As you enter menopause, your body experiences dramatic changes related to the sharp drop in hormones. Even though it’s a perfectly natural progression, your body may react as if something is wrong.
Dr. Charles Hunt II at Alabama Vein & Restoration Medspa helps women adjust to the changes of menopause with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Our patients love his personal approach that takes into account each woman’s unique body and circumstances.
When it comes to BHRT, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so he carefully customizes your treatment to make sure you take the lowest dose possible for the shortest amount of time, until you transition to a new normal.
Menopause is the time in your life when you stop your menstrual period and transition out of your childbearing years. But it doesn’t happen all at once; it takes most women years to progress through the early stages, called perimenopause, and finally enter menopause, which is not official until you’ve gone 12 months without a period. Everything after that is called post-menopause.
During these phases, your ovaries slow down their production of estrogen and progesterone, the two hormones responsible for your menstrual cycle. Every woman responds differently to the loss of these hormones, but most experience symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Dr. Hunt helps relieve those challenges with BHRT.
For many years, hormone replacement therapy was made from the urine of pregnant horses, because it was the closest thing to human hormones. In fact, the brand Premarin® is a mashup of the words “pregnant mare urine.”
Dr. Hunt uses a better alternative. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plants and provide an exact match to the molecular structure of your own hormones, which means there are few, if any, side effects — and no horse urine.
Benefits of BHRT during menopause
The number one reason women come to Dr. Hunt for BHRT is to relieve the classic symptoms of menopause. But that’s not the only benefit. Here’s what BHRT can do for you.
Regulate your temperature
Without estrogen, your body temp fluctuates radically, which results in hot flashes, where you feel a sudden sense of flushing or warmth taking over your body. It may also happen while you’re sleeping and cause you to sweat through your pajamas, followed by chills. BHRT normalizes your biological thermostat.
Increase vaginal moisture
Another notorious menopause problem is a less lubricated vagina. For many women, this means painful sex and even a low libido. It also means the skin inside your vagina tends to thin out and become more delicate, but BHRT can make the environment more conducive to a healthy and enjoyable sex life.
Protect your bones
Bones tend to weaken with age, but a lack of estrogen robs them of their density. Menopausal women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis and bone fracture, so taking BHRT can protect your bone health.
Alleviate overactive bladder
As your hormones wane, your bladder function changes, too, and many women find that they experience an overactive bladder during menopause. Along with an increased urge to go, you may also suffer from a bit of incontinence because your pelvic floor muscles have weakened over the years. The combination results in embarrassing leaks and even frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) that can be alleviated with BHRT.
Reduce your risk for other health conditions
Menopausal women have a higher risk of suffering from certain medical conditions. For example, hormone fluctuations affect the body’s ability to process sugar, and if it gets out of control, you could end up with type 2 diabetes.
Menopause is also linked to an increased risk of heart disease. While menopause certainly doesn’t cause heart disease, the drop in estrogen, a hormone that positively affects your arterial walls and keeps them flexible, can make you more vulnerable to heart disease and stroke — another reason to consider BHRT.
Is BHRT right for you?
Every healthy woman eventually goes through the menopause transition, typically between the ages of 40 and 55. And while you may experience none, some, or all of the typical symptoms of this change, the frequency, intensity, and duration are unique to every woman.
The best way to know for sure if BHRT is right for you is to come see Dr. Hunt. After he gets to know your health history and current condition and symptoms, he explains all the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy, so you can make an informed decision about your own health.
To learn more, contact us at our main office in Hoover, Alabama, or any of our satellite offices in Tuscaloosa, Oxford, Fultondale, or Clanton, or request an appointment online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hunt today.