Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
Through the years, David McLaughlin, M.D., has learned that women undergoing menopausal changes usually seek help for their vasomotor changes (hot flashes, night sweats), loss of libido, and occasionally short-term memory loss. Prior to their first appointment, Dr. McLaughlin asks them to have their blood drawn (Estradiol, FSH, and testosterone). Upon their visit, he asks them to fill out a questionnaire specific for the menopausal syndrome. After an exam, we discuss whether she would be a candidate for bio-identical hormone therapy and what the risks are. If she agrees to be treated, we individualize the dose and route of administration of bio-identical hormones. Six weeks later, we ask her to redraw those same labs, which we discuss with her at her Follow Up appointment 2 weeks later (8 weeks from her initial visit). By understanding the change in her symptoms, along with her lab values, we attempt to optimize her treatment.
David McLaughlin, M.D., has learned he can help the vast majority of patients, no matter whatever they had tried in the past, to improve their quality of life. We are extremely careful to monitor any adverse side effects and educate our patients what signs/symptoms would be abnormal.
Benefits of Bioidentical Hormones
Between the ages of 35-59 a woman may enter into a period of Perimenopause, which is followed by Menopause.
Perimenopause is a time in a woman’s life when she is no longer producing the amount of hormones that support child bearing. Her menstrual cycle becomes irregular and varied, and levels of estrogen and progesterone start to decline. Perimenopause lasts from 4 to 6 years, and ends after a woman has not had a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months.
Menopause is officially reached after a twelve month period of amenorrhea. During menopause, a woman’s ovaries no longer produce the usual amounts of estrogen and progesterone. The egg supply is depleted, and fertility ceases.
Because of these changes, the body has mechanisms in place to protect itself from damage. Unfortunately, these mechanisms produce a variety of symptoms that can seem inconvenient.
Bio-identical hormone therapy seeks to help the body reduce enforcing these mechanisms by supplying the necessary amounts of hormones for healthy and regular function. Therefore, BHRT has many benefits in reducing symptoms from Perimenopause and Menopause.
Weight gain is a symptom that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy really helps. Fat contains estrogen, and in the body’s attempt to retain a good supply of estrogen, it retains extra fat.
Vaginal dryness happens when the body no longer needs to excrete fluids for reproduction, and so, to conserve fluids and the nutrients contained in them, it restricts fluid flow.
Sex drive or libido decreases because the body is no longer going to reproduce; therefore, hormones related to sex decline.
Osteoporosis can occur when estrogen declines and the bones lose their density.
Mood Swings are due to the fluctuation of the hormones during the body’s attempt to regulate the system during the physiological changes taking place.
Hot Flashes occur when the body’s thermostat, which is located in the hypothalamus, is signaled and disrupted by hormone fluctuation.
Insomnia can happen when sleeping patterns, which are partially regulated by hormones, are thrown off course because of the hormones inability to set a sleeping cycle.
These physiological changes can be highly inconvenient, but bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can make the transition less painful. By regulating hormonal balance, most symptoms can be greatly reduced or completely relieved.