Did you know that hormone levels fluctuate throughout your lifetime? Though hormone levels may change at any time, the most dramatic hormone shifts happen with puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
The symptoms related to menopause can begin well before your body stops ovulating completely and continue for years after you’ve entered menopause. And though many women share common symptoms, everyone’s experience is different depending on your personal hormone imbalances.
If you’re experiencing unwanted menopausal symptoms, Dr. Tim Martin and our care providers at Tim Martin M.D. in Abilene, Texas, treat you like the individual you are, evaluating your physical, mental, and emotional symptoms to create a customized treatment plan.
One way to manage the frustrating symptoms of menopause is with bioidentical hormone therapy. Read on to learn more about this treatment modality and whether you’re a candidate!
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy explained
Hormones play an essential role in your body’s functions, from digestion to sex drive to mood and metabolism. As your body goes through the changes of menopause, however, the careful balance of hormones you’ve been accustomed to changes.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) replaces the missing hormones helping you regain the delicate balance and put a stop to unwanted symptoms. HRT uses hormones derived from urine of pregnant animals and synthetic compounds.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), on the other hand, uses plant-based estrogens that are chemically identical to the ones your body naturally produces.
Candidates for BHRT
Not everyone going through menopause is a good candidate for BHRT. It’s important to discuss your symptoms with your provider at Tim Martin M.D. to learn if BHRT is right for you, however many candidates share common signs. Here’s a closer look:
You have bothersome menopausal symptoms
If changing hormones are disrupting your life, BHRT may be right for you. Menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and more can make it impossible to function well throughout the day. If you find you’re missing out on life because of bothersome symptoms, BHRT may be right for you.
You’re experiencing trouble with your sex life
As your hormone levels change, you may experience a decreased libido, lack of lubrication, and discomfort or pain with sex because of thinning vaginal tissues. BHRT can help resolve some of these issues and give you back a healthy sex life.
You’ve noticed extreme PMS symptoms
If you’re nearing menopause and have noticed your PMS symptoms seem out-of-control, you may be experiencing a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Researchers have found that nearly 8% of women suffer from PMDD, which causes severe mental distress and pain. If you have PMDD, Dr. Martin can customize your BHRT treatment plan to ease your symptoms and put an end to extreme PMS.
You have bone density problems
Many people don’t realize the important role hormones play in bone density, but hormones are responsible for triggering cell renewal in your bones. When these hormones aren’t in balance, you can lose bone strength and develop a condition called osteoporosi.
Osteoporosis increases your risk of bone fractures. BHRT can slow and sometimes stop bone loss by replacing the hormones your body doesn’t produce.
Your mood or personality are affected
One of the classic signs of hormone challenges is changes in mood. If you notice your mood or personality seems significantly different from what’s typical, including having anxiety or depression, BHRT may be able to help you get back to being yourself again.
Getting started with BHRT
The first step with BHRT is an evaluation at Tim Martin M.D. Your provider checks your hormone levels using a saliva or blood test to design a BHRT plan customized to meet your hormone needs.
Dr. Martin creates your BHRT treatment protocol based on your individual hormone imbalances as well as the severity of your symptoms and how they impact your life. Your plan may include:
- Hormonal creams
- Sublingual tablets
- Oral hormone medications
Once you begin treatment, you can expect a quick improvement in your symptoms since the bioidentical hormones are close replacements to the ones your body naturally produces. Dr. Martin will check in with you every few months to ensure the effectiveness of your BHRT treatment plan and make any necessary adjustments.
Ready to learn more about bioidentical hormone therapy and whether it’s the right treatment for you? Contact Tim Martin M.D. to schedule an appointment at our Abilene office or to book a telehealth consultation.