Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: The Balancing Act

By  0 Comments

The bioidentical hormone therapy business is booming, but it can also be quite bewildering for those women looking to better their health.

A host of medication delivery methods are available, such as capsules, creams, lozenges, gels, suppositories and drops, but how do patients and their providers determine which is best for them and their specific needs? Let’s start the conversation about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and talk about the future of this promising health treatment.

As men and women age, the levels of some important hormones in the body decrease, which can lead to certain symptoms that impact the quality of life, especially for women. Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are chemically identical to those that the body produces. These hormones are used by women in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT, and can ease menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, reduced sex drive, vaginal dryness, night sweats, weight gain, fatigue, mood change and more.

Why All the Hormone Hype?
While our World Wide Web is filled with valuable information about everything from the correct tire pressure to prepping for surgery, we can find all kinds of myths and outdated information about hormone therapy. It is often challenging for doctors to decipher all the details, let alone a patient to understand. The medical field continues to debate what types of hormones to use as well as who should be doing hormone replacement therapy, but overall, experts recommend finding a doctor who has your long-term health in mind.

BHRT Methods
BHRT comes in a variety of forms including creams, injections, implanted pellets, lotions, patches and gels.

Women considering BHRT can benefit by doing their own research and self-assessment and talking to their doctor about which form may be best for them and their lifestyle. After starting BHRT, patients are generally monitored regularly to evaluate the body’s response to the treatments. However, the FDA cautions against monitoring hormone levels through saliva or blood tests. These assessments can show only a woman’s hormone levels at a certain moment in time and can be inconsistent as hormones fluctuate throughout the day.

Most experts recommend that if a woman does start BHRT, they should use the lowest dose that produces effective results no matter what form they choose. It is also recommended that BHRT should be done in the shortest length of time possible since long-term use of hormones have been shown to increase the chances of cancer, heart disease, blood clots and stroke. The greatest benefits generally occur for a woman in her mid-40s to mid-50s, an age range when hormones are generally considered safe, especially if you’re taking a low dose for a shorter duration.
Even if a certain therapy carries a potential risk, it’s not the same risk for each person. Genetics, diet and other exposures are all factors in hormone therapy possibilities, so women and men shouldn’t avoid hormone therapy just because they think it might cause cancer. By doing our own research and talking to our doctors, we can evaluate our own risks and benefits.

Hormones on the Horizon
Perhaps you’ve heard the term Femtech, but over the next couple of years, most people will know exactly what it means. Femtech, or female technology, is a fairly new and growing female health technology market that is female healthcare and technology working together. It’s anything from software and diagnostics to apps and tracking wearables that use technology to better women’s health. Historically, medicine has used the male body as the standard, while the female body is the deviant. Femtech changes this idea with new and emerging technology to talk openly about women’s health, gather important data and bring awareness to women’s healthcare needs.

While in the past, this has included reproductive technology, period-tracking apps, pregnancy and nursing care, these days much attention is being paid to menopause stages and women’s health into their senior years. New technology and ideas are allowing more advancement toward women’s hormone levels, bioidentical hormones and what can be done to better a woman’s entire journey through all of her health stages. Getting this data would have taken more money, time and effort before the emergence of Femtech, and companies are continually making improvements and adding new technology.

Is BHRT for You?
Women are abandoning the idea that symptoms of menopause are simply a part of aging. Just because our bodies are changing doesn’t mean we have to feel bad. Each of us is unique and so is our path to hormone balance. BHRT can be an option to help women who have symptoms associated with low or unbalanced hormone levels. Side effects and risks associated with any hormone treatment can occur, but self-research and talking to our doctor is a good place to begin. The balance is bound to follow. ■

Sources:,, and