentical hormone replacement report feeling more engaged, alert and energetic and we often hear, “Thank you, I finally feel like myself again!”