What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a method used by medical specialists to raise specific hormone levels in the body that have declined as a person has gotten older. Women typically know this treatment with estrogen or an estrogen/progestin mix as something they receive during menopause to fight symptoms such as weight gain, hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and night sweats. Men immediately think about testosterone hormone replacement therapy to aid in proper erectile function and improve muscle tone.
These are not the only types of HRT that may be required as a person gets older, nor are the ones listed above gender specific. Blood analysis is used to determine what will best suit any individual.
A person who typically would ask what is hormone replacement therapy would do so because there have been changes in his or her body and life that could be interfering with productivity, healthfulness, pleasure, vitality, and enjoyment.
HRT treatment may be needed any time after a person has turned thirty but is most typically associated with mid-life changes that occur during one’s forties or fifties, and even beyond that.
Main Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
Each of the main types of hormone replacement therapy that are used in adults has a particular purpose. Detailed blood testing is what will show if any of these vital levels has declined in the body, and if so, which ones and to what extent.
The main types of HRT that are used today include:
- HGH – human growth hormone – this treatment is used in males and females whose blood tests for IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor 1) show that their bodies are not producing enough somatotropin (growth hormone, GH)
- Testosterone – although immediately thought of as the male sex hormone, testosterone is required by members of both genders for proper sexual desire and functions, as well as many other significant benefits
- Estrogen – used by women who have undergone a hysterectomy
- Estrogen/progesterone combination – most frequently prescribed to women who still have their uterus intact
HGH and testosterone are biologically identical (bioidentical) therapies, whereas estrogen and progesterone are synthetic hormones.
HRT for Men and Women
The goals of HRT for men and women are essentially the same – giving back the drive, vitality, and passion that often go missing when a hormone deficiency is present.
For the most part, the effects of these declines are the same in women as they are in men, with the key exception regarding how each gender is affected in a sexual way.
- A particular type of hormone deficiency may affect a man’s erectile functions. He may notice that his morning erections have reduced in frequency. Maintaining an erection may become a problem, as well.
- A woman will often find that vaginal dryness, as she ages, becomes an issue that can lead to unpleasant or painful intercourse.
Both men dealing with andropause and women facing menopause will often state that lack of desire, decreased arousal, and reduced pleasure are serious issues in their lives. Among the many benefits of hormone replacement therapy, we typically find increased desire, improved arousal, better performance, and a return of the pleasure that is desired.
What Are the Benefits of HRT?
There is much to be said about the incredible HRT results that women and men receive once they begin their doctor prescribed treatment. Of course, the various benefits that are achieved are based on the type of treatment that has been prescribed for each individual’s personal needs.
Testosterone treatment for Low T offers the following hormone replacement therapy benefits for men and women:
- Improved sexual functions and responses
- Increased lean muscle mass, tone, and strength
- Weight loss
- Stronger bones
- Thicker hair and possible regrowth
- Improved focus and memory
- Increased energy and stamina
- Lower cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides
- Deeper sleep
- Increased red blood cell production
- Improved mood and outlook
HGH injections for growth hormone deficiency offers all of the same benefits as above, plus some other positive results as shown below:
- Tighter, firmer skin
- Stronger nails
- Improved immune system functions and shorter recovery times
- Possible eyesight strengthening
- Increased cellular regeneration
- Internal organ growth and support
Women who receive estrogen or an estrogen/progesterone combination of hormone replacement therapy for women do so for the following reasons:
- Cessation of menopausal side effects
- Weight loss
- Improved brain functions
- Mood and outlook boosting
- Better sleep
- Thicker, fuller hair
- Improved muscle function and bone density
How to Find the Right HRT Clinic
The most important thing for anyone searching for hormone treatment of any type is to find a bona fide HRT clinic for the prescribing of any of these medications. Although many women turn to their gynecologists for help in this area, that may not always be the best option, especially if the primary scope of practice for these doctors is obstetrics.
A recent guest physician on the Dr. Oz show discussed the fact that older women are better served by finding a specialist dealing with hormone replacement therapy for those females who are dealing with menopause. The treatment of these conditions is very different than what younger women are experiencing and requires an HRT doctor who is familiar with the advances that have been made in this field.
Some doctors routinely prescribe some form of estrogen therapy without running blood tests for growth hormone and testosterone levels, and we have seen numerous occasions when a female can be better served by one of these treatments that will offer better results and reduced HRT replacement side effects than the more traditional therapies of the past.
HRT: How Much Does it Cost?
In all cases, discussing the actual hormone replacement therapy cost is a personal matter, as the treatment protocol that will be prescribed is based on individual needs. Dosages of medications are calculated based on the level of the particular deficiency, other health factors, age, gender, weight, height, and severity of the symptoms. This individualized approach enables the doctor to tailor the program for each person to minimize the risk factor of any possible side effects.
Most people find that comparing the actual pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy make the decision very easy to make. The broad scope of benefits that are easily achieved typically outweigh the minimal risks involved when HRT is prescribed by a specialist.
How Long Does it Take to See the Results?
One of the frequently asked questions that our hormone replacement therapy doctors are asked is about the time frame involved with seeing positive results from this treatment. Because there are varying types of medications used under the HRT umbrella, the benefits that are achievable will also be different. Typically, increased energy is the first noticeable sign for most people, and depending upon the type of treatment prescribed, this can come as soon as a few days or up to a few weeks from the start of the therapeutic cycle.
It is always advisable to speak with the clinical advisor regarding individual situations and what can be expected in regards to the benefits that will be achieved along with any minimal risk of hormone replacement therapy side effects.
At National HRT®, we offer a broad range of HRT options to our clients. Consultations are always complimentary, and questions are welcomed and answered in a clear manner. Blood testing at local labs is arranged in order to determine the best possible treatment plan for each person.