Natural Hormone Therapy for Menopause and Perimenopause
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
Menopause is a normal occurrence in every woman’s life, but that doesn’t mean that the transition is an easy one. When estrogen, progesterone, and other important hormones get out of balance, it can cause multiple symptoms that make your life challenging. In most cases, this is due to having too much estrogen in relation to the other hormones. Some of the most common problems faced by women who are nearing or going through menopause include the following.
Common Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause
Many women go to their primary doctor for help when these and other symptoms become unmanageable. It’s common for doctors to prescribe synthetic hormone replacement pills to help balance the hormones and relieve these issues. Unfortunately, some women experience side effects that are so significant that they have to stop taking the pills. Others see little to no improvement, despite taking them for several months. If your quality of life is suffering and the relief you have sought hasn’t helped, Albuquerque Menopause Specialists who offer Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy have a different solution.
- Irregular menstrual periods
Perimenopause, which occurs anywhere from a few years to up to 15 years before you stop menstruating, can wreak havoc with your regular menstrual cycle. You may go only 21 days between periods one month and skip your cycle all together the next month. You may also experience extremely heavy bleeding for weeks at a time. None of this is pleasant, which is why balancing the hormones is so essential to getting through perimenopause comfortably. Hormone balance can also intensify regular premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, headaches, irritability, cramps, and breast tenderness.
- Low libido and sexual dysfunction
A decline in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can leave you feeling rarely in the mood for sex. This is understandable, especially when an imbalance of these hormones can make it physically uncomfortable. Restoring hormone imbalance with BHRT helps to make physical intimacy pleasurable once again.
Your adrenal glands produce cortisol, a hormone that helps you respond to and manage stress. When you’re in poor health or under considerable stress, they can’t keep up with the production your body requires. This results in a condition called adrenal fatigue. Replenishing cortisol to healthy levels helps to relieve chronic fatigue so you have the energy you need to meet responsibilities and enjoy life.
- Weight gain
Hypothyroidism, a common condition caused by insufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone, causes many women to gain weight during the perimenopause and menopause years. A lack of estrogen balance plays a role as well. BHRT helps to increase your metabolism so your body is more efficient at converting food into energy without storing excess fat.
- Hot flashes
Hot flashes are a very common symptom for women as they enter menopause. They can be experienced during the day and or at night. The estrogen levels produced by the ovaries decrease during this time and the surging waves of heat in the daytime cause flushed red skin. Hot flashes during the night can result in sudden rushes of heat waves causing intense sweating.
- Night sweats
Night sweats are usually more intense than hot flashes and women can experience symptoms ranging from severe to mild, for varying duration. Depending on the intensity of night sweats, they can be accompanied by chills, nausea, headaches or an irregular heartbeat.
- Irritability and mood swings
Mood swings are often a result of intense hormone imbalances that greatly affect the level of serotonin in the brain. Estrogen has a direct influence on the amount of serotonin produced. Mood swings and depression can be due to the drops in estrogen levels that are responsible for production of serotonin. This can cause a state of sadness, foggy thinking, fluctuation of appetite, loss of sleep and feelings that produce thoughts of suicide.
- Loss of libido
The drop in Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone levels are the hormones responsible for lower energy and decreased sex drive. Arousal and orgasm are still possible, yet the hormonal imbalance that occurs during this shift into menopause can cause the vaginal wall to become dry and irritated further exacerbating the lack of desire to be sexual. All of which can have a psychological impact as well.
- Vaginal dryness
During menopause the levels of estrogen decrease which causes thinning of the vaginal walls. This results in less lubrication and elasticity, which can increase irritation, itching and pain resulting in a decreased desire to engage in intercourse.
- Irregular heartbeat
Estrogen levels fluctuate and correlate with the cholesterol levels in the blood, as well as the fluctuation of blood pressure affecting the vasodilatation of the arteries and affecting the autonomous nervous system that regulates the heartbeat. This can result in fatigue, anxiety, and more.
