Traditional hormone replacement therapy was once a popular option for women who wanted to combat the life-disrupting symptoms of menopause. For years, conventional hormone replacement therapy helped minimize or eradicate symptoms, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and severe mood swings, in women going through “the change.” As an added bonus, traditional hormone replacement therapy helped to reduce patients’ risk of developing heart disease and brittle bones.
In 2002, conventional hormone replacement therapy became the subject of great controversy almost overnight. In that year, the Women’s Health Initiative stopped its trial of combined estrogen and progestin for treating menopausal symptoms early. This trial came to an abrupt end when researchers recognized that people undergoing hormone replacement therapy had a higher risk for serious medical maladies, including breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and the development of blood clots.
Even though the risk of experiencing the health problems mentioned above was quite small, it was enough for many women and their doctors to decide to stop hormone replacement treatments. When they stopped their treatments, many women suffered the full brunt of their menopausal symptoms all over again.
Bioidentical Hormones Explained
While hormone replacement therapy is still considered a highly effective treatment for the symptoms of menopause, public opinion has forced the pharmaceutical and medical communities to come up with alternative treatments. As a result, bioidentical hormones were introduced.
Unlike the hormones used in traditional hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormones are the same as the hormones that your body produces. While bioidentical hormones are produced in a laboratory, they still successfully emulate your own hormones. This makes it impossible for your body to distinguish the hormones you produce naturally from the bioidentical hormones involved in your treatment plan.
Bioidentical vs Synthetic Hormones
Bioidentical hormones differ from the synthetic hormones used in conventional hormone replacement therapy. To start, they’re made differently. Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure and chemical makeup as your own hormones do, but synthetic hormones don’t. This difference causes the human body to react differently to bioidentical hormones than it does to synthetic hormones. It’s the way the body reacts to synthetic hormones compared to bioidentical hormones that likely increases the risks associated with synthetic hormones.
How Bioidentical Hormones Are Used
Bioidentical hormones can be incorporated into a hormone replacement therapy program to combat many of the symptoms caused by menopause. When they’re included in hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormones can do the following:
- Reduce fatigue
- Increase sex drive
- Minimize the thinning of hair
- Reduce hot flashes
- Minimize dry skin
- Improve sleep
- Reduce bloating
- Improve memory and cognitive processes
Depending on the specific symptoms they’re being taken to treat, bioidentical hormones are available in an array of forms. Here are some of the common forms bioidentical hormones are sold in:
Bioidentical Hormone Treatments at Passer Restorative Therapies
While most people associate hormone replacement therapy with women going through menopause, we offer bioidentical hormone treatments for both men and women. If you want to learn more about the kinds of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy we offer, you can read about them on our website or you can contact us. If you want to see if you’re a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, make an appointment with Passer Restorative Therapies today.