Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is one of the ways for women to cope with menopause symptoms. A lot of doctors consider this the best course of action for their patients, especially if they have had little to no success with other forms of treatment.
If you are in a situation where you are considering BHRT and you need some tips, make sure to read the following guide:
- Always use a clinical assessment to inform the diagnosis – it is a known fact that women usually experience menopause between the age of 45 and 55 years. However, there are also some cases of women around age 40 showing up with symptoms of menopause. Early diagnosis of menopause is essential since it reduces comorbidities like cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Clinical assessment is needed to diagnose menopause, as well as a check on follicle-stimulating hormone levels when any doubt exists.
- Share your concerns – BHRT is best started around the transition of menopause, which is around 51 years of age. At this stage, women are usually at their fittest and do not have significant cardiovascular disease risk. During this time, BHRT can promote cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of bowel cancer and osteoporosis. However, it is important to make all of the necessary appointments with your doctor, to receive the needed information on the treatment.
- Keep risks in perspective – BHRT often falls victim to beliefs that it is some sort of panacea boosting the quality of life at the cost of life expectancy. However, this is nothing but a myth, as women on BHRT are usually found to live longer and healthier lives. It is important not to sidestep obesity, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle and a whole host of other factors that directly impact the lives of women after menopause. These are factors you can modify, after all.
- Don’t trust Dr Google – a lot of women first resort to Dr Google and the promises for a free BHRT they find there. The truth is that only your doctor should be the one advising you on what sort of therapy to do and what specialist to see. They will be the one to assess your condition and tell you what to do with this kind of treatment.
- What are the different ways of administration – every hormone replacement therapy features different ways of administration. Most common are oral drugs, although they aren’t the only solution. You can consult with your doctor on using transdermal oestrogen, which is, according to many, a safer method of delivery, which reduces many risks. Another solution is oral micronized natural progesterone, which doesn’t show much risk for breast cancer.
- Tailoring your dose – some believe that the best way to do BHRT is to always go with the lowest possible dose. However, the goal of such therapy should always be to establish a dose that effectively treats the symptoms of menopause, all the while providing some bone protection. Women under 40 sometimes require a higher dose, whereas women over 60 may get away with suboptimal doses, and only increase it later in the therapy.
- Getting the first prescription right – with all of the choices, your doctor may find it difficult to optimise your first prescription. However, you should work through the risks and benefits and share your complaints, to help them navigate this. It is a good idea to go with the treatment that has the lowest risk.
Always bear these tips about BHRT in mind and you will have great success with such treatment.