If you are a Woman between the ages of (around) 40-60 - you MUST save this BLOG or print it and read it carefully when you have a chance. It is our best effort at helping you understand what your CONVENTIONAL doctor will offer you in Hormone Therapy.
If you just need help right now, and don't have time to read this... save this for later reading and go now to find the best Hormone Therapy for Midlife Women right here... https://www.womensmidlifespecialist.com/
First you need to know that Hormone therapy is still the number ONE treatment for Menopause and Hormone Imbalance symptoms - whether you see your traditional doctor or an Anti-Aging doctor / Functional Medicine doctor.
This is because Hormone Replacement is the most successful therapy to rid women of the symptoms of menopause.
AND, based on the study done by the Women's Health Initiative that included tens of thousands of women, the final decision made by Conventional Medicine - is that hormone therapy is safe for MOST women.
Your Conventional doctor will likely offer you one of the following choices based on whether you have your uterus.
IF you DO still have a uterus, your doctor will offer you a combination of a Estrogen and ProgesTIN. (But if you are following me you may recall that ProgesTINS are not the same as Progesterone.). I will review what these choices are momentarily.
IF you DO NOT have a uterus, it is most likely your doctor will TELL you that you do not need a ProgesTIN. (But again... if you are following me, you will know this is a huge mistake to think only the Uterus needs NATURAL ProgesterONE. There are MANY organs in our body that need ProgesterONE, not just the Uterus)
Here are the 4 different types of Conventional Hormone Therapies you will be offered:
1. Pills (Estrogen or Estrogen plus ProgesTIN) taken orally once daily
2. Patch (Estrogen or Estrogen plus ProgesTIN) placed on your lower abdomen or back once or twice weekly
3. Gel or Spray – Estrogen only applied to your arm or leg daily
4. Vaginal Suppositories, Cream or “Ring” for Vaginal Health – Suppositories are used nightly for a week or 2 and then used inside the vagina 1-3 times weekly thereafter. The “Ring” is placed inside the vagina and left in place for 3 months.
Starting with the first form of hormones, those by pill form, there is only one oral bio identical Estrogen called 17Beta-Estradiol. The rest are synthetic and sadly still being offered to women frequently. I will cover the available 17 Beta-Estradiol shortly.
All Estrogens and ProgesTINs taken ORALLY cause stress on the liver since they must be cleared through the liver and is thus not recommended for any woman who has a liver condition.
Unfortunately, hormones taken orally have ALSO been shown to have increased side effects of blood clots and strokes, so taking Estradiol by mouth, whether it is Bioidentical or not, is a bad idea.
All in all, oral therapy should be DEAD. But it isn’t. This is still the most common offered treatment.
In addition to this, there is not a single combination Estrogen / ProgesteRONE that is Bioidentical. The prescriptions contain a synthetic ProgesTIN that has been shown to increase blood clots, strokes and INCREASE the risk of breast cancer. (Note that Estrogen alone does not increase the rate of breast cancer.)
In addition to this complication, the combination of Estrogen / ProgesTIN oral pill causes the hormone receptor sites to become dependent on this form of treatment.
Without it, women whose bodies get used to oral hormone therapy can have significant difficulty getting off of it and suffer from hormone withdrawal symptoms requiring a very slow weaning off process over time. This is a dirty little secret of the oral hormone pharmaceuticals.
There is one Natural Progesterone that is available orally, and it is called Prometrium.
Natural Bioidentical ProgesteRONE has the opposite effects on the body than Synthetic ProgesTINS and is the ONLY SAFE PROGESTERONE that you can get by prescription! (Please read that sentence again - it is critical.)
While the synthetic ProgesTINS increase blood pressure, leg swelling, increase the risk of stroke and blood clots, AND increase the risk of breast cancer, PROMETRIUM lowers blood pressure, decreases swelling, decreases risk of stroke and protects against breast cancer.
One very clear fact is how ProgesTINS are toxic to unborn babies while natural ProgesteRONE is the very hormone that maintains a healthy pregnancy. PROMETRIUM is USED in women who are pregnant who have low Progesterone.
Get it? Okay, now we got through one of the most important parts.
The only Natural ProgesteRONE available without seeking the help of an Anti-Aging physician is Prometrium.
Unfortunately, few conventional doctors prescribe it - AND there is one more problem about it. Prometrium ONLY lasts about 8 -12 hours at maximum and is therefore not the best you can do. If you are using any form of Estrogen, you really need full 24 hour coverage with a ProgesterONE... so you COULD use Prometrium twice a day. That IS an option.
However, if you use anything from your conventional doctor, this type of ProgesteRONE, Prometrium, is the one and only ProgesteRONE Anti-Aging / Functional doctors approve of OTHER than Bioidentical ProgesterONE compounded by a pharmacy
(or... of course "Young Hormones"... wink 😉wink😉 - our Amazing Line of Bioidentical Hormones over the counter!)
