Body-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
What is body-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)?
BHRT is the use of body-identical hormones to replace and balance the body’s hormones during the change leading up to the menopause.
Unlike synthetic hormones that are used in conventional HRT, the body doesn’t recognise body-identical hormones as foreign. This is because body-identical hormones have the same chemical and molecular structure as the naturally occurring hormones produced in the body. As a result, they fit their hormone receptor sites perfectly so their messages are translated properly and their effects are more consistent with the normal biochemistry of the body.
Body-identical hormones are converted from plant sources (diogesin from wild yams most commonly). The oestrogen component is given through the skin as either a gel, spray or patch. The progesterone is a small capsule taken at night time as it has mild sedative effects which improve women's sleep.
Body-identical hormones are not only better tolerated, they can also be individually prescribed and doses fine tuned according to your needs and response to treatment.
What are the advantages of using BHRT?
Compared to synthetic hormones used in conventional HRT, body-identical HRT has the ability to bind to specific receptors in the human body and to follow the same metabolic and elimination pathways as naturally produced hormones. Therefore, their actions can be more "physiological" rather than artificial.
Additionally, the levels can be monitored throughout your treatment and avoid over or under-replacement. This is a key advantage versus conventional HRT treatment where hormones levels are not regularly checked, dosages remain fixed and are not therefore tailored to the individual.
How can Body-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) help me?
Do you no longer feel your vibrant, energetic self? Are you increasingly irritable and struggling with mood swings or anxiety? Maybe you are battling with the classical symptoms of the peri-menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness? The change in our hormones affects each woman differently but if they are having a significant impact on your life, you don’t need to suffer on and put up with them.
What can BHRT help me with?
MOOD DISTURBANCES INCLUDING IRRITABILITY, ANGER, LOW MOOD AND ANXIETY
LACK OF DRIVE, MOTIVATION
REDUCTION IN LIBIDO
VAGINAL DRYNESS AND PAINFUL INTERCOURSE
URINARY INCONTINENCE AND RECURRENT UTIs
LOSS OF MUSCLE MASS AND TONE
An imbalance in hormones can cause an array of symptoms both physically and emotionally. Body-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy helps re-balance these hormones helping you feel yourself again.
Why should I choose BHRT vs synthetic HRT?
As body-identical hormones are 100% identical in chemical structure to our own hormones their effects and benefits replicate them closely. Body-identical hormones can therefore be very beneficial to patients who have a hormone imbalance or have previously tried other hormonal medications, including oral synthetic HRT, and experienced unwanted effects.
When will I start to feel better?
It varies from person to person. Some people may notice significant changes within six weeks while for others it can take longer - up to 3 months. It also depends on what symptoms are predominant, some symptoms improve faster than others.
What are the side effects of BHRT?
Body-identical hormones have the same chemical and molecular structure as the naturally occurring hormones produced in the body. As a result, they fit their hormone receptor sites perfectly so their messages are translated properly and their effects are more consistent with the normal biochemistry of the body. This means that once the correct dose of treatment is found, BHRT is tolerated well with very few side effects.