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Is There Natural Estrogen Replacement

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When To See A Doctor

Hormone Natural Replacement

Anyone experiencing symptoms of a hormonal change or imbalance should see a doctor as soon as possible. Early intervention may help prevent complications.

People should also see a doctor if their condition does not improve while taking a medication or herbal supplement, or if they experience side effects associated with these treatments.

Natural Solutions For Dryness

At menopause, vaginal blood flow falls. Dryness and irritation can occur, and bacteria infections that pass to the urinary tract are more likely.

What is to be done? First of all, even after the ovaries stop, the adrenal glands and the fat tissue continue to contribute to estrogen production after menopause. In addition, phytoestrogens in plants provide weak estrogen effects. Soy products, such as tofu, tempeh, and miso, contain huge amounts of these natural compounds.

The plant-derived estrogen and progesterone creams described above can be helpful. Used on a regular basis, these creams maintain a moist vaginal lining. However, please note that they should not be used as a sexual lubricant. Estrogen cream is a medication, not a lubricant, and it goes through any skin it touches, including mens. Many women prefer to avoid hormone creams entirely and use ordinary lubricants or moisturizers instead.

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Venous Thrombosis And Hrt

Venous thromboses are blood clots that form inside veins. Women under 50 years of age, and women aged 50 to 60, face an increased risk of venous thrombosis if they take oral HRT. The increase in risk seems to be highest in the first year or two of therapy and in women who already have a high risk of blood clots. This especially applies to women who have a genetic predisposition to developing thrombosis, who would normally not be advised to use HRT.

Limited research to date suggests the increased risk of clots is mainly related to combined oestrogen and progestogen in oral form, and also depends on the type of progestogen used. Some studies suggest a lower risk with non-oral therapy or tibolone.

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Are Natural Alternatives To Estrogen Replacement Therapy Safe

Although individuals often consume natural products because of their potential health benefits, a new review indicates that it is not clear whether the benefits of plant-derived compounds that mimic estrogen outweigh the possible health risks.

Although individuals often consume natural products because of their potential health benefits, a new review indicates that it is not clear whether the benefits of plant-derived compounds that mimic estrogen outweigh the possible health risks. The findings are published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Phytoestrogens are compounds from plants that are similar in structure to estrogen and are found in a variety of foods, especially soy. Some women may consume phytoestrogens promoted as natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy to help ease menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes or to protect against bone loss.

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Types Of Studies Of Hormone Therapy And Cancer Risk

What Are The Best Natural Alternatives to HRT?

Different types of studies can be used to look at cancer risk from menopausal hormone therapy .

Randomized controlled trials: In this kind of study, a group of patients get the drug being studied , and another group gets a placebo . Results from this kind of study are powerful because which group a patient is in is based on chance. This helps assure that the groups are similar in all ways, such as risk for cancer, except for the drug thats being studied. This is the best way to see the effects of a drug. These types of studies can also be double-blinded, which means neither the people in the study nor their doctors know which group they are in. This lowers the chance that thoughts or opinions about treatment could affect the study results. Unfortunately, these kinds of studies are costly, which limits the number of people in the study, how long the study can continue, and the number of studies done.

A major drawback of observational studies is that the people getting the treatment being studied may have different cancer risk factors than the people who arent. Plus, the treatment can differ between the people being studied. This makes it less clear that the differences seen are only due to the drug being studied and not other factors.

When observational studies and randomized controlled trials have different results, most experts give more weight to the results of the randomized controlled trial.

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Natural Hormones Are Powerful Chemicals

Just like hormones synthesized in a lab, hormones made from natural substances are powerful chemicals that affect many parts of the body. The natural hormones most commonly recommended for women going through the menopausal transition are:

  • Estriol: Estriol is a weak estrogen that is produced during pregnancy. High doses of estriol relieve hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. It may also be beneficial in maintaining bone mineral density. Estriol is promoted as an estrogen that does not cause cancer some proponents even claim that it prevents breast cancer. There is no reasonable scientific evidence that estriol has anti-cancer effects or is any safer than other estrogens, however. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drug containing estriol, thus its safety and effectiveness are still unknown. Estriol is included in the tri-estrogen mixture, which contains estrone, estradiol, and estriol. It is prescribed by health care providers and sold at special pharmacies , which mix the hormone into pills or topical creams.

The Pros And Cons Of Hrt

Some women swear by HRT and have found great comfort in relief from their symptoms of night sweats, insomnia, continual hot flushes and vaginal dryness. Unfortunately, when you stop taking HRT, you’ll go through menopause again as your hormones decline.

HRT may also be prescribed if your doctor believes you are at risk of osteoporosis, due to the effects of oestrogen on supporting bone turnover. Some studies suggest HRT may increase your risk of ovarian and breast cancer. However, the absolute increase in risk is small, and this is something to discuss with your GP based on your family and lifestyle history.

