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Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Explained

Jenna Hilton
November 3, 2022

Hormones are chemical messengers that carry vital instructions to cells. They regulate essential bodily functions such as muscle growth, bone density, reproduction, metabolism, appetite, sleep, and more.

When hormones are out of balance, people experience uncomfortable symptoms, sometimes leading to serious health issues. Healthcare providers who treat patients with hormonal imbalances often prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

This article focuses on one type of HRT called bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). It is usually prescribed to women who experience the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause.

Continue reading to learn more about BHRT’s effectiveness, safety profile, and costs.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy

What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses bioidentical hormones to help manage the symptoms of hormonal deficiencies in women. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plants and have an identical chemical and molecular structure as the hormones produced by our bodies.

BHRT is gaining popularity because clinical practice shows it may have a higher safety profile than traditional HRT, which consists of conjugated equine estrogen and other synthetic hormones.

BHRT formulations are compounded in local pharmacies based on a patient’s prescription or manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. The FDA has approved some company-made bioidentical estrogen and progesterone formulations. The agency hasn’t approved custom-compounded BHRT because there aren’t any large-scale studies that confirm their safety and efficacy.

Forms of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

BHRT typically contains estrogen, progesterone, or a combination of these two hormones. It can also include smaller amounts of testosterone. The therapy comes in the following forms:

  • Pills
  • Gels
  • Creams
  • Patches
  • Sprays
  • Injections
  • Implanted pellets
  • Vaginal gels or tablets

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits

Reported benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy include:

  • Reduced hot flashes and night sweats
  • Improved emotional well-being
  • Enhanced libido
  • Heightened energy
  • Increased mental focus
  • Improved sleep
  • Healthier skin
  • Improved vasomotor symptoms
  • Reduced risk of urogenital atrophy
  • Fracture prevention
  • Enhanced quality of life for cancer patients

Note: If you are dealing with low sex drive, learn how can hormonal therapy help you deal with this issue.

And if you want to have a younger looking skin, learn how anti-aging hormone therapy can help restore a youthful look.


Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Results

Patients experience different results from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, depending on their medical condition, age, and the BHRT dosage.

The dosage depends on the formulation, a patient’s symptoms, and individual lab values. Medical professionals recommend starting with the lowest dose, require close follow-up, and should use hormone saliva testing to monitor transdermal application. A patient’s dose can be adjusted with changing hormone levels and symptoms.

Most hormone treatments require about three months to provide results. Patients report improvement in some symptoms, such as lack of energy and fatigue, within several weeks.

Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?

Many health experts believe BHRT provides less risk than conventional HRT because it uses hormones that are similar to the body’s natural hormones, making them more tolerable.

FDA-approved bioidentical hormone replacement therapy products meet strict regulatory standards and are considered safe. Compounded BHRT doesn’t undergo adequate testing and there is uncertainty regarding its safety and long-term effects.

All hormone treatments pose certain risks. Your medical provider will weigh the treatment’s benefits and risks to determine if it is the right solution for your condition.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Side Effects

Bioidentical hormones may cause side effects, especially after the first dose, before the body has time to adjust to new hormone levels. Common side effects include:

  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness
  • Increased facial hair growth
  • Headaches
  • Cramps
  • Mood swings
  • Acne
  • Itchiness

In rare cases, the therapy may increase the risk of serious health problems, including:

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Blood clotting
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Breast cancer

When Should You See a Doctor

If you experience severe or extended side effects, you may be suffering from high hormone levels and should visit your doctor. They will adjust your therapy and help manage the symptoms.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Cost

At Vibrant Vitality Clinic, female bioidentical HRT costs $249. The package includes:

  • A 45-minute consultation with an experienced medical professional
  • Physical examination*
  • One 30-minute follow-up session

*Our medical professionals will order lab tests to determine if you have a hormonal deficiency. Lab work is not included in the price but may be covered by insurance.

Conclusion

Hormone deficiencies can cause unpleasant symptoms that make everyday life difficult, but modern medicine offers a solution. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy restores normal hormone levels and bodily functions, helping women go through difficult periods smoothly.

If you are suffering from the unpleasant effects of hormonal imbalance, schedule a consultation with our experienced medical team. They will answer any questions you have and set you on the path to living your best life, whatever your age.

Jenna Hilton
Jenna Hilton has been a practicing PA since 2009, specializing in Family, Internal Medicine and Medical Aesthetics. She attended Arizona State University where she received her Bachelor's Degree and graduated magna cum laude. She received her Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from A.T. Still University.

Jenna has been injecting neurotoxin and dermal filler since 2013. She received certification as a Master Injector in 2017 through Empire Medical in Los Angeles, California. She is currently working on a Fellowship Program in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Her special interests include use of PLLA, Ablative/Non ablative skin resurfacing, PDO threads, hormone therapy and nutritional therapies to improve cellular regeneration and medically supervised weight loss.

Jenna Hilton believes in a multi-factorial approach, considering internal factors that accelerate aging and disease development. She always enjoys teaching. She co-founded Vibrant EDU courses at Vibrant Skin Bar and regularly performs one-on-one training with fellow injectors. She teaches Aesthetic and Advanced Injectable Courses at National Laser Institute. She has been named Preceptor of the Year and is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Midwestern University. She was born in Iowa, and lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, AZ.

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