As women age and approach menopause, changes in hormone levels can interfere with your lifestyle and leave you feeling tired, moody, and unmotivated. Decreased levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can also cause negative health consequences such as brittle bones and weaker muscles. At this stage, you may find yourself wondering, should I try bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)? If you’re struggling with any of these issues, we encourage you to keep reading to learn more about how BHRT can improve your quality of life by restoring balance to your hormones.
Understanding Hormone Imbalance
There are over 50 hormones produced in the human body that perform a wide variety of critical functions. The main hormones impacting females as they age are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone (yes, women have and need healthy testosterone levels, too). These hormones play a critical role in maintaining your sexual health and vitality. As hormone levels decrease during the natural aging process, women are likely to encounter the following symptoms:
Decrease In Estrogen:
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful intercourse
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Brain fog /difficulty concentrating
- Decreased bone density (osteoporosis)
Decrease In Progesterone:
- Bloating or weight gain
- Mood changes, anxiety, depression
- Sleep disturbances
- Bloating or weight gain
Decrease In Testosterone:
- Low libido/decreased sex drive
- Muscle weakness or loss of muscle mass
- Decreased sense of well-being
- Increased body fat
Treating Hormone Imbalance: The Evolution of Hormone Therapy
Treatment for hormone replacement was first introduced in the 1930s. Over the years, doctors have prescribed estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in various forms, including pills, creams, vaginal rings, patches, and injections. However, these types of hormone therapies pose challenges, including variability in absorption impacting dosage, patient compliance, and overall bioavailability of the medication. BHRT, on the other hand, circumvents these difficulties. It stands apart from other therapies and is widely considered the most customizable, safe, and effective solution for hormone replacement to date.
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
BHRT is a method of hormone replacement that uses forms of hormones identical to those found in our bodies, hence the name “bioidentical.” The hormones are derived from a plant known as the Mexican wild yam, which has a chemical makeup similar to cholesterol, the natural precursor for hormones in our body. Through manipulation, the yam is converted into a chemical makeup identical to the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in our bodies.
How Does BHRT Work?
BHRT hormones are pressed into tiny pellets about the size of a grain of rice. These pellets are inserted into the gluteal tissue through a minor, in-office surgical procedure. Once inserted, the pellets gradually release hormones over 3 to 4 months, leading to stable and consistent relief of symptoms for up to 6 months.
Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?
Although rare, complications from your BHRT procedure include infection, encapsulation of the pellet, and extrusion of the pellet. However, our team of metabolic aesthetic experts provides simple postoperative directions that make the risk of complications exceedingly low. Like other hormone therapies, BHRT patients have an initial adjustment period, and any side effects that may appear within the first course of treatment should subside as your body adjusts to the new hormone level.
So … Is BHRT Right for Me?
If you’re undergoing or approaching menopause and you no longer feel like “yourself,” you may benefit from a solution like bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Restoring or balancing the hormones in your body with medically monitored BHRT can alleviate your symptoms and significantly improve your lifestyle. During your consultation at our metabolic aesthetics clinic, we’ll ask the following questions before developing your customized treatment plan:
- Do you have mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or depression?
- Do you have noticeable weight gain and increased body fat around your midsection?
- Do you have difficulty losing weight and gaining lean muscle mass?
- Do you feel a lack of energy or fatigue?
- Do you have insomnia?
- Do you have a low sex drive?
- Do you have moderate or severe emotional stress?
- Do you have night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness?
- Do you have hair loss or thinning?
- Do you have excessive facial or body hair?
Take the Next Step
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be a good candidate for BHRT at Center For Plastic Surgery’s Metabolic Aesthetics Clinic. Call us at (703) 560-2850 or reach out to us online to schedule an appointment with our BHRT provider, Hannah Skinner, PA-C, and let’s get you on the path to feeling younger and more energetic!