Bio-Identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) are man-made hormones produced to mimic the hormones your body produces naturally. These are used to treat low hormones and hormonal imbalances. Hormones are messengers that tell parts of our body how to work and when to function. When these hormones are low or out of balance symptoms may occur like hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, brain fog, memory loss, sleep problems, decreased sex drive, mood swings, vaginal dryness, skin changes, and fatigue. The most common hormones to address these symptoms in women are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Hormone replacement therapy is a treatment to address the loss of hormones that may be causing symptoms. The goal is by taking these hormones and increasing the hormones in your system your symptoms will improve.
How are hormones given?
There are many ways to administer hormone therapy. Our provider and you will discuss your goals and your history to determine the best method of hormone therapy for you. Which may include one or a combination of the pellets, creams, troches, pills, patches, and/or vaginal inserts. It may take a couple of visits and trails of treatments before we find the right combination that works well for you.
Are hormones safe?
Hormones have been approved by the FDA and have been tested for safety. However, they do have some risks that include but not limited to blood clots, stroke, heart attacks, and gallbladder disease. In women who are older and use hormone replacement therapy for long periods of time have risks of heart disease and breast cancer. In women that still have a uterus, taking estrogen alone may raise their risk of endometrial cancer. Therefore, women with a uterus need to take progesterone in addition to estrogen to prevent endometrial cancer.
What are the benefits of hormones?
There are many potential benefits to hormone replacement therapy. In addition to improving and/or eliminating nagging symptoms, it can reduce the risk of bone fractures related to osteoporosis. May help people to lose weight and increase muscle tone. In most people sex drive increases and sexual function returns to normal. You may also notice a more youthful appearance in your skin and hair. Many also have improved mood, sleep, memory, and cognitive function. A lot of people state they have more energy and less joint pain. Hormone therapy could also improve age-related disorders like incontinence, cholesterol, and thyroid malfunction. *Individual results may vary
What are the side effects of hormone therapy?
Side effects may or may not occur with hormone therapy. If side effects do occur, they usually do within the first few weeks of starting hormone therapy because the body is not use to the new level of hormones. The most common side effects are but not limited to weight gain, blurred vision, tiredness, acne, increased facial hair, headaches, breast tenderness, vaginal bleeding, cramping, bloating, mood swings, and GI issues. If side effects do not improve after a few weeks the dosing or hormone mixture may need to be adjusted.
What should I expect during an appointment?
During your initial appointment, the provider will take a health history, perform a physical exam, and ask your goals. Then blood work will be order. Even though bio-identical hormones are like your natural hormones they do have some risks that your provider will discuss. The provider will also discuss the benefits and with your help will decide which type of hormones to prescribe. In the end your provider will determine the best method for you to administer these hormones.
Our providers and staff are here for you to answer any questions and schedule you a consultation to get your hormones back on track working for you. Call our office to make an appointment in Tampa (813) 902-9559 or St. Petersburg (727) 278-3992.