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Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Why didn’t my doctor tell me about this treatment before?

Most doctors aren’t familiar with BHRT they don’t recognise hormonal imbalances as a disease. Nor is BHRT within their GP prescribing formulary. Usually doctors hear about BHRT from their patients. Patients who have generally suffered with symptoms of their hormonal imbalance and have not been able to tolerate traditional HRT. Or who have done their own research and found BHRT as an alternative treatment to their symptoms which is reported to yield fewer side effects than traditional BHRT.

 

Do I have to be on this treatment for life?

No BHRT is totally individually tailored. The decision to stay on treatment or complete treatment will be made between the patient and the medical practitioner. There are no set rules. However, if you are reaping the benefits and the quality of your life is noticeably improved, we don’t see a reason for you to stop the treatment.

 

When is the menopause over?

By definition, one year after your last period is the beginning of your menopause, and it continues till the end of your life. However, menopausal symptoms can last on average between two and six years and some women experience menopausal symptoms continuously.

 

How quickly will treatment begin to work?

Treatment is often surprisingly immediate, but generally results are seen between three to six weeks. Mostly patients can see significant improvements after six weeks. Sometimes it takes more than a single cycle for the treatment to take effect. If the hormonal imbalance is severe and the woman is still on a cycle it can take three to four months to experience the desired improvement.

 

Can bio-identical hormone therapy slow the ageing process?

Yes. Bio-identical hormones can help with multiple effects of ageing. Skin changes, especially loss of elasticity and dryness, worsening cognition and memory, organisational skills, energy and declining sexual function all occur as our hormones decline. Valancing the hormones can prevent some of these effects and possibly prevent certain conditions from developing such as osteoporosis.

 

How long has BHRT been around?

It was discovered in the 1940’s

 

Are all the hormones you prescribe natural?

In the case of the hormones we use, the word ‘natural’ is used to refer to the structure of the hormone molecules, which are produced from natural plant sources. This chemical structure is 100% the same as that of the naturally occurring hormones produced by your glands. This means their effects are more consistent with the biochemistry of your body than those of synthetic hormones.

 

Where do bio-identical hormones come from?

These hormones are converted from plant sources (diogesin from wild yam or betasitosterol from soya beans) and manufactured into powder form. They are then made available in oral or transdermal forms. There is growing public demand for hormones that are obtained from a plant source and are bio-identical.

 

What are the side effects?

There are no side effects if the hormones are given in doses that are appropriate to patient needs, as they’re part of our physiology. However high levels of oestrogen can cause breast tenderness and bleeding. High levels of progesterone can cause tiredness and depression. To prevent any of these side effects we always start off on the lowest possible doses.

 

How much will the medication cost me?

A private prescription for daily doses per hormone will cost you between £1-£3 per day. Less than a cup of coffee a day.

 

How long is the prescription valid for?

A prescription is valid for 12 months from its date of issue.

 

Where do I get my medications from?

There are no over-the-counter prescriptions. Each prescription is individually compounded and made up to your exact dosage requirements as per your medical practitioners prescription. In the UK the medications are available and can be dispensed from specialist compounding pharmacies including the Specialist Pharmacy.

 

Can I tell my gp about this treatment?

Yes of course. As a medical professional we are happy to write to your gp on request.

 

Do men need hormones also?

Yes we all do. Hormones regulate every function in our body whether we are male or female. However men are often reluctant to seek help with hormonal issues and go through the andropause (the male menopause) which usually presents a series of symptoms unique to men.

 

I have a history of cancer can I go on this treatment?

Possible however this needs to be discussed with your oncologist and GP and would be recommended you receive treatment at a specialist clinic.

 

 

 

1st March 2021