Bioidentical hormones are indistinguishable, on a molecular level, from human hormones. The term is most often used in association with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which is used to treat severe symptoms of menopause. If you are considering BHRT, here are a few things you ought to know about bioidentical hormones.
- They Can Stabilize Mood
Hormone therapy can help women to cope with the mood changes that are common in the perimenopause period. BHRT can help to lift mood in women who become depressed as a result of menopause, particularly in women who are resistant to standard mood-elevating drugs and those who cannot tolerate the side effects of SSRIs.
- Tailored to You
BHRT is sometimes referred to as compounded hormone replacement therapy because the hormones are mixed by chemists/pharmacists to precisely reflect each individual woman’s needs. For some women, BHRT is more effective than standard HRT. The difference in outcome often results from the quality of the pharmacy and physician doing the work.
- Compound Drugs Aren’t FDA-Tested
Compounded drugs are mixed on an individual basis and thus cannot be FDA-tested the way that mass-produced drugs are. This means that they are not tested for quality, safety, or effectiveness, a fact that underlines the importance of seeking out these drugs from qualified, experienced providers.
- Women Get Low Testosterone
Women have small amounts of testosterone in their bodies and are as susceptible to low T, just as men are. Low testosterone levels in women can lead to decreased energy and libido. BHRT, unlike standard HRT, can provide testosterone supplementation to women who need it.
- Custom Delivery
BHRT can be formulated in multiple ways to address multiple needs. The hormones can be inserted into capsules, put into creams for topical application, or even put into patches. This level of flexibility makes it easier to customize hormone delivery to meet a specific woman’s needs.
- Blood Tests Only
Your BHRT physician should test your hormone levels regularly (not often, but regularly) to determine the effectiveness of the therapy and to make adjustments when needed. Testing of saliva does not work for most hormones, so blood tests are the only way to go.
- Bioidentical Hormones Are “Natural”
Bioidentical hormones are no more or less natural than the hormones in standard HRT. That said, all hormones are prepared in a laboratory and created using standard chemical and biological processes. They are processed products, but they are as natural as if they were harvested directly from your body because they are identical in every possible way to standard hormones.
- You Don’t Need Hormone Replacement
Though HRT can help to alleviate the symptoms associated with menopause, it isn’t essential to a woman’s health. That said, severe symptoms like depression often respond quite well to BHRT and thus the treatment, though not essential in the strict sense of the word, is often considered indispensable by the women who benefit from it.
- Vaginal Hormone Therapy Is Available
BHRT can be designed for vaginal application. This is particularly useful for women with symptoms of overactive bladder and urinary incontinence.
- Professional Guidance
BHRT is a custom-tailored approach to treating the symptoms of menopause and thus requires oversight by a qualified health care provider. Women interested in BHRT should seek out the advice of an experienced professional in the Houston, TX area who can help them understand the benefits BHRT can offer and then customize a regimen to meet their needs.
BHRT Needs Support
BHRT has not been tested to the extent that standard HRT has been simply because it isn’t backed by the deep pockets of a multi-national pharmaceutical giant. Women who benefit from BHRT need to make their voices heard and ask the government to invest more money into researching this therapy. Additional research can help to shed light on everything from novel uses of BHRT to alternative methods for creating hormones and bring this technology to more women. More research can serve to make a good science even better.