BIO IDENTICAL HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
Our hormones influence all areas of the body, from the brain to the heart. And the balance of these hormones is vitally important to maintaining optimal health.
Here at Firvale Clinic we use Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to correct hormonal imbalances and replenish the hormones that deplete as we age. It can be very effective at enhancing quality of life, slowing down ageing and improving wellbeing. BHRT were first derived from diosgenin, a substance obtained from Mexican yams. Similar in their molecular structure to those found in the body, these hormones work effectively with your body with lower the chances of side effects. To ensure the effectiveness of the hormone treatment the BHRT is unique to that individual and their unique symptoms and biochemistry.
WHAT ARE BIO IDENTICAL HORMONES AND HOW DO THEY DIFFER FROM SYNTHETIC HORMONES?
Bioidentical hormones are used in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and have an identical chemical structure to the naturally occurring hormones which are produced in the body.
These differ from synthetic hormones used in traditional HRT. Premarin and oestradiol are both prescription medications used in hormone therapy used to replace depleted estrogen levels and to help alleviate menopausal symptoms.
BHRT uses oestradiol, hormones which are derived from the diosgenin in Mexican yams.
Traditional synthetic hormones have a chemical structure that may be similar to but are not exactly the same as the hormones produced by the body. Bioidentical hormones are structurally identical to the hormones your own body produces.
These chemical differences can mean that synthetic hormones act differently in the body and can result in a variety of different side effects. Because bioidentical hormones replicate your own hormones incredibly closely, we find the side effects which are commonly associated with synthetic hormones aren’t experienced, making BHRT a more appealing treatment method for many patients.
The HRT establishment believes that the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach of regular HRT is adequate. But it would be surprising if the same amount was effective for each individual patient. Each patient receiving bioidentical hormone treatment will undergo regular tests to determine the hormone levels already present in their blood and then receive a personalised prescription to achieve and maintain a healthy level if necessary. Patients very much appreciate this focus on their individual needs.
HOW BHRT IS USED
Before BHRT can be prescribed, you will have had your initial comprehensive consultation to gather all necessary information about your symptoms, medical history, and any test results. Any treatment will be tailored to your individual needs based non all the information provided, as one size does not fit all. BHRT medication is usually prescribed as a lozenge or cream, formulated to your personal requirements. Any treatment plan with us will include regular follow ups and ongoing monitoring to help achieve optimum results.
What do I need to prepare for my initial consultation?
List of medications
If you have a pelvic ultrasound scan and/or mammogram dated within the last year, please do send them as a PDF document to email@example.com before your Initial Consultation.
Review appointments will be carried out at 6 months
What do I need to prepare for the Review Appointment?
Any questions you have
Details of changes to medications/health
Details of changes to symptoms since your initial consultation
ARE BIO IDENTICAL HORMONES SAFE?
We are often asked about the safety of Bioidentical hormones, particularly whether Bioidentical hormones are safer than the synthetic versions commonly used in HRT. There have been many studies on Bioidentical hormones; however, as they are officially not drugs they don’t require expensive, large-scale trials.
The clinical data available certainly suggests that Bioidenticals are safer. For example, long running research which studied 80,000 post-menopausal women found that taking progesterone plus natural estrogen had no raised risk of heart disease or cancer.
In our experience, many women prefer Bioidentical hormones as they feel much better on them and don’t experience the side effects associated with traditional HRT.
As part of ongoing treatment reviews, we require blood tests, mammograms and pelvic ultrasounds so we can keep a close eye on the effectiveness of treatment and any potential side effects.
The BHRT treatment is produced by a specialist pharmacy. These compounding facilities are often used by hospitals and are providing a range of drugs for doctors all the time. They are tightly regulated and overseen by the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
What to expect
What do I need to prepare for my Initial Consultation?
List of medications
If you have a pelvic ultrasound scan and/or mammogram dated within the last year, please do send them as a PDF document to firstname.lastname@example.org before your Initial Consultation.
Your Initial Consultation is 60 minutes and very comprehensive. You will either be seen by Dr Berry or Senior Nurse Rachel. They will be there to listen to your concerns and find out how you are feeling. They will discuss your medical history, symptoms, goals, and the importance of hormone balance. They will also introduce you to BHRT and explain how it may help restore your hormone health.
During your consultation you may be advised on further supplementation, lifestyle changes, and will recommend any specific investigations tailored to your symptoms.
Whilst under our care, your Nurse/Doctor may request a number of blood tests and other examinations such as a pelvic ultrasound scan and mammogram. These give a fuller picture of your health and hormones.
If your Doctor/Nurse has recommended a blood test, we will direct you to The Spire Hospital Southampton, where you can have your blood test administered. The results will be sent directly to us.
Starting your medication
Once you start your medication you should start feeling better soon – most of our patients feel the positive effects of their hormone treatment within a few days. However, bear in mind that it can take up to eight weeks to feel the full benefits. Therefore, within the first few weeks of treatment you may still experience your symptoms.
If symptoms persist after eight weeks we would advise booking a review with your health care professional to discuss tailoring your medication, whether to increase or reduce your hormones according to your specific needs.
We would like to reassure you that side effects whilst on bioidentical hormones are rare. However, should you experience any mild sensitivity to the medication during the course of your treatment, please refer to our guide below regarding the hormones
In your first year of being a patient at Firvale Clinic, it will be necessary for you to have a review as often as six months, depending on the Doctor/Nurse recommendations. You may also have blood tests and other examinations at each of these consultations. This is because it may take a while to find the perfect hormone dose that balances your hormones and reduces your symptoms.
A lot can happen in your life in a year, and the same goes for your hormones. Your needs change as you age so we will need to monitor you with a 6-monthly or Annual Review to ensure your treatment is still working for you. The frequency of the reviews and appropriate screening (pelvic ultrasound scan to monitor endometrial thickness and health of the ovaries) will depend on your doctor’s recommendations for your individual needs and whether your symptoms have improved and/or stabilised.
While our doctor/Nurse will be there to help you every step of the way, please note that our doctors are unable to provide consultation advice via email. All advice must be by prearranged consultation.
Just wanted to say hallelujah 🙌 it’s a miracle it’s only been 1 month but the hot flushes and broken sleep with a loss of confidence and anxiety were really getting me down but BHRT is really helping me get my life back 👏😍thank you so much for helping me be me again ❤️ -T.B