Hormone replacement therapy can turn back the clock and make a woman feel the way she did before menopause. It can relieve menopausal symptoms, restore libido, and help keep skin firm and smooth. While that is all well and good, many women are reluctant to try hormone replacement therapy because they worry it could lead to breast cancer or heart disease. If they plan to take standard hormone replacement therapy, that is a legitimate concern. However, if they choose to go with the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy route, safety is much less of an issue.
Synthetic estrogen replacement therapy uses hormones derived from pregnant mare’s urine, described as conjugated equine estrogens. Back in 2002, researchers conducting the long-running Women’s Health Initiative Study on hormone replacement therapy discovered that rather than protecting women from heart disease, hormone replacement therapy actually increased its risk. It also increased the odds of developing stroke, breast cancer, and dementia.
Today, hormone replacement therapy is only recommended by the FDA for women in early menopause and prescribed for as short a time as possible for symptom relief. The FDA does not recommend estrogen therapy for older women or long-term use. However, we thoroughly disagree with this position and can cite many peer-reviewed medical studies supporting the benefits of long-term therapy.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a different story. Unlike hormones derived from mare urine, bioidentical hormones are the same on the molecular level as the natural hormones produced by a woman’s body. These bioidentical hormones come from plant materials, primarily wild yam and soy sources. The body recognizes these hormones as the same type previously produced by the ovaries.
Not only do these natural hormones not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or breast cancer, but actually protect women from developing these conditions. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy also reduces a woman’s risk of developing macular degeneration, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other issues common during aging. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is safe to take for the long-term so that a woman can enjoy all the benefits of hormonal rejuvenation.
Doctors take a closely monitored approach when it comes to optimizing bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Not only does each patient receive hormones specifically designed for her needs, but a doctor carefully monitors her and makes hormonal adjustments as needed.
Since the goal is optimal health, it is not simply a case of receiving the hormones regularly, either in tablet, injectable, intradermal, or cream form. The doctor also puts together a custom-tailored diet and exercise plan for each patient. Unlike simple hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is never just a patch and a pill.
Many of the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy are actually the side effects of standard hormone replacement therapy. Bioidentical hormone therapy can minimize these risks. A doctor creates a specific treatment plan that best suits the patient’s needs and carefully monitors their progress.
To learn more about the risks and benefits associated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and find out whether it is the right option for you, contact Dr. Jacobson. As an experienced hormone replacement therapy doctor, he can answer your questions and discuss the best treatment plan for you.