Natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is use of hormones which are identical on the molecular level to endogenous hormones in order to raise levels of hormones which are deficient in the body. The hormones are still made in the laboratory, so the word “natural” is referring to the fact that the chemical structure is identical to the hormone produced by our body. The source of the hormones is also natural, utilizing wild yam or soy typically, depending on the hormone involved. Due to different reasons, a human body can fail to produce enough hormones.
Common hormones used in the therapy include estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, estriol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Most processes in the body are controlled by hormones. We do not realize how important these hormones are until they start to change. A deficiency in one hormone can affect the functioning of the body, for example, in menstrual cycles of women. Natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is used to balance hormone levels in the body and has had the most extensive use in aiding the transition through menopause.
Menopausal symptoms which can be controlled through use of the Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy include:
These are characterised by sudden feeling of heat which will last for a short period of time. The feeling occurs on the face, chest and neck regions. In some cases it can result in sweating or can remain as a dry heat. This is a feeling which is crusaded by a deficit of estrogen in the body, but may also be the result of a lack of progesterone. Hot flashes can also occur at night and are referred to as night sweats. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can benefit this hallmark symptom of menopause.
Human beings are supposed to have enough sleep so that they will wake up when rejuvenated. Women who experience menopausal symptoms will tend to have difficulties when trying to sleep. This can make them irritable and tired during the day hence unable to accomplish their daily duties effectively. Use of the hormones has been proved to be very helpful. Progesterone in particular has a very calming and sedating effect in the body, which will help to improve issues surrounding sleep.
A reduced sex drive (libido)
Libido can change significantly as a woman enters menopause. This change can be physical, mental or a combination of both. Interest may decrease or becomes absent all together or the physical experience (e.g. ability to obtain orgasm) may no longer be the same as it once was. Additionally, other problems such as vaginal dryness may compound the problem, making intercourse an uncomfortable or painful experience. The use of bio-identical hormones can aid to have a positive impact on improving this situation for many women.
Problems with Mood, memory and concentration
Many women will develop mood changes as they enter menopause. This typically will start in peri-menopause with a worsening of PMS symptoms. As a woman enters menopause irritability may become worse and she may also begin to experience anxiety or depression or a combination of both. Lack of progesterone and estrogen are responsible for these changes in mood.
Recurrent urinary tract infections
Some woman will experience frequent urinary tract infections as they go through menopause. Bacteria in the genitourinary tract are sensitive to the presence or absence of hormones and this can result in overgrowth of organisms that should not be present at all or in high numbers. The use of probiotics and bio-identical hormones can aid to restore balance in the genitourinary tract.