an average of 27 million enter menopause every year? Menopause is defined as no menstrual cycle for 12 months and the normal range to go through menopause is 35 – 55 years. As early as 15 years prior to menopause women can start having symptoms of hormone imbalance. This is perimenopause. Symptoms during this time can include mood swings, insomnia, loss of sexual interest, weight gain, depression, night sweats and hair loss just to name a few.
A women’s hormonal system must be in balance to feel, act, and look their best. If one hormone is altered, or deficient, it will consequently affect all the other hormones. This is exactly what can happen even in the perimenopausal period which can cause all the symptoms described above plus many more.
Many women have questions regarding the best way to replace hormones during this time in their life. Did you know that until the last 20 years, the only hormonal therapy available has been synthetic hormone replacement? These are not the same chemical structure that the body makes. Natural hormones or bioidentical hormones are identical to what the body make.
Analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative Program study revealed an increased risk of both cardiovascular disease and breast cancer in these women treated with synthetic hormone. The same is not true for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).
When considering an evaluation for BHRT it is important to understand: