Have you noticed a decrease in your libido? Are you experiencing hot flashes, insomnia, or anxiety? Are your periods changing: cycles becoming irregular or have they stopped altogether? The symptoms I’m describing are very common complaints during the peri-menopause transition to menopause- a time when your hormone levels are fluctuating or as a patient of mine recently commented, “sputtering”.
There has been great debate about hormone replacement over the past decade and I feel that we (the medical community) are finally getting on the same page (see blog). There are now many bioidentical options available by prescription today that are FDA approved. The medical definition of bioidentical refers to a chemical or compound that has the same molecular structure as those chemicals and compounds found in nature. Bioidentical hormones are a better option to the previous synthetic hormones that were on the market a decade ago however you must take into account your own personal risk factors.
If you have a strong family history of breast cancer or are a breast cancer survivor bioidentical systemic estrogen may not be recommended, however bioidentical testosterone treatment may indeed be an option as recent studies are showing it may help protect you from breast cancer. Again, you must take into account your own personal risk factors and the symptoms you are experiencing. It’s most important to find a knowledgeable health care provider that will take the time to help you sort through the maze, someone who can give you the information and assist you along the way.
Just because you are going through menopause doesn’t mean you need medical treatment. If you are suffering though, you can try hormone therapy and see how you feel. Some women find they feel best on low doses of hormone for a short time where other women adjust the dosage along the way. Hormone therapy doesn’t need to be a life sentence and many women taper off when they feel they no longer need it.
Here’s the bottom-line: If you aren’t feeling your best, if your libido has diminished, you’re having hot flashes, insomnia and anxiety, you don’t have to suffer. We are here for you and can help.