What Are the Different Types of BHRT and Which Is Right for You?
There are different types of BHRT and the kind you use will depend on what you need. Learn the differences between different types of BHRT and how to figure out which one is best for you.
BHRT is short for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy–a type of therapy that replenishes hormones levels that have dropped lower than they should be for your optimal health.
Hormones are chemical messengers that move through your body and give your organs messages that help them function. They help regulate all kinds of processes in your body like growth, fertility, and metabolism. There are many types of hormones As you age or as a result of certain medical conditions, it’s possible to stop producing as much of your body’s required hormones naturally. BHRT is an option to replace most commonly estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
BHRT is specifically bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and is a different type of therapy from the original hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Both types of hormones are manmade, the difference is in what they’re made from. HRT is made from hormones found in horses as well as synthetic hormones. BHRT on the other hand is made from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to human hormones. Both undergo adjustments before being approved for human use. Neither horse, synthetic, nor plant hormones are injected “as is” for hormone replacement therapy.
Both types of hormone therapy help with a range of conditions:
- Menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and weight gain, pain during sex or loss of interest in sex, and difficulty sleeping
- Memory loss
- Insulin resistance
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
- Aging skin and hair
Types of BHRT
There are many types of BHRT available to address aging and skin conditions in a variety of hormones. Three of the most common are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. All three are key sex hormones and their levels have a big impact on what happens in our bodies as we age.
Both men and women produce estrogen–a hormone that is particularly important for the reproductive system. Estrogen is a hormone found in both men and women. Estrogen is primarily made in the ovaries in women but is also found in adrenal glands and fat cells. Having proper estrogen levels helps regulate menstruation and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, bones, skin, hair, pelvic muscles, and brain. That means it’s one of the most important hormones your body produces for overall health.
Symptoms of low estrogen can include:
- Fatigue and insomnia
- Breast soreness
- Irregular or disappearing menstrual cycles
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Bone loss
- Urinary tract infections
Just like estrogen, progesterone is an important hormone for reproduction. It is mainly created and released by the corpus luteum in the ovaries. The corpus luteum is a temporary gland that releases this hormone after an egg is released. Should pregnancy occur when the egg is released, this hormone plays an important role in maintaining the progress of the early stages of pregnancy.
Lower levels of progesterone are associated with vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and irregular periods. Progesterone can be prescribed to help relieve those symptoms.
Testosterone is a hormone that is primarily responsible for the development of the male reproductive system. It enhances the male sex drive and maintains a healthy sperm count. It is also found in women but in smaller amounts. Aside from the reproductive system, testosterone also plays a role in muscle development, fat distribution, bone mass, and the production of red blood cells.
Symptoms of low testosterone can include:
- Low sex drive
- Weight gain
- Low self-esteem
- Less body hair
- Depression and mood fluctuations
- Less energy and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor bone density
Forms of BHRT
Now that you know the types of BHRT you can get, in what forms can you get BHRT?
- Pills – consumables that you take on a regular basis to keep hormone levels where they should be
- Patches – stick to your skin and releases the hormone throughout the day
- Creams – rubbed into your skin and the hormone absorbs into your body
- Gels – similar to creams; they absorb into your body through your skin
- Injections – A quick shot that gives outs the hormones right into your body to stabilize levels
The form of BHRT your doctor prescribes depends on a number of factors like types of hormones, amount required, frequency, lifestyle, as well as overall health history and conditions. Each is an effective option to address various symptoms or conditions. It’s best to talk to your doctor to find out what’s right for you.
Is BHRT right for you?
BHRT is one of many options to address the conditions it can help you overcome. If you are dealing with a hormonal imbalance, BHRT can be a valid option for you. The important step is to determine if the symptoms you’re experiencing are a result of a hormone imbalance. To do so, it’s important to set up a time to talk with your doctor.
Whether it’s right for you depends on your health history. If you have a history of certain cancers or other conditions, BHRT may not be the right fit for you. The best way to find out if BHRT is right for you is by asking your doctor.
How to find out if BHRT is right for you?
The best way to determine if BHRT is right for you is to talk to your doctor. BHRT is one of many options to address the various concerns that it helps manage. Your doctor will help you determine if it’s the right next step for your needs.
When you come in for a consultation with our doctors, they will go over the different types of BHRT. They will also cover your health history and current symptoms to help figure out which type of BHRT you would benefit from.
To book your BHRT consult, contact your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.
By Jodi Jaffe
December 19, 2021