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How Hormone Replacement Therapy Works

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How Hormone Therapy Is Given

How does Hormone Replacement Therapy work | Women’s Health Tips with Dr. Levin

Hormone therapy may be given in many ways. Some common ways include:

  • Oral. Hormone therapy comes in pills that you swallow.
  • Injection. The hormone therapy is given by a shot in a muscle in your arm, thigh, or hip, or right under the skin in the fatty part of your arm, leg, or belly.
  • Surgery. You may have surgery to remove organs that produce hormones. In women, the ovaries are removed. In men, the testicles are removed.

Society And Public Perception

Wyeth, now a subsidiary of Pfizer, was a pharmaceutical company that marketed the HRT products Premarin and Prempro . In 2009, litigation involving Wyeth resulted in the release of 1,500 documents that revealed practices concerning its promotion of these medications. The documents showed that Wyeth commissioned dozens of ghostwrittenreviews and commentaries that were published in medical journals in order to promote unproven benefits of its HRT products, downplay their harms and risks, and cast competing therapies in a negative light. Starting in the mid-1990s and continuing for over a decade, Wyeth pursued an aggressive “publication plan” strategy to promote its HRT products through the use of ghostwritten publications. It worked mainly with DesignWrite, a medical writing firm. Between 1998 and 2005, Wyeth had 26 papers promoting its HRT products published in scientific journals.

Hormone Replacement : Is It Safe

At the Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY, we know that when your hormones are off, every area of your life is affected. The good news is theres a solution that is effective, simple, and accessible. We offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT, to balance your hormones and allow you to live life freely. A common question for those seeking hormone replacement therapy, though, is how long it takes. The good news is: not long!

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How Do The Hormones Used In Mht Differ From The Hormones Produced By A Womans Body

The hormones used in MHT come from a variety of plants and animals, or they can be made in a laboratory. The chemical structure of these hormones is similar, although usually not identical, to those of hormones produced by womens bodies.

Non-FDA-approved hormone products, sometimes referred to as bio-identical hormones, are widely promoted and sold without a prescription on the Internet. Claims that these products are safer or more natural than FDA-approved hormonal products are not supported by credible scientific evidence. The FDA provides more information about these products on its Menopause page.

Benefits Of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy has been studied for nearly a century, and BHRT improves upon that research. Thus, the most obvious benefit of BHRT is the fast relief it provides from the discomfort of side effects. By restoring balance to the endocrine system, hormone therapy allows the body to function at its most optimal level. In addition, since bioidentical hormones are not animal-derived or synthetic, they are generally well-tolerated. This gives it a reputation as a more natural treatment.

Two of the most important benefits, however, are that there seem to be fewer side effects associated with BHRT, and there is more flexibility in changing doses and making adjustments than with traditional hormone therapy. research shows there may be fewer side effects with BHRT and more flexibility in adapting and changing doses than with traditional HRT.

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If Cancer Comes Back Or Has Spread

AIs, tamoxifen, and fulvestrant can be used to treat more advanced hormone-positive breast cancers, especially in post-menopausal women. They are often continued for as long as they are helpful. Pre-menopausal women might be offered tamoxifen alone or an AI in combination with an LHRH agonist for advanced disease.

Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men


Hormone replacement therapy is a bit of a misnomer. Its natural for mens testosterone levels to decrease as they get older. So, hormone therapy doesnt replace anything that is naturally missing.

Testosterone is required for:

  • maintaining healthy levels of red blood cells
  • maintaining bone density

However, the natural decrease of this hormone in men typically doesnt affect overall health any more than the aging process does. Medical experts disagree about the significance of a testosterone level decrease. They also disagree about the health benefits of hormone therapy use to combat the natural aging process in men, especially given the risks.

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What Should Women Do If They Have Menopausal Symptoms But Are Concerned About Taking Mht

Women who are seeking relief from hot flashes and vaginal dryness should talk with their health care provider about whether to take MHT, the possible risks of using MHT, and what alternatives may be appropriate for them. FDA currently advises women to use MHT for the shortest time and at the lowest dose possible to control menopausal symptoms. The FDA provides additional information about the risks and benefits of MHT use for menopausal symptoms on its Menopause & Hormones: Common Questions fact sheet.

Cardiovascular Disease And Hrt

Weight Loss and Menopause: Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Work?

Women over 60 have a small increased risk of developing heart disease or stroke on combined oral HRT. Although the increase in risk is small, it needs to be considered when starting HRT, as the risk occurs early in treatment and persists with time.

Oestrogen used on its own increases the risk of stroke further if taken in tablet form, but not if using a skin patch. Similarly, tibolone increases the risk of stroke in women from their mid-60s.

Women who commence HRT around the typical time of menopause have lower risks of cardiovascular disease than women aged 60 or more.

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For Use In Certain Men

Some men with unnaturally low levels of testosterone can benefit from hormone therapy. For example, the condition hypogonadism can cause unnaturally low levels of testosterone. Its a dysfunction of the testicles that prevents the body from producing the right amount of testosterone.

