Are Bioidentical Hormones Safe to Take During Menopause?

Maintaining hormonal balance is crucial to our physical and mental health. But it’s not something we typically think about. If you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause, sleep issues, poor focus, unexplained weight gain, or sexual dysfunction, bioidentical hormone therapy can help.

Below, we’ll look at the options offered to menopausal patients by Kellie Lewis, the co-owner and acting Medical Director of Avanti Medical Center in Lehi, UT.

How does bioidentical hormone therapy work?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is designed to replace estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones in your body that get depleted over time. The ultimate goal is to restore your body’s natural hormonal balance.

While the hormones used in BHRT are synthetic, they are identical to your body’s own hormones on a molecular level. Depending on your needs, hormones can be delivered via oral capsules, creams, or pellets inserted under the skin.

Pellets are the most common delivery system for BHRT at Avanti Medical Center and are inserted just beneath the skin on the hip. Over the following months, pellets dissolve and consistently release hormones. Should you need adjustments mid-treatment, that can still be arranged. Pellets typically last 3 – 6 months, depending on a patient’s needs, so it’s necessary to come in at least 2 – 4 times per year for treatment.

While some BRHT pellets take up to a month for patients to notice an improvement in symptoms, others notice a difference within a week.

What does bioidentical replacement therapy do for menopause symptoms?

During menopause, estrogen levels fall. This can result in a range of issues, including fatigue, trouble sleeping, irregular menstruation, mood swings, depression, weight fluctuation, hot flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness, and low sex drive. Estrogen replacement therapy via BHRT can be a good option for many menopausal patients.

Hormone therapy can also help with vaginal dryness and itching, and painful sex, and help prevent further bone loss or injuries due to osteoporosis, and reduce menopausal women’s chances of heart disease and dementia.

Is BHRT safe for menopausal patients?

If you have a blood clotting disorder, heart or cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, or a history of strokes, hormone replacement may not be the proper treatment for you. However, for many menopausal patients, BHRT can have a rejuvenating effect.

Hormone replacement is designed to treat severe menopause symptoms and is not meant to be a permanent solution. Typically, patients start hormone therapy before age 60 and take the lowest possible levels of hormones for the shortest time possible.

What are some of the side effects of BHRT?

All hormone therapies come with certain risks. In the beginning, as your body adjusts to new hormone levels, you can experience bloating, weight gain, fatigue, breast tenderness, and skin changes. However, these typically subside as your body adjusts.

Long-term risks of hormone therapies include an increased risk of developing blood clots, gallbladder disease, and breast cancer, as well as having a stroke. Therefore, it’s crucial to find a practitioner such as Kellie Lewis to review your medical history and discuss the pros and cons, and the trade-offs you’re willing to make to undergo BHRT. You may be able to take a lower dose to deal with some symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, or try combination therapies for more serious hot flashes.

Each treatment will depend on the individual patient. There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” hormone therapy.

Get bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in Lehi, UT

Experts agree that hormone replacement therapy can be advantageous for recently menopausal women, and hundreds of studies back up its use. Patients in Lehi, UT interested in learning if they make a good candidate for BHRT treatment can schedule a consultation with Kellie Lewis at Avanti Medical Center.

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