Bioidentical hormones and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can provide safe, effective relief for many women who are suffering from symptoms related to menopause. In spite of the controversy surrounding HRT, current research suggests that if women begin taking bioidentical hormones before or shortly after menopause begins, HRT presents very few risks and is beneficial for most patients. Of the many alternatives available, it makes sense to use bioidentical hormones, which are exactly the same molecules as the hormones produced by a woman's own body.
At Turner Medical Arts in Santa Barbara, California, we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) for our patients who are experiencing menopausal symptoms, which typically begin around age 50. By definition, true menopause occurs one year after the date of a woman's last period, but most women begin experiencing significant symptoms up to five years before that time. These symptoms vary from mild to almost debilitating, and they can include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, fuzzy thinking, reduced energy, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, irregular bleeding, and more.
HRT benefits are not limited only to quality–of–life issues. Therapy with bioidentical hormones can also strengthen bones and protect the cardiovascular system. After all, women are much more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, and heart disease is the leading cause of death among women worldwide.
If you are experiencing menopause symptoms and would like to discuss bioidentical hormones and BHRT, request an appointment with Duncan Turner MD today. Schedule your appointment by email, or phone our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-1957.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), also known as natural hormone therapy, refers to estrogen and progesterone that are molecularly identical to those produced by a woman’s body. As women age, their ovaries produce less of these hormones, so they gradually begin to notice symptoms related to this decrease in estrogen :
hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, etc. Bones may also weaken and the cardiovascular system may deteriorate. During this time, progesterone also decreases, but most symptoms are caused from the lack of estrogen.
The good news is that HRT can relieve these symptoms, and a woman's natural hormones can be replaced with bioidentical hormones as alternatives. Patients can choose from a wide variety of either FDA–approved or pharmacy–compounded bioidentical hormones, which are typically created from plant–derived sources such as soy or yams. Hormones must fit together like a lock and a key, and for this reason, bioidentical hormones are more readily accepted and metabolized into the body because they match the body's hormones exactly.
Bioidentical hormones are offered in many forms :
Duncan Turner MD is a board–certified OB–GYN with more than 35 years of experience.
Also known as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, natural hormone therapy or hormone therapy, HRT replenishes hormones your body produces in smaller amounts as you approach menopause. Formerly a standard treatment for menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, HRT is now one of numerous options, each of which brings unique risks and benefits.
A large body of research shows that hormone therapy involving estrogen with or without progesterone effectively minimizes menopause symptoms and complications including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and bone loss. When you reap these benefits, you’ll be more able to enjoy better sleep, sexual function, and overall quality of life. Less bone loss means a lower risk for osteoporosis and fractures.
Many patients experience additional health concerns related to hormonal decline. Because estrogen and progesterone are some of the most important chemical messengers in the body, they regulate many physiological processes such as digestion, metabolism, reproduction, muscle growth, and libido. Factors such as high stress, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, environmental conditions, and aging can cause hormonal levels to deteriorate, and while most begin declining in middle–age, imbalances can occur at any age, leading to the following related health concerns :
BHRT can address many of these health concerns, helping women and men recover from the effects of hormonal imbalances.
Duncan Turner MD specializes in gynecology, hormone levels, and bioidentical hormone therapy. He will work closely with you to discuss the pros and cons of HRT and bioidentical hormones as well as the best approach to improving your health concerns and minimizing any unpleasant symptoms. At Turner Medical Arts, we have helped several people overcome their challenges and rediscover their vitality with bioidentical hormones.
Risks of hormone replacement therapy vary depending on factors such as your age, your dosage, at what age you reached menopause, your current health risks, and family history. HRT may increase your risk for blood clots, stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer. It may also make breast cancer harder to detect by making your breasts appear more dense in mammograms. These risks increase after age 60. To lower risks associated with bioidentical hormones, Dr. Turner prescribes the lowest possible dose of estrogen or estrogen plus progesterone to relieve symptoms.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are identical structurally to the hormones women’s bodies make. They come in a variety of forms, including:
With Dr. Turner’s guidance, you may choose from a broad range of FDA-approved or pharmacy-compounded bioidentical hormones, which typically come from plant-derived sources such as soy or yams.
Pellet therapy is a specialized method of HRT in which tiny pellets about the size of a grain of rice are placed under your skin. The painless procedure is repeated every 4-6 months or so and brings fewer potential side effects than pills.