Written by Hodge Racter, Guest Writer
Women will eventually reach their post-reproductive phase called menopause. Additionally, women also experience perimenopause, a pre-cursor to the menopausal age. Both phases increase the difficulty of living, which is why many look for solutions on how they can ease their situations.
One of the medical solutions available to help women counteract menopausal symptoms is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). BHRT is a form of hormone replacement therapy that uses manufactured bioidentical hormones to help an individual achieve hormonal balance. It’s been talked about and studied by experts for years regarding its effectiveness and safety.
Hormonal imbalance is the cause of menopause which means addressing that issue will make things better for women experiencing it. Undergoing therapy to replace lacking hormones helps a lot and is something that you should consider. Here are the reasons why it’s safer for women to get BHRT to learn more about it.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the responsibility to ensure the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices. They’ve already approved certain bioidentical hormones that help ease menopause symptoms as safe and effective to administer. The list of approved bioidentical hormones also includes the preparation in which they can be given to women for optimized safety.
You can take BHRT in various preparations and are usually given in small doses to maintain safety. The first FDA-approved bioidentical hormone for BHRT is a combination of estradiol and progesterone. It’s used for easing moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause.
Known commonly as Bijuva, the manufacturers made the bioidentical progesterone and estradiol hormones in capsule form, which the FDA approved in 2018. It can ease night sweats and flashes, which are common menopausal symptoms that often disrupt sleep. This occurs due to the hormonal fluctuations that numb your body’s temperature control and puts your blood pressure control in disarray.
Nowadays, there are other brands of bioidentical estradiol and progesterone approved to use for BHRT for women. If you decide to turn to BHRT for comfort, make sure that the facility you choose to administer it will prescribe FDA-approved bioidentical hormones to ensure you’re in good hands.
Doctors control the doses
BHRT is a procedure that could go on for a while, depending on how your body responds to the treatment. You’ll be under the strict monitoring of your doctor while you’re in therapy to see if you’re changing for the better. Regularly scheduled check-ups are mandatory so they can determine what the next step is.
The doses you’ll take often depend on the symptoms you’re experiencing and your body’s needs. Your doctor will adjust your required dosage of whatever preparation you’re taking for BHRT accordingly to the severity of your menopausal or hormonal imbalance symptoms. Keep in mind that the optimal safety of BHRT relies on the required dosage intake.
Your doctor will control the doses while considering your body’s needs accordingly. If they find even the slightest adverse effect, they’ll adjust it to address them. The goal is to counter your symptoms in small dosages of BHRT preparations.
It’s important to note that the FDA doesn’t recommend the use of hormone levels as a dosing guide for women taking BHRT. It’s because normal hormone levels fluctuate daily. Salivary hormone levels are known to fluctuate prominently than other hormone sources.
Risks are lower
There are risks to getting BHRT for women, but those risks have been lowered according to relevant data. In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative found that taking a combination of estrogen and progesterone increased the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and breast cancer. On the other hand, women who only took estrogen reduced all those significant risks.
Then, a 15-year follow-up to that same study found that women who took either estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone for five to seven years didn’t have an increased risk of cancer mortality or cardiovascular diseases. They also found a trend of reduced risks of such conditions for women 50 years old and under.
That finding is excellent for more women who experience perimenopause or early menopause. It’s possible to experience hormonal changes in your 40s at the earliest. Since the risks of cancer and cardiovascular condition are reduced, women can now take BHRT safely even before menopause.
You can undergo BHRT without stressing yourself out about the consequences it may cause your health. To this day, experts are still researching the impact that BHRT can have on women’s health, so stay updated and ask your healthcare provider about it.
There are more options
You can have BHRT administered in more ways than one. You can now choose from different options of receiving bioidentical hormones. Various medical manufacturers created a range of options to receive BHRT and balance your hormones.
You can take it in pills, which is one of the more common methods. The advantage of having different options are as follows: you can have the most optimized way of getting the therapy depending on your needs or symptoms. The other one is that you have different options that you’re more comfortable taking or applying.
Having plenty of choices for taking BHRT also gives your healthcare provider an easier time to adjust accordingly. Other common forms of bioidentical hormone preparations include:
- Skin patches
Depending on how your hormone balance develops during the therapy, your doctor may prescribe more than one preparation.
Experiencing BHRT for women who are struggling with menopause symptoms and hormonal imbalance is becoming safer and secure. You can subject yourself to it, knowing that it’ll help you achieve wellness even at your post-reproductive phase.
Finding healthcare providers that administer FDA-approved bioidentical hormones should be first on your list once you’ve decided to undergo BHRT. Then you let your doctor take care of you and ensure that you follow their recommendations. With BHRT, you can enjoy your life better as a middle-aged individual.
About the Author
Though not a medical professional, Hodge Racter knows a lot about medical topics, including hormone replacement (having undergone the procedure himself) and medical weight loss surgeries. Today, he remains spry and energetic despite his age, and when he’s not doing freelance work, he’s having quality time with his wife and two dogs.