While decreasing levels of estrogen are a normal part of aging for women, it can lead to adverse effects: weight gain, muscle weakness, decreased collagen, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease can all be caused by low estrogen levels in menopause. Fortunately, there are options for balancing hormones during menopause. One popular treatment choice is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: What Is it?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT, is a treatment that uses chemically identical hormones to alleviate symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Because these hormones are identical to the ones the human body creates, it generally has fewer adverse effects compared to other hormone replacement methods. BHRT is used to increase hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and sometimes testosterone or adrenal hormones. During the transition into menopause, women experience lower levels of estrogen that can cause unpleasant side effects. Some of the common side effects women may experience include:
- Decreased energy
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in body temperature
- Thinning hair
- Lowered sex drive
But BHRT can help make the transition easier and can help maintain normal levels of hormones. Whether it’s one symptom or multiple, BHRT can help alleviate the effects of menopause. This may be especially helpful for the 21 million women in the U.S. experiencing hair loss. Menopause is a difficult time for most women, but with BHRT it doesn’t have to be.
Could BHRT Be Right for You?
While a drop in hormones is natural and unavoidable, you can take steps to minimize the side effects of this process. Women who experience pre-menopause symptoms may have to look into hormone replacement options before other women. But it overall depends on the woman — some women go through menopause with minimal issues. Other women may experience adverse effects before they even start menopause. And while BHRT is not the only option for hormone balancing, it is a safe and effective method that’s worth considering.
Growing old is unavoidable. And while there are some unpleasant side effects of lowered estrogen, women can take action and get their hormones back in balance. So if you’ve been wondering about hormone replacement, ask your doctor is BHRT could be right for you.