What’s the deal with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is typically used for post-menopausal women to relieve the symptoms of menopause. The symptoms of menopause can include:
–decreased sex drive
Replacing the female hormones can relieve these symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy has health benefits like decreasing the risk of osteoporosis, improving a woman’s sexual health, and improving a woman’s sleep. Hormone replacement therapy can also have health risks like a slightly increased risk of stroke and a small increase in the risk of breast cancer after four years of use. Some hormone replacement therapy is synthetic and slightly different from what is produced in a woman’s body.
Bioidentical hormones are medications which are the same as the hormones your body produces naturally. These hormones are usually derived from plant sources such as soy beans and yams. Bioidentical hormones may be administered in a variety of ways. They may be administered orally, via a patch, a gel placed on the skin, a mist sprayed in the nose, or a cream placed in the vagina. There are many bioidentical hormones that are approved by the FDA so you can be assured of their purity and safety. The FDA has not approved any compounded or custom made forms of bioidentical hormones. Most bioidentical hormones are sold as health supplements. This means that they are manufactured and sold without controls for quality or purity. Some medical organizations recommend against the use of these compounds. Many people claim that bioidentical hormones are safer and more effective than FDA controlled hormones. This has not been proven. Most experts believe the risks of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and hormone replacement therapy are similar. There is no evidence that compounded bioidentical products are more effective. Dr. Joseph Capezio and Dr. Julie Snow specialize in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Some women may not be appropriate candidates for bioidentical hormone therapy due to their past medical or family histories. Drs. Capezio and Snow can evaluate your history and decide if you are an appropriate candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Drs. Capezio and Snow are most comfortable using FDA approved bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Dr. Heather Hirsch, the head of Menopausal Medicine from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has an excellent video on this subject on youtube.com. It’s entitled “What are bioidentical hormones and are they really safe?”
This is an informative video if you need some more information. We would also be happy to discuss your menopausal symptoms and formulate a successful therapy for you. Schedule your consultation and start relieving your symptoms today.