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Hormone Therapy for Women

Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Millions of women count on bioidentical hormones for alleviation from menopausal difficulties, fertility issues, and hormonal imbalances. There are dozens of commercially available products that contain hormones. These products, however, come with limitations since they are approved for use over a broad population rather than the individual. Compounding allows us to take into account the specific needs of a patient. When evaluating for hormone therapy, we are able to customize the dose, dosage form, and route of administration. Tailoring medication to the individual gives us the ability to titrate the hormones appropriately. This allows us to obtain the desired clinical effect while minimizing side effects. Every woman is unique and will respond to therapy in her own way. Close monitoring and adjustments are essential.

What are Bioidentical Hormones?

Hormones produced by humans have structural differences when compared to synthetic hormones. For a replacement hormone to fully replicate the function of hormones that were originally naturally produced and present in the human body, the chemical structure must exactly match the original. Side chains can be added to a naturally occurring hormone to create a synthetic drug that can be patented by a manufacturer. Synthetic hormones are converted into a usable form in the body, but they are not structurally the same. Bioidentical hormones are structurally the same at a molecular level.

Common Hormones for Women

Estrogen

Estrogen refers to 3 different hormones (E1, E2, E3). A woman’s estrogen levels will fluctuate based on her menstrual cycle. Doctors will prescribe a combination of the 3 estrogen types to create a physiological balance.

Progesterone

Progesterone is commonly paired with estrogen. It can help with bone mineral density and minimizes the risk of developing endometrial cancer when taking estrogen. This hormone may help with menopausal hot flashes.

Androgens

Androgen are helpful for the integrity of our skin, muscle, and bone. This hormone is useful in both males and females and have an important role in maintaining libido. Recently, androgens have been used to help alleviate menopausal symptoms.

The 3 Types of Estrogen

There are 3 main types of estrogen produced by the female body. The first is Estrone (E1). This is the primary estrogen produced after menopause and makes up about 10-20% of circulating estrogen. The second is Estradiol (E2). This is the most potent and is produced by ovaries. It is the most predominant before menopause and makes up 10-30% of circulating estrogens. Lastly, there is Estriol (E3). This makes up 60-80% of circulating estrogens. Your medical provider will make sure these 3 estrogen types are properly balanced when undergoing hormone replacement therapy.

Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Cause Cancer?

Hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of developing cancer, however the risk is minimal. For many women, the benefit greatly outweighs the risk. Women below the age of 60 and within 10 years of menopause have an even lower risk of developing health issues when taking hormone therapy. Menopause may cause a hormone imbalance and induce painful hot flashes, night sweats, discomfort with sexual activity, and poor sexual health. This could severely reduce the quality of life of any individual. Low-dose vaginal estrogen is the most effective treatment and does not increase the blood level of estrogen above the usual postmenopausal range. There is no evidence of an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, DVT, dementia, or breast cancer with low-dose vaginal estrogen.  

Estrogen, Cardiovascular Health, & Sexual Function

The Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) sought to address gaps in understanding the effects of menopausal hormone treatment on cardiovascular health. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, KEEPS showed that recently postmenopausal women undergoing HRT would not experience any severe adverse effects after 4 years. This includes atherosclerosis and venous thrombosis. Participants did experience reduced hot flashes, improved sleep, and maintenance of bone mineral density. For these reasons many people advocate for HRT when experiencing menopause.

Talk to Us About HRT for Women

Talk to our knowledgeable pharmacists about HRT for women. We are here to help and will provide the information you need to get started. Our passion is providing life changing medication with personal customer service. We are sure you will enjoy your experience in our pharmacy. To reach us, simply call our Littleton or Cherry Creek location. You can also fill out the form on this page.

You can also text our lines directly:
Littleton: 303-707-1500
Cherry Creek: 303-333-2010

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