Women have an incredibly complex hormonal dance that occurs on a monthly basis and involves a number of very powerful hormones. Estrogen and Progesterone are the 2 main hormones, but Testosterone, DHEA, Cortisol and Thyroid all play minor parts. Until the introduction of bio identical hormones, medicine did not have agents that could address these complexities. BHRT however, allows your practitioner to address your hormone concerns in a completely individualized fashion.
Due to the complexity of different age ranges, we have chosen to group women in 3 main categories when it comes to making treatment decisions.
Regular Cycling Women:
Regular menstrual cycles with mild to moderate flow are a sign of regular ovulation and good health. While a regular cycle is indicative of monthly ovulation, it does not guarantee proper hormone balance for optimal health. Symptoms indicative of imbalance frequently experienced by women in this life stage include:
- heavy periods
- emotional unbalance
- weight gain
- reduced libido
As women head into their late 30’s and 40’s it is common to notice more and more of these symptoms. These symptoms are related to a state referred to as Estrogen Dominance, which is a relative excess of estrogen. Estrogen has a major balancing act with Progesterone and a minor one with Testosterone. It is important to note that these symptoms can also in occur in other life stages such as peri-menopause (discussed below).
While Estrogen levels remain high Progesterone starts to decline in the mid 30’s and will drop 50% by the age 45. It continues to fall until menopause.
Meanwhile, the decrease in Testosterone in this time of a woman’s life mirrors that of Progesterone. Unfortunately, each pregnancy results in a further 15% decline in Testosterone production that never recovers. This is family planning in its most natural form. The more children you have, the less libido and therefore the less likely you are to procreate.
This is the life stage that occurs shortly before the beginning of menopause. Although, all women have a unique constellation of symptoms which could include symptoms of regular cycling as well as those of menopause during this life transition. The following symptoms are typically unique to peri-menopause:
- irregular ovulation
- irregular menstrual cycle
- wide mood swings
BHRT allows us to address your specific symptoms. With the main goal of treatment being improvement in quality of life.
When a particular woman stops ovulating at the end of the reproductive stage in her life, periods cease. This is accompanied by an abrupt drop in many of the sex hormones; Progesterone, Estrogen and Testosterone. Menopause, by definition, is diagnosed by the absence of menstrual bleeding for 12 months. That means it can only be diagnosed in the rear view mirror.
Unfortunately, the symptoms associated with this abrupt hormonal change can precede the loss of periods by a number of years. BHRT gives us the flexibility to address the symptoms with a flexibility not seen before. Symptoms associated with menopause can include:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- loss of libido
Here is the Link to Dr Brown’s YouTube video about Women’s treatment if you are interested.