• • • • •

Whether you are a woman who is premenopausal, perimenopausal, or postmenopausal you have probably asked yourself or friends, "Could this be my hormones?" And then the big question we face is what to do?! What are these symptoms you ask; some but not all of them include: night sweats, insomnia/disturbed sleep, poor concentration/memory lapses, weight gain, decreased libido (sex drive), PMS symptoms, irregular menstrual cycles (if still having one), depression or bluesy feeling, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, hot flushes, vaginal thinning/dryness, painful intercourse and carbohydrate cravings (you know, candy, cookies, crackers and chips)! Sound familiar?

In contrast to classic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) such as Premarin and Provera, bio-identical hormones are the same as those found in the female body. Bio-identical hormones are synthesized in a lab from precursor hormones that are found in soybeans and yams. The molecular structure of bio-identical hormones are identical to those made by the human body.

Since bio-identical hormones are just like the hormones in our bodies, their effects are more consistent with our own biochemistry. Our bodies are better able to recognize and utilize these hormones with less chance for unpredictable side effects. With the ability to prescribe low replacement doses through the use of a formulary or compounding pharmacy, we can prescribe customized doses of estrogens, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. It isn't an easy one size fits all. Dosages are based on a woman's blood or saliva hormone test results and each woman's symptoms and self-report. This individualized approach allows a woman to take the smallest necessary dose to maintain optimal levels of hormones in her body. Some of these hormones can also be used for decreased libido, PMS symptoms as well as postpartum depression.

Recent concerns regarding the safety of classic hormone replacement therapy has increased woman's desire for a more natural approach to hormone replacement. While BHRT is marketed as a "safe" way to take hormone replacement therapy, it does come with potential risks and side effects. All hormone therapies should be fully discussed with a health care provider comfortable with all methods of hormone replacement.


• • • • •

"What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Pre-Menopause"
by Dr. John Lee, Dr. Jesse Hanley and Virginia Hopkins

"What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause"
by Dr. John Lee with Virginia Hopkins

"What You Must Know About Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy"

by Amy Lee Hawkins, Pharm. D

"The Secret Pleasures of Menopause"
by Dr. Christiane Northrup

"The Wisdom of Menopause"
by Dr. Christiane Northrup

"Menopause and Beyond"
by Dr. Christiane Northrup

"The Perfect Balance"
by Dr. Robert Greene and Leah Feldon

"Stay Young and Sexy with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement"
by Dr. Jonathan Wright

"The Miracle of Bio-Identical Hormones"
by Dr. Michael E. Platt