BHRT: As a female-bodied individual, your hormone cycles are complex and always dynamic. The menstrual cycle, in particular, is a long and complicated process that ends during menopause.
Menopause is a natural biological transition in a woman’s life that marks the end of periods, accompanied by hormonal fluctuations that can bring about multiple symptoms.
In recent years, there has been a noticeable surge in the interest and preference for natural approaches to managing the symptoms of menopause.
One such management approach is the BHRT treatment, which involves using plant-derived hormones structurally identical to the hormones naturally produced by the human body.
Continue reading this article to learn about the benefits of using BHRT during menopause.
Table of Contents
What is Menopause?
Menopause involves the complete cessation of menstruation for 12 whole months, during which your ovarian function declines due to a reduction in the levels of progesterone and estrogen hormones.
As a part of the process, you will experience various symptoms and physiological changes, including the thinning of vaginal walls, decreased lubrication, and alterations in reproductive tissues.
What is BHRT?
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is a natural therapeutic approach using hormones derived from plants like soy and yams.
It is mainly used as a balancing therapy in conditions where the hormone levels of the body fluctuate due to abnormal secretion.
The hormones involved in BHRT mimic the molecular structure of endogenous hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The following hormones are involved in the treatment:
- Bioidentical estrogen mimics the primary female reproductive hormone and alleviates symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings during menopause.
- Bioidentical progesteroneis used to balance the estrogen levels and for thinning of the uterine lining to prevent endometrial cancer.
- Bioidentical testosteroneis taken for libido and the maintenance of energy levels and muscles.
- Bioidentical DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) can be converted to both estrogen and progesterone and balance hormone levels.
Benefits of BHRT for Menopause
BHRT is preferred over traditional hormone therapy because, unlike BHRT, HRT involves lab-synthesized hormones that are structurally different from endogenous hormones.
Conventional HRT is a standardized therapeutic approach, unlike BHRT, which is tailored to varying conditions after a thorough body assessment.
Additionally, BHRT, as a natural option, is speculated to have a favorable risk profile with fewer adverse effects than HRT.
BHRT offers numerous benefits to women going through menopause, including
1. Alleviating Symptoms of Menopause
Bioidentical estrogen can help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats experienced due to reduced estrogen levels during menopause.
Bioidentical progesterone and testosterone can lead to mood stability and reduce symptoms of irritability associated with menopause. BHRT can also improve sleep patterns disrupted due to menopause in women.
2. Supporting Overall Well-being
By replenishing estrogen levels, BHRT can improve bone density and reduce the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis
. Estrogen is also associated with cardioprotective functions, so BHRT can positively affect cardiovascular health by improving the lipid profile and arterial function.
Additionally, by restoring estrogen levels, BHRT can prevent the decline of cognitive health associated with aging and promote your overall well-being.
3. Personalized Approach for Individual Needs
The route of administration for BHRT is flexible and can be adjusted according to personal preference. It can be administered in the form of gels, creams, patches, pills, or injections.
Healthcare providers can also tailor treatment plans for individual hormone profiles, symptoms, and health goals, enhancing their effectiveness.
Risks and Considerations Associated with BHRT
There is limited long-term research on the safety and efficacy of BHRT. The lack of comprehensive studies makes understanding the potential risks associated with prolonged use challenging.
Striking the right balance in the levels of hormones is crucial for the proper functioning of the body, and any overcompensation or under-compensation can lead to severe complications of the normal physiology of the body.
Hormone replacement therapy, including BHRT, may increase the risk of blood clots and gallbladder diseases, especially in women with other risk factors like smoking or a history of clotting disorders. Other potential side effects can include bloating and headaches.
BHRT has a huge potential in helping women going through menopause, but before considering it, you must consult with your healthcare provider.
Your doctor can comprehensively assess your condition and tailor a BHRT treatment specific to your needs and circumstances. They can also determine and help you manage the risk factors associated with the treatment.