Whats less certain is whether testosterone therapy can benefit healthy men whose testosterone decline is simply caused by aging. This has been a difficult question for researchers to answer. Not many studies have observed the effects of testosterone therapy in men with healthy levels of the hormone. The studies that have were smaller and had unclear results.

How Long Does This Treatment Take To Work

You can expect to start seeing the benefits of this treatment within 24 to 72 hours of receiving your treatment. However, some people dont see the benefits of hormone replacement therapy until one or two weeks following their treatment.

Your lifestyle choices, the dosage administered, and your bodys unique response to the treatment will determine how quickly the results become apparent. Be advised, you will receive better results if you incorporate healthy habits and nutritious meals into your lifestyle.

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Does Health Insurance Cover Hrt

For the most part, Health Insurance does cover Hormone Replacement Therapy. All insurance policies are different and there may be some items that insurances do not cover.

The physician that you see also has to be able to bill insurances and/or be in network with your insurance company. Not all of Live Well Medical Centers Physicians are in network with insurances some are on a cash basis only. You can still submit the charges to your insurance by working with your insurance company and physician provider.

How Long Should I Take Hormone Therapy

Menopause: Should you take hormone replacement therapy ...

In general, there is no time limit to how long you can take hormone therapy. You should take the lowest dose of hormone therapy that works for you, and continue routine monitoring with your healthcare provider to reevaluate your treatment plan each year. If you develop a new medical condition while taking HT, see your provider to discuss if its still safe to continue taking HT.

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How Can I Reduce These Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy

In most cases, these side effects are mild and dont require you to stop your HT. If your symptoms bother you, ask your healthcare provider about adjusting either the dosage or the form of the HT to reduce the side effects. Never make changes in your medication or stop taking it without first consulting your provider.

How Does This Therapy Work

Before your hormone replacement therapy begins, you need to come in for an initial consultation. During this consultation, we will discuss your lifestyle, symptoms, health history, and goals. Then, we will take a blood sample. This quick, simple blood test will tell us which hormones your body isnt producing enough of. That said, you should understand everyone has unique normal levels of hormones.

A blood test will give us a baseline to start from, and you will be monitored throughout the therapy process. Adjustments will be made as necessary based on your unique response to the therapy. We recommend tracking changes in the way you feel once your therapy process begins to help inform us of how we need to tweak your dosage. Additionally, questions are welcomed at any point during the therapy process.

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Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators

Selective estrogen receptor modulators including tamoxifen , raloxifene and toremifene selectively block estrogen from certain tissues, namely the breast, while increasing its availability in other areas such as the bones.

When and why theyre used: Doctors may recommend SERMs after surgery for early ER-positive breast cancer in men or women, to reduce the chances that it recurs. Theyre also approved to treat advanced breast cancer, and may be used to prevent breast cancer in high-risk individuals. Toremifene is only approved for advanced stage breast cancer that has spread.

Risks: In addition to more common side effects of hormone therapy such as hot flashes, tamoxifen risks may include blood clots, stroke, bone loss, mood changes, depression and loss of sex drive. Men who take tamoxifen may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, rashes, impotence and loss of sex drive. Raloxifene may increase a patients chances of having a stroke or developing potentially fatal blood clots in the lungs or legs. Fortunately, these side effects are considered relatively rare. Have your doctor explain the potential side effects associated with each SERM when discussing the pros and cons of these medications with you.

How Do Bioidentical Hormone Pellets Work

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Bioidentical hormone pellets, which are also known as BioTE pellets, are derived from natural plant sources but are structurally identical on a molecular level to hormones that your body naturally produces. As such, they also closely mimic the functions of the hormones they are intended to replace. To that end, bioidentical hormone pellets help individuals who are dealing with hormonal imbalances and the health complications that follow from those imbalances.

To receive bioidentical hormone pellet therapy, a specialist inserts the pellets into the subcutaneous layer of fat beneath the skin in the upper buttocks area. The pellets are smaller than a grain of rice, and the incision is comparatively sized. Since the incision is small and the pellets are inserted no deeper than the subcutaneous layer of fat, the procedure can be performed in an in-office setting and completed in minutes. The specialist will also numb and sterilize the incision site before making the incision and inserting the pellets.

Once the pellets are inserted, they will release a consistent and predetermined amount of the hormone. The type of hormone used will depend on the patients needstypically either testosterone or estrogenas will the amount, which is determined through extensive lab work and an initial consultation with the patient and bioidentical hormone replacement pellets specialist.

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How To Get Started On Hrt

Speak to a GP if you’re interested in starting HRT.

You can usually begin HRT as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms and will not usually need to have any tests first.

A GP can explain the different types of HRT available and help you choose one that’s suitable for you.

You’ll usually start with a low dose, which may be increased at a later stage. It may take a few weeks to feel the effects of treatment and there may be some side effects at first.