- Urinary urgency / incontinence
This is the inability to keep urine in the bladder during sneezing, laughing or coughing. Estrogen is the hormone that helps with the strength of the bladder muscles. As estrogen decreases during menopause so does bladder control. Incontinence includes feelings of constant need to urinate due to an overactive or oversensitive bladder. Another form of incontinence is a bladder that doesn’t empty completely, causing dribbling.
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for a long enough time to feel rested and rejuvenated. Night sweats or other accompanied symptoms of menopause such as bizarre dreams or incontinence can contribute to insomnia.
Often this symptom is directly related to feeling dizzy and light heated. Some experience vertigo which is a constant spinning sensation, or light headed feeling when one stands up too fast.
Anxiety can refer to a state of being worried, fearful, on edge and uneasy or a sense of urgency often out of proportion to the event that initiates the response. Estrogen levels affect the brain chemistry directly related to mood and emotions.
Unlike synthetic hormone pills that contain artificial ingredients, the primary ingredients in bioidentical hormones come from soybean and yam plants. The hormones contained in these two plant types are almost an identical match to what the human body normally produces. Therefore, balancing your deficient hormones with bioidentical ones can get you back to feeling how you did before the symptoms of menopause became so prevalent.
Understanding Women’s Hormones
The estrogen and progesterone hormones play a large role in the sexual and reproductive functioning of women. They also control several other functions such as mood and metabolism. When you started puberty, it was due to higher levels of estrogen circulating in your body. This hormone prompts breast and body hair growth, regulates menstruation, enables you to become pregnant, and helps you to maintain a pregnancy for nine months. Symptoms of unbalanced estrogen levels may include low libido, sexual dysfunction, unstable moods, weight gain, fatigue, and menstrual irregularity.
Progesterone works with estrogen to initiate menstruation and help you sustain a pregnancy. It causes your uterus to shed its lining each month when pregnancy doesn’t occur. Common issues related to a progesterone imbalance include fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, repeated miscarriage, and infertility. When the two primary sex hormones remain unbalanced, it can cause these serious issues in addition to minor annoyances like oily skin and dry hair.
Your thyroid, cortisol, melatonin, testosterone, and other essential hormones may also be unbalanced due to perimenopause or menopause. When you complete your hormone screening and physical exam, your doctor will let you know the status of all tested hormones. He or she will then work with a local pharmacy to create a compound of bioidentical hormones to restore balance to those that are uneven. You can then start Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy in Albuquerque and reclaim your life.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
As described above, your body manufactures cortisol in response to stress. When your levels are too low, it can cause allergies, low blood pressure, digestive disorders, hypothyroidism, low blood sugar, libido problems, chronic fatigue, and slow healing of wounds.
This hormone regulates your body’s production of estrogen, which is the predominant sex hormone in women. When DHEA declines, you may experience joint pain, irritability, muscle loss, fatigue, and a weakened immune system.
Produced in the ovaries, estrogen is essential to your sexual and reproductive functions as well as the health of your bones, skin, hair, and nails. Unbalanced estrogen levels can cause everything from acne to infertility.
Your body requires balanced levels of melatonin for healthy sleep and normal moods. When it’s deficient, you may struggle with insomnia, sleep apnea, depression, and cluster headaches.
This is the generic name for a group of hormones in the female body, including pregnenolone. It is the primary hormone secreted by your reproductive system. Progesterone helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and sustain a healthy pregnancy.
Many women think of testosterone only as a male hormone. In actuality, testosterone is a vital hormone for women as well. Testosterone helps to regulate your sex drive, as well as build muscle and producing new blood cells.
What to Expect When Working with Albuquerque Menopause Specialists
The first step in the process is to browse our directory to locate a provider in your area. The online profile provides detailed information about each doctor to help you decide whom to call. You may schedule an initial consultation with as many providers as necessary so you can evaluate all of your options. After selecting a physician, the next steps are to go through hormone testing and complete a physical exam. The information your doctor gathers from these appointments helps him or her write a customized treatment program for your menopause symptoms.
Congratulations on Taking Charge of Your Health!