Bioidentical Estrogen Replacement Therapy Side Effects

By SheCares Editorial Team
Updated: January 17, 2018

Estrogens can help relieve symptoms of  menopause.

Estrogens can help relieve symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and vaginal dryness, and can help to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. They can also improve overall heath in women with hormonal imbalance or problems with their ovaries.

If consumed via tablets, bioidentical estrogen should be taken orally, following the directions on the prescription label. If the tablets upset the stomach, they can also be taken with food or milk. Doses should be taken at regular intervals, because estrogen works best when taken at the same time each day.

Serious Side Effects of Bioidentical Estrogen

In the event of suffering from any of these symptoms as a result of taking bioidentical estrogen, seek medical assistance as soon as possible:

  • Breakthrough bleeding and spotting
  • Breast enlargement, milk production, and unusual discharge
  • Chest, leg, arm, or groin pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Severe migraines and headaches
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling or rapid weight gain
  • Vision or speech problems
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin

Less Severe Side Effects of Bioidentical Estrogen Replacement

These symptoms don't typically require emergency medical treatment, but you should inform your doctor and stop taking bioidentical estrogen if symptoms persist:

Decrease in sexual desire is a side effect of bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy.
  • Decrease in sexual desire
  • A mildly upset stomach
  • Mood swings, anxiety, and frustration
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Skin rash or acne
  • Constant tiredness
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Weight gain*

*Estrogens can make the body retain fluid, which causes the fingers, hands, or ankles to swell. This can also cause blood pressure to go up.

Potential Interactions between Bioidentical Estrogen and Medicines

Many commonly-prescribed medications have the potential to act irregularly for women taking bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy. Before undergoing any form of therapy, it is vital to confer with a medical professional about potential side effects while using the following types of drugs:

Ascorbic acid and vitamin C supplements can have potential side effects.
  • Some antibiotics used to treat infections
  • Some medications used to treat HIV
  • Ascorbic acid and vitamin C supplements
  • Barbiturates used for treating seizures
  • Medications for diabetes
  • Some medications for treating migraines
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Some antidepressants

To avoid complications, always tell a healthcare professional about any other medicines that you may be taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, and herbal products.

Upon learning the full extent of risks and side effects associated with bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy, many women decide that these outweigh the benefits of any potential treatment. Fortunately, there are numerous alternatives to treating the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Click on the following link to learn more about alternatives to bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy.

Having outlined the side effects of bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy, continue on to the next section, which concentrates on bioidentical progesterone replacement therapy.

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