Let’s face it: menopause can be rough. We often see weight gain, mood swings, and a loss of sex drive as we age. As the vital hormones that regulate our metabolism and sexual function wane, many women struggle with the aging process. We’re tired, stressed out, and less interested in sex. Hormone replacement therapy can be a life-changing treatment. But traditional HRT has significant drawbacks, including a documented link with breast cancer. That’s why women around the country are turning to an alternative: bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for needed relief.
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
BHRT uses natural plant-based ingredients to recreate hormones identical to the ones your body makes. We can deliver BHRT in pills, patches, creams, and gels. But implanted pellets are the best delivery systems for this revolutionary therapy. Your provider inserts a sterile pellet that slowly releases doses of naturally-derived estrogen. The pellet doses go directly into your body’s tissues instead of through your digestive system, so they have an immediate and long-lasting effect. Once we insert the pellet, your body takes over, supplying just the right doses. You don’t have to remember to take a pill or apply a cream every day, and each pellet usually lasts 3 to 5 months.
What Is The Difference Between BHRT and HRT?
Traditional hormone replacement therapy uses animal-based and synthetic ingredients, usually in pill or cream form. Premarin, a synthetic version of estrogen made from the urine of pregnant horses, is one of the best-known HRT treatments. Premarin and the drug Provera, which replaces the hormone progestin, were the subjects of a decade-long Women’s Health Initiative study that linked some hormone replacement therapies to increased risk of stroke and breast cancer.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy offers a natural solution to decreased hormone levels. The natural estrogens in BHRT treatments come from plants, including yams and soybeans. One of the most significant advantages of BHRT is that it’s custom-made for each patient. Your provider will check your hormone levels and compound a unique treatment designed to meet your individual health needs.
Who Can Benefit From BHRT?
North American Menopause Society (NAMS) reports that about 1.4 million women now use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to get relief from a range of symptoms. BHRT can help patients experiencing many of the challenges of menopause, including:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Lowered sex drive or pain during sex
- Low energy levels
- Memory loss and brain fog
- Sleep problems
There’s also evidence that BHRT can help reduce the risk of age-related conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Some cancers
- Thyroid conditions
- Alzheimer’s Disease
What Are The Potential Side Effects of BHRT?
Most patients report increased well-being and higher energy levels after their first BHRT treatment. However, we sometimes see shifts and side effects as your hormone levels regain balance. Some patients experience:
- Weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Cramps or spotting
Is BHRT Safe?
A 2015 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that most women reported: “resolution of menopausal symptoms, better sleep, decreased migraines and incontinence, increased focus and increased libido.” The same study also indicated that the rate of breast cancer in study participants was no higher than national averages and concluded that BHRT “seems to greatly improve well-being with no increase of cancer risk.”
Is BHRT Right for Me?
BHRT is a safe and natural alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy for most patients. It’s nothing short of life-changing for many. However, each patient should weigh the list of benefits and potential drawbacks. If you’re experiencing disruptive menopause symptoms, a conversation with your healthcare provider is an excellent place to start.
Cavery Health Clinic is pleased to be a trusted provider of BHRT pellet therapy in the region. Our professional team includes experienced pellet therapy providers. We’ll get a baseline on your hormone levels and health conditions and determine whether you can benefit from the pellet therapy’s meaningful and long-lasting relief.