Journal / Hormone Replacement Therapy

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: An Answer for Aging

Nancy L Belcher

Written by Nancy L Belcher Ph.D., MPA

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Green OB/GYN

Last updated November 25, 2022

Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: An Answer for Aging

Article Content 5 mins read

  • Perimenopause & Menopause - Aging and Health Risks
  • Answers for Aging and Health with Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Conclusion

As a woman, you’ve likely heard about perimenopause and menopause, but it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. As you get closer to that age, you might find yourself asking older friends, “What is menopause like?” and even, “What really happens during menopause?” Let’s explore those questions and learn about options for relieving the multitude of symptoms associated with menopausal hormone changes. 

While there are many forms of relief, the most effective is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy, also known as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). HRT is safe and effective at hormone regulation, and HRT alternatives can even act like anti-aging hormones.

Perimenopause & Menopause - Aging and Health Risks

The period of time that begins with your entry into perimenopause, continues through menopause, and ends with postmenopause can last for 25+ years. It is actually one long phase that we call the Menopause Transition (MT). The MT is characterized by dropping levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The age of onset and duration of each of the three stages is unique and personal to each woman, and the trajectory depends on when and how quickly hormone production declines in the ovaries1

While each woman has a different experience, significant hormone decrease is likely to begin in the late 30s and early 40s. Perimenopause starts much earlier than most women realize, and by the 40s, a woman is likely perimenopausal. Identifying that you are in perimenopause is critical to getting treatment and experiencing positive health outcomes. 

In the US, women can typically expect to have experienced menopause by the age of 51 or 52, so looking out for the symptoms of perimenopause about 10 years prior can be very beneficial. The best way to know if you are in perimenopause and/or menopause is to evaluate your symptoms. 

A hormone imbalance can cause more than just uncomfortable hot flashes. As we age, changes in hormone levels can result in more typical signs of aging like wrinkling, dry skin and brittle hair, fatigue, weight changes, loss of libido, and poor concentration. 

When estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels are permitted to drop and stay low, the risk increases for developing type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, and heart disease - the #1 killer of women in the US. Low hormone levels can also cause loss of bone density, leading to osteoporosis and a higher chance of bone fractures.

As mentioned above, noticing your symptoms is key to identifying perimenopause and subsequently receiving the treatment that you deserve. The following are symptoms that can help you assess your menopausal status: 

  1. Weight Gain & Metabolism Changes- The normal hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause and menopause will often cause weight gain and the redistribution of fat to the abdomen. 

  2. Hot Flashes - Hot flashes are a very common symptom of menopause, and 85% of women experience them. Hot flashes can be severe enough to significantly affect a woman’s quality of life.

  3. Mood Swings, Anxiety & Depression -Perimenopausal mood swings are very common. 

  4. Memory & Mental Fogginess - Many women are alarmed to discover they have trouble remembering things, experience mental blocks, or have difficulty concentrating.

  5. Skin & Hair Changes - When hormone levels drop, it can show in your skin, hair, and even fingernails. 

  6. Night Sweats & Sleep Disorders- Severe hot flashes at night (night sweats) can cause sleep disruptions and insomnia.

  7. Irregular periods and heavy bleeding - Irregular bleeding can occur as your body adjusts its hormone levels during perimenopause. 

  8. Fatigue & Achy Joints - While many people might think that joint pain, fatigue, and achy joints are just part of getting old, they do not have to be. Maintaining estrogen levels can help reduce inflammation in the joints.

  9. Low Libido & Vaginal Dryness/Atrophy - While discussed less frequently, low sex drive and vaginal changes are both, at least partially, due to hormonal imbalances

  10. Incontinence - Incontinence can result from urinary changes with decreased hormone levels. 

Answers for Aging and Health with Hormone Replacement Therapy 

Perimenopause can be a positive beginning, providing the opportunity to take preventive action against major health risks associated with the decreasing hormones during the MT. HRT, also called Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), augments your depleted hormones and can help you to feel young again. Bioidentical hormones are derived from natural plant sources and are functionally indistinguishable from your own hormones. 

The HRT hormones are also micronized, which means your body is able to absorb them easily, and a small amount can have a positive effect. Winona provides bioidentical progesterone in creams and tablets, estrogen as creams, patches, and tablets, and testosterone in the form of DHEA, which your body breaks down to supplement your depleted testosterone. After starting treatment, most women start to feel better and notice some symptom relief in just two or three weeks. At around the six-month mark, the hormones in your body will reach optimal levels. 

In addition to providing relief from symptoms and functioning as preventive care, HRT is also one of the non-invasive, modern anti-aging treatments that Winona offers. Because aging of skin and hair is also largely related to a decrease in hormones, HRT can minimize these effects, making you feel and look like a younger version of you.

Personalized hormone treatments. For you.

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Personalized hormone treatments. For you.

Conclusion

It is normal for hormone levels to decrease with age and result in uncomfortable symptoms, but you don’t have to live with this discomfort. With menopause support from Winona, you have the opportunity to find relief, take preventive measures against health risks associated with declining hormones, and even slow the aging process. When prescribed by a physician, hormone replacement is a safe and physiologically natural way for you to regain your vitality. Winona’s healthcare platform is a place to safely connect with a healthcare provider to receive care and ask the sometimes difficult questions. Give Winona a try today, and see if bioidentical hormone therapy can help you take back control of your life. 

“This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.”

References

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21837-postmenopause

  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/pain

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