Data from research surveys indicate that an estimated 2.5 million women ages 40+ may begin taking some form of hormone replacement therapy each year. This includes traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and compounded or bio identical hormone replacement therapy.
Determining the onset of perimenopause and then menopause itself is not an exact science. Many different factors can play a part, but an individual’s genetics are the primary driver. In the same way, the timing of when to start hormone replacement therapy can be a very individual decision and highly dependent on the severity of symptoms.
In this post, learn more about bio identical hormone replacement therapy, what it is, how it works and the many benefits it can provide for women going through menopause.
Meet Your Body’s Hormones
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All throughout your life, your body is producing a variety of hormones to aid in different physical processes. There are 10 major hormones that your body relies on to keep various systems functioning properly. These 10 hormones are: cortisol, melatonin, estrogen, human growth hormone HGH), DHEA, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, adrenaline, insulin.
You probably recognize most of these hormones by name. For example, cortisol is often called “the stress hormone” since it is released when your body is under stress. Melatonin is the hormone that helps to regulate sleep and your body clock. Insulin breaks down carbohydrates and extracts glucose (sugar) for energy.
And estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are known as the gender hormones. All three are found in both women and men and are responsible for regulating fertility, reproduction and gender.
Understanding Bio Identical Hormones
Bio identical hormones get their name because, chemically speaking, they are a genetic match for the hormones your body manufactures and the human body can’t tell the difference between these and the ones it makes.
Here, the sole differentiating factor between body-manufactured hormones and bio identical hormones is the method of delivery. For the latter, they can be taken orally, used topically or delivered through a patch. In general, topical preparations tend to deliver optimal results.
Benefits of Bio Identical Hormones
It is a myth that bio identical hormones are only useful when a woman enters perimenopause (the period that ushers in menopause). In fact, Bio identical hormones can be used at any time in life and can be equally useful for both women and men.
These highlights represent some of the best benefits of bio identical hormones:
Benefit 1: Helps to regulate fertility and conception.
If a couple is trying unsuccessfully to conceive, bio identical hormones can help boost the body’s levels to improve the chances of having a baby.
Benefit 2: Improves bone density and strength.
The body’s natural aging process includes a gradual lessening of bone density. A course of hormones can help strengthen bones weakened by aging.
Benefit 3: Triggers development of secondary sex characteristics.
Certain medical conditions can delay or prevent the onset of puberty and the development of secondary sex characteristics. Taking bio identical hormones can help to promote puberty in affected youth.
Benefit 4: Lessens the risk of major health conditions.
Taking hormones supplementally is now known to lessen the risk for developing a range of serious health conditions, including heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, depression and others health risks as well.
Benefit 5: Slows down the body’s natural aging process.
One particularly popular benefit of taking bio identical hormones is that it can slow down the body’s natural process of aging. Improved muscle mass and tone, more elastic skin with less dryness and sagging, better fat-burning, higher libido, increased energy levels, less intimate dryness, better sleep, improved memory and concentration and many other benefits come from taking bio identical hormones.
These five benefits represent just a handful of the many health benefits that come from taking a course of bio identical hormones. It is for these reasons and many more that leading health researchers cite the importance of bio identical hormones in particular and encourage the use of hormone replacement therapy.