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What Every Woman Should Know About Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

Every year, roughly 1.3 million American women enter menopause, defined as having no periods for 12 consecutive months. Menopause happens when your ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen, and while many women think of menopause as a time when periods stop and they can no longer become pregnant, the decline in estrogen can cause a lot of other changes, too.

Hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep problems are among some of the more common symptoms of menopause. Many women also experience changes in their vaginal health, including increased vaginal dryness and discomfort, particularly during sex. Some women may have episodes of urinary incontinence or vaginal or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

While there’s no “cure” for menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help. HRT uses “doses” of synthetic hormones to replenish your body’s own hormones, reducing unpleasant symptoms.

At Women’s Wellness MD, Chetanna Okasi, MD, offers HRT using bioidentical hormones to help women navigate these challenges of menopause, improving their health, comfort, and well-being. If you’ve been wondering if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is right for you, here’s what you should know.

Understanding BHRT

Hormone replacement therapy has been safely used for decades to treat the symptoms of menopause. Traditionally, HRT used lab-created hormones that were similar — but not identical — to natural estrogen. 

While traditional HRT definitely offers benefits, because the hormones aren’t identical to your natural hormones, they may not be eliminated as effectively, leaving them to build up in the body. Over time, that buildup could increase your risk of complications.

Bioidentical HRT uses synthetic hormones derived from plants. These hormones are designed to be chemically identical to the hormones produced by your body. 

That means your body “recognizes” bioidentical hormones the same way it recognizes natural hormones, using them in a similar fashion and eliminating them the same way, too. Our team uses BHRT to ensure our patients enjoy optimal benefits while reducing the risk of potential side effects.

Hormone therapy for low libido

While many women know HRT is widely used for menopause symptoms, like vaginal dryness and hot flashes, what many don’t know is that it can also be a great solution for low libido. 

The female hormones estrogen and progesterone play key roles in libido or sexual desire. As the levels of these hormones decline, many women find they’re less interested in sex or they don’t derive pleasure from sexual activity. 

Not surprisingly, low libido can have a dramatic effect on your relationships and on your own self-esteem, too. By replenishing and stabilizing hormone levels, HRT restores libido so women (and their partners) enjoy a healthier, happier sex life.

What to expect during treatment

During your initial visit, Dr. Okasi reviews your symptoms and your medical history, asks you about your menstruation history, and sometimes orders lab tests to confirm you’re in menopause. Next, she reviews your HRT treatment options.

Like birth control, HRT comes in different forms, including pills, patches, creams, and vaginal rings. Depending on your individual needs, lifestyle, personal preferences, and other factors, Dr. Okasi helps you select the method that’s right for you.

Our practice also offers HRT via tiny pellets implanted under your skin, typically in the hip area. About the size of a grain of rice, pellets release a steady stream of hormones over a period of about three months, after which they can be replaced. Pellets can be an especially convenient option for women suffering from low libido.

During therapy, occasional blood tests and regular checkups ensure your HRT dosing stays on track with your needs. If you notice additional symptoms while on HRT, Dr. Okasi can make adjustments to your therapy so it remains effective for you.

Learn more about BHRT

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can provide real relief for menopause symptoms in addition to improving your quality of life. To learn more about BHRT and whether it’s a good choice for you, request an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Okasi and the team at Women’s Wellness MD in Columbia and Greenbelt, Maryland, today.

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