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Breast Cancer And Hrt

Women over 50 years of age who use combined oestrogen and progestogen replacement for less than five years have little or no increased risk of breast cancer. Women who use combined HRT for more than five years have a slightly increased risk. Women on oestrogen alone have no increased risk up to 15 years of usage.

There is no evidence to suggest that a woman with a family history of breast cancer will have an added increased risk of developing breast cancer if she uses HRT. The risk with combined oestrogen and progestogen is greater than with oestrogen alone, or with newer HRT agents such as tibolone , and may also depend on the type of progestogen used. Studies suggest that medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethisterone have higher risks than dydrogesterone and progesterone.

What Are Common Side Effects Of Testosterone Pills

Natural Hormone Replacement Treatment – Diet, Nutrition, & More

Using OTC testosterone pills regularly can cause your body to build a tolerance to these substances. Over time, your body may stop producing testosterone on its own and come to rely on OTC supplementation. Testosterone boosters may also permanently lower your sperm count, causing major problems with infertility.

Other side effects of OTC testosterone pills may include:

  • Shrunken testicles
  • Male pattern balding and hair loss
  • Development of male breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia
  • Increased risk for prostate cancer
  • Increased risk for blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver damage and failure

If you are experiencing any of the above testosterone supplements side effects after using testosterone booster pills, you may want to ask your doctor about safe alternatives.

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Are Compounded Bioidentical Hormones Bad

There are risks to taking the compounded hormones. But in some cases, they might be the better choice. They might be needed to get the right source , dose or mix of hormones for a patient. Also, a patient might have a bad reaction to the pre-made form. Your doctor will know which type is better for you.

What Are The Signs Of Low Progesterone And What Are The Health Benefits

Progesterone is responsible for balancing estrogen and the female reproductive cycle. Deficiency results in symptoms of PMS, bloating, headaches, cramping, mood swings, breast tenderness and irritability. A deficiency in progesterone can be a factor in frequent miscarriages.

Research shows that natural progesterone stimulates bone building osteoblasts, thus providing protection against osteoporosis. Progesterone reduces the mitotic change in breast and uterine tissue, thereby protecting against cancer . Progesterone protects against heart disease. Progesterone is necessary for adequate sexual response, lubrication and vaginal vasodilation. Progesterone is responsible for the physiologic equilibrium with estrogen. At menopause, women lose both estrogen and progesterone, and both should be replaced. Progesterone replacement is important even if you have had a hysterectomy, because it does much more than just protect the uterus.

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Traditional Natural Hormone Replacement Therapies

Traditional natural hormone replacement therapies essentially mean consuming supplements or plants that contain compounds that could alleviate hormonal symptoms. These supplements and plants include:

  • Folate
  • Licorice root
  • Red clover

When it comes to their benefits, some experts dont believe that BRHTs are any safer or more effective when compared to the traditional natural HRTs.

How Is Low Estrogen Diagnosed

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Diagnosis and treatment of low estrogen can help prevent many health issues.

If youre experiencing symptoms of low estrogen, talk with your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and make a diagnosis if needed. Early diagnosis may help prevent further complications.

During your appointment, your doctor will discuss your family health history and assess your symptoms. Theyll also perform a physical exam. Blood tests will likely be needed to measure your hormone levels.

Your follicle stimulating hormone levels may also be tested to determine whether your estrogen is low if youre experiencing:

  • hot flashes
  • insomnia
  • frequently missed periods

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Why Does Your Estrogen Level Matter

Estrogen is a hormone. Although present in the body in small amounts, hormones have big roles in maintaining your health.

Estrogen is commonly associated with the female body. Men also produce estrogen, but women produce it in higher levels.

The hormone estrogen:

  • is responsible for the sexual development of girls when they reach puberty
  • controls the growth of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle and at the beginning of a pregnancy
  • causes breast changes in teenagers and women who are pregnant
  • is involved in bone and cholesterol metabolism
  • regulates food intake, body weight, glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity

Girls who havent reached puberty and women approaching menopause are most likely to experience low estrogen. Still, women of all ages can develop low estrogen.

Common symptoms of low estrogen include:

What Questions Remain In This Area Of Research

The WHI trials were landmark studies that have transformed our understanding of the health effects of MHT. Its important to note that women who were enrolled in the WHI trials were, on average, 63 years old, although about 5,000 of them were under age 60, so the results of the study may also apply to younger women. In addition, the WHI trials tested single-dose strengths of one estrogen-only medication and one estrogen-plus-progestin medication .

Follow-up studies have expanded and refined the original findings of these two trials. But many questions remain to be answered:

  • Are different forms of hormones, lower doses, different hormones, or different methods of administration safer or more effective than those tested in the WHI trials?
  • Are the risks and benefits of MHT different for younger women than for those studied in the WHI trials?
  • Is there an optimal age at which to initiate MHT or an optimal duration of therapy that maximizes benefits and minimizes risks?