The next form of Estrogen available is by patch. The Estrogen patch does have a Bioidentical Estrogen in it in the form of Estradiol (E2). And if you can get your conventional doctor to use this patch with oral Prometrium, for the ProgesteRONE component TWICE a day, you would be as close as you can get to the best treatment of Bioidential Hormone treatment by your Conventional Doctor's prescription pad.
Unfortunately, it is still not your best choice, as the patch has only one form of Estrogen, Estradiol.
Estradiol (E2) is a much stronger Estrogen than Estriol (E3), and Estriol should be your primary form of Estrogen choice as you move through the menopause / post menopause years.
Fortunately, popularity of the patch has started to pick up since the studies have shown its safety profile exceeds any ORAL Estrogen.
The patch is absorbed directly through the skin, (just like creams and gels), and therefore does not travel through the liver, or require processing by the liver. This is a great benefit over oral treatment.
Also, the risk of stroke and blood clots is not elevated with the patch just like these side effects are not elevated with topical cream treatments either!
Unfortunately, they couldn’t leave it at that. A pharmaceutical company in its grand NON-wisdom, developed a patch that has bio identical Estradiol, (good), but stuck a Synthetic ProgesTIN in it – (Really Bad), again ruining the opportunity to have a true Bioidentical treatment available through a Conventional Doctor. This has become an extremely common choice among conventional doctors.
SO PATIENT BEWARE - DO NOT USE A CONVENTIONALLY PRESCRIBED HORMONE PATCH THAT HAS BOTH ESTROGEN AND PROGESTIN IN IT!
The next topical hormones your conventional doctor may offer is Estradiol (E2) gel or spray mist. These are also Bioidentical and could be combined with Prometrium, for the ProgesteRONE component.
But unfortunately, again most doctors don’t use Prometrium, and therefore they tend to reserve Estrogen gels and mists for women they believe don’t need a ProgesteRONE, (women who have had hysterectomies.)
SO this frame of thinking literally keeps a lot of women from getting a prescription of a gel or mist.
The final form of hormone treatment available by prescription is using estrogens that are inserted into the vagina. There are creams, suppositories and rings. There is great benefit in using a vaginal suppository in that it treats vaginal dryness extremely well.
But vaginal treatment does NOT treat general SYSTEMIC hormone imbalance symptoms at all. It simply is a LOCAL treatment for Vaginal Atrophy. (And not the best either!) Just like Hormone Replacement Therapy rarely helps with Vaginal Atrophy, Vaginal Hormone Treatment does not treat the systemic symptoms.
And... we hate to tell you this... but Conventional treatment of Vaginal Estrogen doesn't contain supporting ProgesterONE! EEEGAD! 😩
Since no ProgesteRONE is included in Prescribed Estrogen Vaginal treatment there is a total LOSS of the critical balancing component ProgesterONE provides.
PLUS... to throw another Whammy in the picture, Conventional Estrogen used vaginally, may it be by Cream, Suppository or Ring - are made up of only ONE type of Estrogen - the strongest Estrogen.
Our BEST Estrogen for Vaginal Health, if you are going to use Vaginal Estrogen at all, is ESTRIOL (also called E3). Estriol is our WEAKEST Estrogen and works PERFECTLY in the vagina for vaginal atrophy! So why use the strongest Estrogen when the Weakest Works Just As Well?! 🙃
BUT... who wants to insert ANY Estrogen in the Vagina these days when there are better solutions that work just as well, IF NOT BETTER, since inserting ANYTHING into the Vagina has the risk of touching our male partners?! EEEGAD! 🤪
Once again, the long term BIG PICTURE of HOW to treat WOMEN'S Hormone NEEDS has been terribly neglected, grossly ignored, and honestly ladies... stupidly viewed in the Field of Conventional Medicine! It amazes us at how LOST Conventional Medicine is in the care of Midlife Women's Hormone Needs!
OKAY... so let use make this super easy for you.
DISCOVER Bioidentical Hormones. AND after you have familiarized yourself a little with Bioidentical Hormones... take good care of yourself and come on over to the other side. The FUNCTIONAL Medicine Side of Women's Care.
We've created a whole line of Bioidentical Hormones you can get right over the counter for all your Sex Hormone Balancing needs - AND a way to test your hormones to assure you are on the right amount for you.
YOUNG HORMONES is our line of Organic, Topical, Bioidentical Hormones using USP Estriol (E3), Estradiol (E2), and Progesterone.
"They are available over the counter at doses I have prescribed for 95% of my female patients for the past 20 years. I have designed them to be in perfect balanced harmony with one another." Dr, Karen Leggett
No guessing. No worry. No mess. No more questioning.
We hope this has been super helpful for you.