Estrogen Replacement

Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT), Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) are common medical treatments used to treat menopause symptoms and correct hormone imbalances. 

Although all 3 of these types of treatments are used to regain hormonal balance, they are all different treatments. 

Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT)

ERT refers to the use of estrogen alone to treat menopausal symptoms. 

ERT is the standard hormone replacement therapy for women who have had a hysterectomy. 

The most commonly prescribed ERT in the United States includes mixtures of several forms of estrogen. 

Estrogen can be taken in several ways..

  • vaginal creams

  • pills or tablets

  • implants or shots

  • vaginal ring inserts

  • adhesive patches

Risks associated with ERT include...

  • breast cancer

  • stroke

  • ovarian cancer

  • endometrial cancer

  • gallstones

Lesser ERT side effects include...

  • nausea

  • headache

  • spotting of the skin, particularly on the face

  • weight gain

  • vaginal discharge

You should be careful about estrogen replacement if you are a woman that...

  • has a family history of breast cancer

  • has previously been diagnosed with breast or uterine cancer

  • has a history of blood clots, particularly in the legs or lungs

  • has active gallbladder disease

  • has history of stroke

  • has active or chronic liver disease

  • has diabetes

  • is severely obesity

  • has abnormally high blood pressure
Estrogen Replacement

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

HRT is used to treat menopausal symptoms that occur from fluctuating levels of natural hormones in the body, particularly estrogen. 

Hormone Replacement Therapy actually evolved from ERT. HRT is not appropriate for all women. 

HRT involves a synthetic form of progesterone called progestin. Based on research that found estrogen alone increased the risk of endometrial cancer, progestin was added to keep the endometrium from thickening. 

This significantly reduces the risk of the cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer). 

HRT isn't appropriate for every woman and before you start HRT you may have tests done that include...

  • Breast examination

  • Thyroid function

  • Blood pressure

  • Internal pelvic examination

  • Blood Pressure test, Cervical smear and breast screening every year regularly during HRT treatment

  • Body mass index (BMI) measurement

HRT is derived from man made (synthetic) hormones. Although one can choose from a variety of HRT brands, the drugs are mass-produced in manufacturing universal dosages. This is very different from bioidentical hormones in that bioidenticals are customized specifically to each patient. 

Since the hormones aren't bioidentically matched, the patient may experience insufficient relief or unpleasant side effects due to ineffective hormone ratios or mismatched hormone chemical structures. 

Also, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Panel from the State-of-the-Science conference released a statement confirming that hormone replacement therapy poses serious risks to a persons health. Some of these health risks associated with HRT include heart attack, breast cancer, and stroke. 

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) are also known as natural hormone replacement. 

The hormones used in BHRT are taken from soy and/or yams. 

The advantage of BHRT over HRT is the fact that the BHRT hormones are made to be identical to the moleculer structure of the ones produced by your body. 

In HRT, (commonly referred to as synthetic HRT or commercial HRT) any type of hormone may be used. BHRT is more popular than the one size fits all HRT approach to hormone replacement. 

Obviously, HRT isn't a good idea if it poses a risk to your health. Having a compounding pharmacist customize a bioidentical hormone replacement with the exact hormones that you need in the lowest effective dose may likely be a much safer alternative. 

› Estrogen Replacement

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