Also known as: Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT), Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), and menopause hormone therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a treatment option for women who show symptoms of menopause.
Hormone replacement therapy is used to supplement the body with either estrogen alone or estrogen and progesterone in combination during and after menopause. Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that are produced by a woman’s ovaries. When the ovaries no longer produce adequate amounts of these hormones (as in menopause), HRT can be given to supplement the body with adequate levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her period stops. It is a normal part of aging. In the years before and during menopause, the levels of female hormones can go up and down. This can cause symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Some women take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also called menopausal hormone therapy, to relieve these symptoms. HRT may also protect against osteoporosis.
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Bio-identical or “natural” hormones have the same chemical structure as hormones that are made by the human body. In order for a replacement hormone to fully replicate the function of hormones which were originally naturally produced and present in the human body, the chemical structure must match the original exactly.
Side chains may be added to a natural substance to create a synthetic product that can be patented by a manufacturer. These structural differences may be responsible for side effects that are experienced when non-bio-identical hormones are used for replacement therapy.
A primary reason for the confusion encountered when reviewing studies of efficacy, safety, and side effects of various forms of HRT is that most studies have grouped all forms of estrogen under the title “estrogen replacement therapy”, and the various progestins as well as progesterone under the name “progesterone”, and often have failed to delineate the specific type of hormone that was investigated.
Restoring Hormonal Balance
Bio-identical Hormone Therapy (BHT) is the replacement of deficient hormones with hormones that are chemically identical to those that the body naturally produces. BHT has improved the quality of life for millions of women and men who suffer from hormonal imbalance. The ideal process for achieving hormonal balance includes an assessment of hormone levels and complete evaluation of signs and symptoms, followed by replacement of the deficient hormones which have declined due to aging or illness.