Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Nashville Menopause SpecialistThe road from active fertility to permanent infertility is a long one that forces women to deal with a variety of new health concerns. Perimenopause is the term used to describe the time when a woman is still menstruating but experiencing symptoms of pending menopause. Some women go through perimenopause for a few years while others deal with it for more than a decade. Women are not officially in menopause until they haven’t had a menstrual period for at least a year. Even a light period once in the course of a year starts the clock over again.

If you’re between the ages of 35 and 55, you likely recognize several of these symptoms:

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.
While menopause is a natural process, it can also be extremely uncomfortable due to the disruption it causes in your hormone production. Specifically, your levels of estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, and testosterone drop to new lows as your body prepares for its transition.

BHRT Can Improve Your Quality of Life in Menopause and Beyond

If you’ve been trying to cope with your symptoms for several years, it’s likely that you have tried a form of hormone replacement therapy already. While traditional treatment works well for some women others stop taking the pills due to major side effects or lack of symptom improvement. Because bioidentical hormone replacement uses natural plant materials in each customized compound, these two issues are usually not a problem. The replacement hormones are so close to what your body produces on its own that it literally can’t tell the difference between them.

Hormones Supplemented with BHRT

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.

A frequent complaint among women going through perimenopause or menopause is that their doctor doesn’t treat them as an individual. They feel like just another woman having trouble with the big change of life. They take a personal interest in you as well as the success of your treatment. This is one reason why your local bioidentical hormone specialist will spend so much time getting to know you during the initial appointment. Once your treatment has started, they continue to offer medical supervision to ensure that bioidentical hormone replacement is working as expected and that you are experiencing relief from your symptoms.

Feel Better Faster by Taking the First Step Today

Not having to worry about your monthly period and the planning that goes with it is an enormous freedom. You will get there eventually, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. In the meantime, take control of your own life by reducing or eliminating your perimenopause or menopause symptoms with bioidentical hormone replacement. You just need to take the first step of contacting a local provider and requesting an appointment. Your doctor, as well as the rest of the clinic staff, will direct you towards better health from there.

Congratulations on Taking Charge of Your Health!

Mark Sherfey, M.D.

Mark Sherfey, M.D.

4355 Hanging Limb Hwy
Monterey, Tennessee 38574