Hormone Replacement Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide for Women

Sep 26, 2023
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Explore hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a solution to the symptoms of menopause, harnessing hormones to restore balance and improve your quality of life.

The transition through perimenopause and menopause can bring with it significant hormonal fluctuations, impacting your day-to-day quality of life. Hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), also known as menopausal hormone therapy, provides a treatment method that can help alleviate symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. Yet, there's a lot of misinformation, making the decision to pursue hormone therapy a daunting one. In this article, we will explore bioidentical hormones, what they treat, and their potential side effects to aid you in having an informed discussion with your healthcare provider.

At Energize Wellness, we harness the latest research to provide menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), also called hormone replacement therapy (HRT), transforming lives. If you're considering HRT to combat your menopausal symptoms, discover your relief plan with Energize Wellness today!‍

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers produced by your endocrine glands, directing various functions of your body on how and when to work. During menopause, your body experiences substantial hormonal changes as your ovaries reduce their hormone production. This is where menopausal hormone therapy can step in.

Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to the hormones produced by your body. They can replenish vital hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. These hormones can be synthesized by a pharmaceutical company or a compounding pharmacy and are distinct from the conjugated estrogen formulas used in older forms of hormone replacement therapy. At Energize Wellness, we only use FDA-approved bioidentical estradiol and micronized progesterone, standardized and available at regular pharmacies.

Bioidentical vs. Synthetic Hormones

While both bioidentical and synthetic hormones are lab-made, the raw ingredients used differ. Both can offer solutions, but bioidentical hormones often yield superior results with fewer risks of negative side effects.

Symptoms HRT Treats

Hormones regulate several crucial bodily processes, including metabolism, reproduction, growth, and sexual function. Symptoms of perimenopause or menopause can disrupt your daily life, which is why hormone therapy may be beneficial.

Hormone therapy can alleviate symptoms such as:

  • Mood swings
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Night sweats
  • Lack of energy
  • Memory loss
  • Sleep problems
  • Decreased interest in sex

If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, bioidentical hormone therapy could offer a potential solution.‍

Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy comes in various forms, and the best one for you will depend on your healthcare provider's advice. You may need to try more than one form before finding the one that suits you best.

Options for HRT include:

  • Pills: Estradiol in pill form is taken once a day and is often recommended for those experiencing menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep issues.
  • Patches: The Estradiol Patch is a convenient option, requiring only a bi-weekly change. This is particularly recommended for women who smoke, are overweight, or have a family history of stroke or heart disease.
  • Gels: BHRT gels are transdermal, meaning they're absorbed through the skin. They can help with various symptoms, and your healthcare provider will recommend the best treatment option based on your symptoms.
  • Vaginal Creams: Estradiol Vaginal Cream is for those experiencing genitourinary symptoms due to menopause. It's applied topically for the relief of the immediate area and is not used to treat systemic symptoms such as hot flashes or night sweats.

How Soon Does HRT Start to Work?

Most women start to notice improvements within a few days, and significant relief within a week or two. Maximum symptomatic relief typically occurs within 4-6 weeks.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Contraindications

Certain conditions or histories require consultation with a healthcare provider before commencing HRT. These include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Porphyria
  • Severe active liver disease
  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding

However, it's essential to note that transdermal estradiol in patch or gel form, as well as bioidentical estradiol and progesterone, have not been shown to increase these risks.‍

Possible HRT Side Effects

While most side effects are minimal and subside after a few months, it's worth being aware of potential side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating or weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Breast tenderness
  • Cramps
  • Headaches

Regular symptom evaluations are recommended. However, if you experience side effects that persist or worsen over time, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Common Myths About Hormone Replacement Therapy

There are numerous misconceptions about HRT. Here, we will debunk a few:

  • Estrogen Causes Cancer: Current data indicates estrogen does not cause breast cancer. Using FDA-approved HRT does not increase your risk of breast cancer over your baseline risk.
  • HRT Can Delay Menopause: HRT cannot delay menopause but can help manage menopause symptoms.
  • You Shouldn’t Start Hormone Replacement Therapy Too Young: Starting HRT earlier can have meaningful benefits, especially if you’re experiencing severe perimenopausal symptoms.
  • You Can Be on HRT For Too Long: You can continue HRT for as long as you and your doctor are satisfied with the results.
  • Herbs and Vitamins Are Safer Than Hormone Treatments: While certain herbs and vitamins may alleviate some perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, the lack of regulation can make it hard to find the proper dose and formulation.‍

Get Hormone Replacement Therapy From Energize Wellness Today

Navigating your hormone replacement therapy options can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. At Energize Wellness, our products are backed by the latest scientific evidence and guidelines and are all FDA-approved hormone therapies.

We demystify the available types of FDA-approved bioidentical hormones so you can make the best decision for your menopausal symptoms. Learn more about our hormone replacement therapies and solutions to get one step closer to relief.