Saturday 10 January 2015

Marla Ahlgrimm Answers Questions about Hormone Replacement Therapy

Q: What is the difference between natural and synthetic hormones?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Natural, or bioidentical hormones, are identical to those hormones produced naturally by a woman. Bioidentical hormones include estradiol, estrone, estriol, progesterone, and testosterone.

Q: What are the benefits of bioidentical versus synthetic hormones?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Natural and synthetic hormones have different uses. Natural hormones, those that are chemically identical to those naturally occurring in a woman’s body, are often prescribed today to manage symptoms of hormonal imbalance. This includes premenstrual syndrome, perimenopause and menopause. A synthetic hormone is prescribed to alter the natural process of a woman’s body as is the case with oral contraceptives.

Q: I have been prescribed micronized progesterone by my doctor. What does this mean?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Micronized progesterone is pharmaceutical-grade progesterone that has been reduced to micron sized particles. Pharmacists formulate some hormone replacement therapy with micronized hormone powders to allow for better absorption.

Q: Is hormone replacement therapy painful?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Hormone replacement is generally not injected.  Instead, hormones can be given effectively via skin patches and transdermal creams. Oral capsules and tablets along with vaginal tablets and creams are also available. Some women may experience minor skin irritation with patches and creams.

Q: What exactly is estrogen?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Estrogen is a generic term for the category of estrogenic hormones which are either natural or synthetic. Natural estrogens are a vital component in a woman as they act in over 400 places throughout the body. Estrogens not only assist with reproductive health but also help to balance sodium levels in the body and may promote healthy lung functions. A woman needs a proper balance of estrogens to maintain optimal health. Women who suspect their estrogen levels have decreased may consult their OB/GYN regarding hormone replacement therapy options.

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