Hormone Therapy for Women
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is the use of hormones to help resolve symptoms related to hormonal imbalance or decline in hormone production tied to aging. Certain hormone treatments are called “bioidentical” or sometimes “natural” because the types of hormones used are chemically identical (according to molecular studies) to those produced by the human body.
Specific hormones that BHRT aims to increase or balance include those tied to reproduction and youth, such as estrogen (in the form of estrone or estradiol), progesterone, and sometimes testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and adrenal hormones.
During the years leading up to menopause, and then through this transition, a woman’s body produces less of these hormones (especially estrogen), which may lead to symptoms like fatigue, hot flashes/night sweats, vaginal dryness and thinning bones.
- Menstrual cycles gradually ending (irregular periods can continue for several years)
- Thinning hair, on both your head and body (this occurs in most men and women, although usually more noticeably in men)
- Lowered sex drive and signs like vaginal dryness
- Often weight gain, especially around the stomach/abdomen
- Exhaustion and having less energy, for some even chronic fatigue along with muscle weakness
- Dryer skin
- For many, changes in body temperature and other common symptoms of perimenopause, including hot flashes or night sweats
- Sometimes trouble sleeping or symptoms of mood changes/emotional instability like irritability and anxiety
- Cognitive changes like brain fog, reduced concentration and trouble remembering