Menopause truly changes life and its side effects are often difficult. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy eases these side effects – such as loss of libido, hot flashes, and night sweats – and can make a woman feel like herself again. Where do these bioidentical hormones come from? For the most part, they are derived from natural, plant sources.
Unlike conventional hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormones do not come from pregnant mare’s urine. Bioidentical hormones are not linked to an increased risk of breast cancer or heart disease, as is the case with conventional hormone replacement therapy.
Bioidentical hormones are natural substances molecularly the same as the hormones produced by the human body. That is where the term “bioidentical” comes from.
These hormones act the same way as those the body produces. A menopausal woman’s body cannot distinguish, for example, bioidentical estradiol from the hormones formerly produced by her ovaries. During the reproductive years, the ovaries produce not only estradiol, but also progesterone and small amounts of the male hormone, testosterone.
The aim of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is reaching a pre-determined hormone level in the body. This requires regular hormone level testing – via saliva, blood or urine – and monitoring of the patient.
Bioidentical estrogen hormones are made from wild yam and soy extracts. Wild yams are the basis of bioidentical progesterone, also known as “micronized progesterone.”
Women who are post-menopausal, or have had hysterectomies, do not necessarily need progesterone. However, progesterone is particularly effective in helping restore normal sleep cycles in women with menopause-related sleep disorders. Just consuming more soy or yams will not ease menopausal symptoms. That is because it is the extracts and oils, undergoing special processing, which make up the substances contained in bioidentical hormones.
The raw materials necessary for formulating individual bioidentical hormone prescriptions are sent to compounding pharmacies. This allows the compounding pharmacy to make a personalized bioidentical hormone therapy.
Bioidentical hormones are not mass produced, but created specifically for each patient’s need by a compounding pharmacy. The compounding pharmacy designs the bioidentical hormone in the form indicated by the doctor. That may mean pills, patches, intradermal pellets, gels or creams.
If you would like to know more about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and how it can help you, call Dr. Jacobson today and arrange a consultation.