A GP will usually recommend trying treatment for 3 months to see if it helps. If it does not, they may suggest changing your dose, or changing the type of HRT you’re taking.

How Will I Know If My Treatment Is Working

You will have regular appointments to check how well your treatment is working and monitor any side effects. These will involve regular prostate specific antigen blood tests to measure the amount of PSA in your blood.

PSA is a protein produced by cells in your prostate and also by prostate cancer cells, even if they have spread to other parts of your body. The PSA test is a good way to check how well your treatment is working.

How your treatment is monitored will depend on whether youre having hormone therapy as part of treatment that aims to cure your prostate cancer, or having life-long hormone therapy to keep advanced prostate cancer under control.

You can contact your nurse at the hospital, or our Specialist Nurses, between appointments if you have any side effects or symptoms that youd like to talk about.

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Frequently Asked Questions Expand All

When progestin is added, it can come in different forms, including pills you take by mouth, or tablets and gels you place in the vagina. The intrauterine device , which releases progestin, also may be an option. Progestin also can be combined with estrogen in the same pill or patch.

You and your obstetriciangynecologist can talk about what form may work best for you. You can decide based on your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle.

  • How often is hormone therapy taken?

    Estrogen-only therapy is taken daily. There are two ways to combine estrogen and progestin for women who still have a uterus:

  • Continuous-combined therapy: Both estrogen and progestin are taken every day.

  • Cyclic therapy: Estrogen is taken daily. Progestin is added for 10 to 14 days each month . Another name for this is sequential hormone replacement therapy.

  • You and your ob-gyn can discuss the approach that works best for you.

  • How should I decide whether to take hormone therapy?

    Talk with your ob-gyn about what may work best for you based on your symptoms and your personal and family medical history. If you decide to take hormone therapy, you and your ob-gyn should talk every year about whether to continue hormone therapy. Each year, this decision will depend on your symptoms, risks, and benefits. Some women may need longer therapy if their symptoms go on for a long time.

  • What are the benefits of hormone therapy?
  • Both systemic and local estrogen therapy relieve vaginal dryness.

  • Breast or endometrial cancer

  • Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: How It Works

    Hormone Replacement Therapy In Mesa, AZ

    Pro-Pell Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy at Nova Vita Wellness Centers, also known as BHRT, is a revolutionary method for replenishing hormones in men and women with minimal side effects and less frequent medical office visits.

    Our body begins to produce less hormones starting around the age of 30. Hormones are nothing more than messenger molecules. They transmit a message from one part of the body to the cells of another, stimulating those cells to act in a specific way.

    As the years go by, we have less of these special messengers within our body. This means that the signals hormones transmit become less effective. This end result is crucial biological processes do not function at an optimal level.

    Usually, hormone replacement therapy for men , and hormone replacement therapy for women , is administered through a synthetic, prescription medication taken weekly and sometimes daily.

    Traditional forms of hormone replacement therapy:

    • Skin patches
    • Intramuscular injections
    • Tablets

    Aside from the frequency of use and constant checkups with a healthcare provider, these traditional HRT methods carry a range of potential side effects, including:

    • Breast swelling
    • Gallbladder stones
    • Acne

    It is the rapid uctuation of hormones in a persons body that causes many of the unwanted side effects and symptoms.

    The pellets deliver consistent hormone levels over a time period of three to six months. This means only two to four medical office visits per year!

    Goals of Pro-Pell BHRT:

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    How Can Testosterone Therapy Help

    If you have low-T, your life will change for the better if you receive testosterone replacement therapy. You will experience an increase in your energy levels, build muscle, maintain muscle mass and burn excess fat with ease.

    When you restore balance to your hormone levels by increasing testosterone, you will no longer experience the side effects of low-T. You can expect to feel younger and more energetic than youve felt in years.

    Other Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms

    Studies have shown that some prescription medications can reduce hot flushes and sweats. These treatments may be an option if HRT cannot be used for health or other reasons, and should be discussed with a doctor.

    The herbal medicine, black cohosh, may take the edge off hot flushes and sweats, but there is no data to support long-term use. There is also a rare liver condition that may be associated with the use of black cohosh.

    Other complementary and alternative medicines have not been shown to be effective for menopausal symptoms when compared with dummy or placebo treatment in research studies.

    Commercially available vaginal moisturisers may reduce vaginal dryness if used regularly. Consult your doctor about what will work best for you.

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    Thyroid Hormone Suppression Therapy For Benign Nodules And Goiter

    In the past, thyroid hormone suppression therapy was used to prevent benign thyroid nodules and enlarged thyroid glands from growing. More recent evidence has shown that this practice is not effective in regions of the world that have adequate iodine intake . Moreover, excess thyroid hormone can increase the risk of heart rhythm problems and bone loss making the use of thyroxine for suppressing benign thyroid tissue more risky than beneficial in iodine sufficient populations.

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