Every year, about 1.3 million women in the United States enter their post-reproductive phase of life, known as menopause. Menopause brings many benefits, but also a range of symptoms that you may find uncomfortable, due to a drop in essential hormones, such as:
These hormones were responsible for your secondary sex characteristics, but also keep your body youthful and strong. As your hormones decrease, your tissues and bones begin to degrade. You may experience:
- Vasomotor symptoms — hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, and migraines
- Urogenital symptoms — stress incontinence, urge incontinence, dry vagina, uncomfortable sex
- Psychogenic symptoms — anger, irritability, insomnia, loss of self-esteem, brain fog
Most women are expected to live 1/3 or more of their lives in menopause. The caring and compassionate OB/GYNs here at Columbia Fertility Associates believe you should enjoy this important phase of life being symptom-free. That’s why they offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) at their three offices in Washington, DC; Bethesda, Maryland; and Arlington, Virginia.
While you may have heard some bad press about traditional HRT — which was made from animal hormones — the negative conclusions associating HRT with adverse health events are now considered flawed and unreliable. The professionals at Columbia Fertility Associates recommend BHRT because it helps resolve symptoms and preserve healthy physiology, while working with your body’s own natural systems.
Here are five benefits of taking BHRT while you’re in perimenopause or menopause:
1. Matches your body’s own hormones
With bioidentical hormones, you’re not trying to balance your hormones using other animals’ estrogen, such as that found in mares’ urine. Instead, bioidentical hormones are created from plant sources such as soy and yam. The estrogens in the plants are synthesized so they exactly mimic the chemical structures of hormones found in the human body. At Columbia Fertility Associates, we go a step further by having a compounding lab create a custom-designed BHRT that’s tailored to your individual chemistry and needs.
Because the structure of bioidentical hormones is the same as the chemical structure of your own hormones, your body accepts them more readily. You’re less likely to have side effects and can take them safely over the long term.
You can get BHRT in many forms, including a surgically inserted pellet, oral formulations, and topical preparations. Once you start BHRT, your body takes about 10 days to adjust to the new hormones. You should soon begin to notice a change in your symptoms and in your overall energy level and mood.
2. Controls hot flashes and night sweats
Those uncomfortable surges of heat that make you peel off layers during the day or wake up sweating at night are caused by your hypothalamus, which is your body’s thermostat. When your hormones are out of balance, your hypothalamus overreacts to even slight changes in temperature. After BHRT, your hormone levels stabilize and your hypothalamus becomes less reactive.
3. Makes sex fun again
Drops in estrogen reduces the amount of moisture in your vagina and how much lubrication it produces during sex. Common symptoms of menopause are dry, itchy vagina and painful sex.
The estrogen in BHRT promotes vaginal moisture and lubrication. The hormone also rejuvenates your entire vulvar and urogenital area so that it looks and feels younger. You’ll notice fewer urinary symptoms, too, such as leaking when you cough or laugh.
4. Promotes better sleep and mood
Balanced hormones help your body and brain function optimally. Getting a good night’s sleep also helps improve your mood by giving your brain the restorative rest it needs.
5. Gives you better skin, hair, and bones
You don’t feel old, so why should you look it? When you restore your body’s healthy hormonal balance, your skin starts to act younger again, too. Your body ramps up production of the proteins collagen and elastin, which give your skin support and flexibility, so you have:
- Less sagging
- Fewer wrinkles
- Smoother skin
- Tighter skin
- A healthier glow
The drop in testosterone during menopause may cause you to develop a “V” shaped hairline that’s usually associated with male-pattern baldness. Restore your estrogen, and your follicles start to produce new hairs again.
When you’re in menopause, your body produces more osteoclasts — which breaks down old bone — than it does of fresh new osteoblasts (new bone cells).Restoring estrogen levels with BHRT normalizes bone resorption and bone building, reducing your risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Put menopause symptoms behind you while preserving your bones, skin, and hair. Contact our team at the office nearest you for a BHRT consultation by phoning or using the online booking form.