A woman’s hormone levels start to decline abruptly sometime after the age of 40. As hormone levels drop, a series of side effects can occur, including any of the following:
- Decline in mental clarity
- Trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Decrease in energy
- Low sex drive
Replacing lost hormones minimizes or eliminates these side effects, helping women look and feel better as they age. Scientific research also indicates that hormone therapy may reduce the risk of serious age-related health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Hormone therapy is extremely personalized; what works for some women may not work for you based on your medical history, health, symptoms and personal preferences. Dr. Ahn has seen excellent results with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. There are several options to choose from with regards to delivery systems. She will help you choose the appropriate option, and will continue to monitor you regularly to assess the efficacy of treatment and ensure optimal timing and dosage.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is the process of replacing lost hormones with hormones that are biologically the same in chemical structure as your body’s own hormones. Bioidentical hormones are derived from natural plant ingredients and created in a compound pharmacy to match the molecular structure of naturally occurring hormones.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy comes in oral, topical and pellet forms.
Estrogen patches deliver hormones transdermally, or through the skin. The patches are convenient, easy to wear and require little maintenance. They only need to be changed twice a week.
The bioidentical estrogen patches do not have some of the risks that other hormone delivery systems like oral synthetic estrogen pills do. Even though estrogen pills have been around for a very long time, there are concerns that taking the synthetic hormone pills can raise the risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke and breast cancer.
Compounded creams are popular because they can be customized easily to fit the individual patient’s needs. Compounded creams are generally plant-based and can consist of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. They are rubbed into the skin and applied once or twice daily. They also can be compounded to insert into the vagina for vaginal dryness. We work exclusively with accredited compounding pharmacies, listed on the website of the Pharmaceutical Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB).
Pellet therapy is particularly popular because it offers consistent delivery of hormones to avoid the rollercoaster-like effects that can be common with other forms of hormone therapy. Also, besides scheduling appointments a few times a year, there is virtually no maintenance needed.
The hormones are placed in pellets smaller than the size of a single grain of rice. Then, the pellets are implanted beneath the skin during a simple office procedure. The pellets deliver small, consistent doses of hormones directly into the bloodstream; the amount and combination of hormones is individualized to your unique needs. They naturally dissolve into the body after about three to five months.
Pellet therapy is very well tolerated with minimal side effects. Usually only three to four treatment sessions are needed per year to replace the pellets.
Learn More about Balancing Your Hormones
If you would like to take the first step on the path to hormone optimization, Dr. Ahn invites you to meet with her for a personal consultation. During the appointment, the two of you will discuss the symptoms you are experiencing as well as your treatment goals to find the customized solution to meet your unique needs. In addition to hormonal supplementation, Dr. Ahn may recommend changes to your diet, exercise and lifestyle.
Call or email our practice today to request an appointment with Dr. Ahn.