Hormonal Treatments for Menopause

If you are looking for a way to treat your menopause, then you have probably stumbled across many different types of hormonal treatments. There are two different types of hormone treatments, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Women have reported success with both of these types of therapy, but each also comes with its own set of risks and benefits. Continue reading and to help you understand the difference between each other.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

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HRT is a form of therapy that is usually a combination of estrogen and progestin that women take to help balance their fluctuating hormones. The reason both hormones are used is because they help balance each other out. Without the presence of one the other would not be able to do its job as effectively. Although it is effective, this treatment comes with a few risks. These risks include higher rates of heart disease, breast cancer, strokes, blood clots, and abnormal mammograms. These risks increase the longer a woman stays on HRT.

However, for some women HRT would be the best way to go. Women who are experiencing moderate to severe hot flashes, women who have lost significant bone mass and cannot tolerate other treatments, or women who are going through early menopause (under the age of 40). For these specific groups, the benefits of short-term HRT could outweigh the risks. For young women who have reached menopause prematurely, HRT can provide protective benefits to their health and come with a set of risks different than for women in their 50s.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Bioidentical hormone are synthesized to be identical to a woman's hormones

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a term used to describe the use of hormones that, on a molecular level, are identical to a woman's hormones. The specific hormones that are used in bioidentical hormone therapy vary, but can include estrone, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and estriol. 

BHRT is practiced in the United States and is considered a form of alternative medicine. Not only are bioidentical hormones promoted to fight menopausal symptoms, but also as a treatment that can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Although bioidentical hormones are not approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), does not mean they are unsafe. The reason they are not approved is because they can be taken in so many forms and combinations so they become extremely difficult to regulate.

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