At any given time, more than 40 million American women are experiencing some stage of menopause. Classic symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, depression, anxiety, irritability, sleep disturbances, mood swings, headaches, memory problems, decreased libido, vaginal dryness and loss of bladder control.
Symptoms of menopause may begin to occur five to seven years before menopause, when the production of estrogen and progesterone hormones decreases. Testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are additional hormones that decline during menopause. Replacement of estrogen and progesterone is termed hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Although the benefits of HRT are well documented, uncertainty still remains regarding its risks. Only about 20 percent of postmenopausal women use HRT long-term. This is partly due to unresolved questions about HRT, its potential cause for breast cancer and intolerable side effects.
Bioidentical hormones are designed to have the same molecular structure as the hormones made by your own body. Conversely, synthetic hormones like Premarin and Provera are intentionally different. A pharmaceutical company canít patent a bioidentical structure, so they invent synthetic hormones that can be patented.
Even though bioidentical hormones have been around for years, they are still largely unfamiliar to the mainstream medical community.
The great benefit of bioidentical hormones is that because they are natural, your body can metabolize them as it was designed to do with little or no side effects. Many synthetic hormones are quite powerful and often produce difficult side effects.