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Troubleshooting And Making Adjustments

As explained above, you can obtain a prescription for bioidentical hormones by requesting any one of the standard-dose, FDA-approved bHRT products. If you find that one brand of bHRT doesnt work well for you, you can always ask to try a different one, or even a different combination.

What to avoid:

  • Combination patches like Climara Pro or the CombiPatch .
  • Combination pills like Prempro, Premphase, Estratest, Activella, FemHRT, and Angelia .

*Please note: If Prometrium is unavailable or you are allergic to it, then a combination patch is a reasonable alternative and a better choice than a combination oral formula.

Sometimes a woman does best with a brand-name form of bHRT used in combination with a compounded bioidentical cream, lotion, gel, or lozenge. For example, she might use a trademark estradiol patch each week, together with a compounded prescription-strength progesterone cream during the second half of her cycle, mixed with a small amount of testosterone. Shes unique, and so are you.

But there are situations where a bioidentical version from a compounding pharmacy is more desirable. Among these are the following situations:

These are all prime examples of why the service that compounding pharmacies provide is essential to our well-being.

1 Davis, P. 2008. Use of oral contraceptives and postmenopausal hormone replacement: Evidence on risk of stroke. Curr. Treat. Options Neurol., 10 , 46874. URL : .

Estrogen Therapy And Cancer Risk

Natural Bioidentical Hormone Replacement with Pellets

Endometrial cancer

In women who still have a uterus, using systemic ET has been shown to increase the risk of endometrial cancer . The risk remains higher than average even after ET is no longer used. Although most studies that showed an increased risk were of women taking estrogen as a pill, women using a patch or high-dose vaginal ring can also expect to have an increased risk of endometrial cancer.

Because of this increased cancer risk, women who have gone through menopause and who still have a uterus are given a progestin along with estrogen. Studies have shown that EPT does not increase the risk for endometrial cancer.

Long-term use of vaginal creams, rings, or tablets containing topical estrogen doses may also increase the levels of estrogen in the body. Its not clear if this leads to health risks, but the amounts of hormone are much smaller than systemic therapies.

Breast cancer

ET is not linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. In fact, certain groups of women taking ET, such as women who had no family history of breast cancer and those who had no history of benign breast disease, had a slightly lower risk of breast cancer.

Ovarian cancer

The WHI study of ET did not report any results about ovarian cancer.

To put the risk into numbers, if 1,000 women who were 50 years old took estrogen for menopause for 5 years, one extra ovarian cancer would be expected to develop.

Colorectal cancer

Lung cancer

ET does not seem to have any effect on the risk of lung cancer.

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Bioidentical Hrt Vs Traditional Hrt

When it comes to comparing the two natural HRTs, its important to note that bioidentical hormones differ from those in traditional HRT in the sense that theyre chemically identical to those that our bodies naturally produce. Theyre also made from plant oestrogen.

According to bioidentical HRT supporters, its a lot safer because its identical to the hormones that the body produces, but experts believe that the risks of HRT and bioidentical HRT are similar. Compounded bioidentical hormones or compounded bioidentical hormone therapy may have more risks, but there has been no reliable evidence proving that BHRT is more effective when compared to HRT.

Foods That Increase Estrogen Level

There are several estrogen-rich foods that may help boost your estrogen level. These foods contain phytoestrogen, which is a plant-based estrogen that mimics estrogen once it is processed by the body.

The following is a list of foods that are known for containing excessive amounts of phytoestrogens. It is important to keep in mind that estrogen rich foods may have unwanted effects in men.

Soybean products: Soy is a rich source of phytoestrogen and comes in a variety of easy to consume forms like soy milk, tofu, or edamame. Soy products are the greatest source of isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogen that can be easily consumed in your diet. Soy is also a great source of protein, making it an ideal meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians.

Flaxseeds: These little seeds contain up to three times the phytoestrogens of soybeans, but your body will not reap their benefits unless they are cracked or ground prior to consumption. Also high in fiber, flaxseeds will make you feel full and may aid in weight loss and in the reduction of cholesterol.

Sesame seeds: Whole seedsor even sesame oilcontain lignans that possess phytoestrogens. The seeds are also loaded with fiber and are a great source of minerals.

Beans: They are relativity high in phytoestrogens, but they dont get much attention. Beans are known for having a high fiber content, which helps to control cholesterol levels. Types of beans include peas, pinto bean, and lima beans

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The Relationship Between Estrogen And Progesterone

Progesterone and estrogen are two of the most prevalent hormones in a womans body. When these two are in balance with one another, your body will be firing on all cylinders. When theyre out of balance, your body will start to react negatively.

Both of these hormones work to balance the other. The majority of their characteristics stand in opposition to one another, which is why a healthy woman needs the appropriate balance of each. Unfortunately, many women are unaware of their natural hormone imbalance and dont understand why their emotions and bodily functions are out of sync.

To understand the relationship between estrogen and progesterone, we must first take a look at the function these two hormones play in a womans body.

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