Bioidentical Estrogen Replacement for Women
A natural part of aging? Yes. Menopause or the “change of life” affects each woman in a different way. Maybe hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and sleep problems. Menopause is permanent end of menstruation and fertility and a natural biological process, not a medical illness. Just the same, menopause can lead to symptoms that sap you of energy and even cause feelings of sadness and loss.
- Accept sagging skin
- Sleepless nights
- Fragile bones
- Hot flashes
- A dry vagina
- Loss of sex drive
For those who decide that these symptoms are unbearable, they often resort to synthetic pharmaceutical hormone replacement products. These synthetic hormones are the one’s that the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) utilized, and were found to lead to increased cardiovascular and cancer risk.
Fortunately, Bio-equivalent hormone therapy (BHRT) offers a more alternative solution. They not only offer potential relief from menopausal symptoms, but they can also offer increased quality of life in several areas.
Menopause occurs in most women between the ages of 45 and 55, although some women enter menopause in their thirties. Before you reach menopause, you will experience perimenopause. During this time, your ovaries will gradually produce less and less estrogen. This stage can last as long as 10 years, although the average is 4 years.
During perimenopause, you will start to experience many of the symptoms that people associate with menopause, such as hot flashes and irregular menstrual periods. Menopause occurs when you have not had a period for one year. In the years leading up to menopause, you may experience a decrease in fertility hot flashes trouble sleeping an increase in fat around your abdomen increased premenstrual syndrome symptoms breast tenderness vaginal dryness moodiness decreased interest in sex thinning hair urine leakage or urgency Your period will most likely become very irregular. It may last longer or shorter than normal and your flow may increase. You may find that you never know quite when to expect your period and may even go several months without having a period before it resumes again.
Why live with the changes while safe available therapies are available?
There are the 3 bio-equivalent estrogens: Estrone (E-1) Estradiol (E-2) Estriol (E-3) these three chemicals make up human estrogen. The estrogen that has the most volume in the body is estriol (60-80% of circulating estrogens), followed by estradiol and estrone (10-20% each). Estriol is thought to be the weakest acting hormone, but provides a natural hormonal balance in the body, whereas estradiol and estrone are thought be the stronger estrogens.
The female body produces large amounts of estriol during pregnancy and has protective properties against such things as estrogen related cancers. Estradiol is the estrogen that can relieve vaso-motor symptoms the best. Estrone is the primary estrogen found in post-menopausal women. It stores itself in the body fat and has more know cancer properties.
What are the functions of estrogens?
- Promote proliferation and growth of specific cells in the body.
- Responsible for development of most secondary sexual characteristics of the female.
- Responsible for normal growth and development of female sex organs.
- Provide maintenance of anti-aging mechanisms.
- Protect against bone loss (but does not assist in the formation of new bone), heart disease, and other aging dilemmas.
What can bio-equivalent estrogens be used for?
- Symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause.
- Natural and surgical menopause.
- Primary ovarian failure.
What is Progesterone?
- Oldest known sex hormone.
- Present in every human regardless of age.
- Produced by the ovaries and adrenal gland.
- Secreted by corpus luteum.
- Has receptors in nearly every cell in the body.
- Acts on uterus, kidneys, brain, smooth muscle, breasts, bones, and cellular membranes.
- Metabolized to other active hormones.
- What are some of the functions and roles of progesterone in the body?
- Counteracts estrogen’s tendency to induce excess growth in the endometrial lining of the uterus.
- Builds new bone tissue, leading to increased bone mass and density.
- Necessary for maintenance of pregnancy.
- Decreases uterine contractions.
- Prepares and maintains uterine lining for implantation of fertilized egg
- Prepares breasts for lactation.
- Assists in raising HDL-cholesterol levels (if combined with estrogen therapy) and ultimately reduces risk of heart disease.
- Synthetic progesterone (progestin) has an overall negative effect on HDL-cholesterol levels because it vasocontricts.
What is the difference between “progestin” and “progesterone?”
The main difference is in the derivative. Progestin’s are synthetic (i.e. man-made) molecules developed to act like natural progesterone. Natural progesterone is a molecule that is plant derived and is bio-equivalent to the hormone produced in our bodies. Progestin’s do not have as broad a spectrum of activity as natural progesterone, and have a wide range of side effects.
Whereas progesterone may cause some mild to moderate drowsiness, progestin’s can cause:
- breast tenderness
- vision changes
- migraine headaches
- decreased glucose tolerance
- gastric regurgitation