The natural reduction of endogenous estrogens after menopause can spur a variety of vasomotor symptoms in women. Hot flashes, night sweats, poor sleep, mood swings, and even depression can occur. Vaginal dryness and weakening of the pelvis can lead to discomfort and pain during sexual intercourse. Some women may have severe symptoms that can last from six to 12 months after menopause; others may not experience any symptoms at all.
Although menopause itself is not an illness, but a natural occurrence in a woman’s life, there are increased risks associated with menopause. Heart disease, specifically, myocardial infarction and angina, is the most common illness in postmenopausal women.
Osteoporosis, associated with accelerated bone loss after menopause, is another major health problem in postmenopausal women. Approximately 32% of women living to age 90 will suffer at least one osteoporosis related fracture. In addition, women who suffer hip fractures show a 12% to 20% higher mortality rate than women who are the same age who do not have hip fractures. Other health-related risks include increased incidence of genitourinary infections, vaginal atrophy and Alzheimer’s disease. Although recent studies may suggest a link between oestrogen deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease, more research must be done before any conclusions can be drawn.
Bioidentical hormones have a chemical structure which are identical to the hormones made in the human body, which is why we call them bioidentical. This identical molecular structure is the key differentiating factor between natural or bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones. It is like a lock and key. For the door to open you must use the the right key which is identical in structure to the lock. In this way, bioidentical hormones are able to unlock all the benefits by replicating the function of the hormones which were originally naturally produced and present in the human body. The chemical structure must match the original. The structural difference of the synthetic hormones is responsible for the side effects that are experienced when non-bioidentical hormones are used for replacement therapy.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
The aim of BHRT is to provide adequate supply of the deficient hormone in a form and strength as close to possible to that which was originally produced, therefore resulting in normal physiological effects.
Bioidentical HRT can be compounded in the needed strength and dosage form and administered via the most appropriate route to meet each individual’s needs. The doses used should ideally be based on hormone test results to ensure optimal physiological levels are obtained.
We believe that the best and safest method to administer bioidentical hormones is via a cream. Hormones administered by creams bypass the stomach and the first pass metabolism of the liver and thus allow lower physiological doses to be administered when compared to other methods such as capsules and troches (lozenges). The release of the hormone from the cream is more physiological providing a fairly consistent release over time without the significant fluctuations often observed with capsules and troches. Finally if oestrogens are swallowed by capsule or troche they may be metabolised by bacteria in the bowel forming oestrogens that can increase the chance of blood clotting and thromboembolism. This effect is not observed with creams.
Our compounding pharmacists offer advise and, if preferred, private consolations to help women understand their own health needs. Our pharmacists can guide you on how to live a healthier lifestyle and avoid health problems that typically affect women.
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