Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHT) is the replacement of deficient hormones with hormones that are chemically identical to those that the body naturally produces, but which have declined due to aging or illness.
BHT has improved the quality of life for millions of women who suffer from hormonal imbalance. The ideal process for achieving hormonal balance includes an assessment of hormone levels and complete evaluation of signs and symptoms, followed by replacement of the deficient hormones in the most appropriate dose via the most effective route for each woman, and monitoring to fine tune the therapy.
Estrogen is prescribed to relieve menopausal symptoms and treat postmenopausal problems such as vaginal dryness and tissue breakdown, painful intercourse, and various urinary disorders. Estrogens have been shown to decrease the risks of osteoporosis and colorectal cancer.
Progesterone is commonly prescribed for perimenopausal women to counteract “estrogen dominance”, minimizes the risk of endometrial cancer in women who are receiving estrogen, and may enhance the beneficial effect of estrogen on lipid and cholesterol profiles. We do NOT recommend the use of synthetic imitations of progesterone, such as medroxyprogesterone acetate, which do not confer all of the benefits of natural progesterone.
Androgens are a class of hormones that include DHEA and testosterone, which are normally produced in a young healthy woman, and are important for libido as well as integrity of skin, bone, and muscle. When women enter menopause, testosterone and DHEA levels may decline. Experts now recognize the importance of supplementing androgens for women who are deficient.
While women have benefited from therapy with bioidentical estrogens, progesterone, and androgens, researchers and health care professionals realize that this is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to achieving hormonal balance. Thyroid and adrenal function, as well as nutritional status, should also be evaluated and treated when indicated.