What is Bioidentical hormone therapy?
Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHRT) is an individualised treatment for Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS), the Peri-menopause, Menopause and Andropause. It uses hormones which have exactlythe same chemical and molecular structure as the naturally occurring hormones in your body. This way, your body doesn’t recognise the hormones as ‘foreign’ like some of the synthetic hormones offered on the NHS. By being 100% identical, they work in exactly the same way as your own hormones and deliver the same benefits with minimal unwanted side effects.
NHS treatments are often limited to the contraceptive pill for PMS or conventional HRT for the perimenopause and menopause. This ‘one size fits all approach’ often uses standard doses of synthetic progesterone which has potential health risks associated with its use as well as an increased side effect profile.
The hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are vital for your health and wellbeing and can have a significant impact on your quality of life if they become out of sync. Women are commonly affected by hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle and during the menopause. Men may also experience age related declines in their testosterone levels which can be accelerated by certain conditions eg diabetes and high blood pressure. BHRT is aimed at limiting the effects of these changes by helping you reset the balance.
What conditions can you treat with BHRT?
- Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) – symptoms experienced before your period, which resolve with your period
- Peri menopause – transition phase to the menopause which can last a number of years
- Menopause – which is defined as complete absence of period for 12 months of more.
- Andropause in Men – male menopause where there is a decline in testosterone
What symptoms can BHRT help in Women?
- Irritability and mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Night sweats and hot flushes
- Sleeping problems
- Vaginal dryness & painful intercourse
- Reduced libido
- Dry skin and wrinkles
- Low energy and vitality
- Excess weight and poor muscle mass
- Poor memory and concentration
What symptoms can it help in Men?
- Gynaecomastia (man breasts)
- Reduced body hair
- Reduced libido
- Weight gain
- Reduced lean body mass
- Reduced energy
How is it prescribed?
- BHRT is prescribed in the form of oestradiol, estriol, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone either as an individual hormone or as a combination
- This makes it easier to fine tune each hormone to the requirement of your body compared to fixed formulations found in standardised medication.
- Treatment can be issued as a cream for topical application or as a lozenge/capsule
What are the side effects?
- To prevent against unwanted side effects we start on the lowest possible dose.
- Side effects may arise if the dose of hormones prescribed is too high for your individual needs.
- Too high a dose of oestrogen can cause breast tenderness and bleeding.
- Too high a dose of progesterone can cause tiredness and low mood.