Anyone who has been through puberty knows that hormones have a powerful effect on one’s body. Hormones affect many areas of your health, including your mood, your metabolism, and your sexual and reproductive function. If your hormones become unbalanced, whether due to menopause or other factors, you may end up feeling like a stranger in your own skin. However, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a way to restore balance and help you feel like yourself again.
Hormone Therapy is designed specifically for your body.
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is most often prescribed to ease the symptoms of menopause, but it also can be used to treat a variety of conditions that women of all ages may experience.
These conditions affect millions of women. As the number of women seeking hormone- related treatment has grown, so has the mass production of pills, patches and creams by the drug industry. Each woman’s body is different and has its own unique needs, but commercially manufactures products tend to be “one size fits all,” and do not always account for the difference between individuals. No two women are alike, of course, and compounding pharmacists understand this fact.
Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. The advantage of compounded BHRT is that it can be adapted specifically to fit each individual’s body and hormone levels. Bio-identical hormones have the exact chemical structure as the hormones in the human body. The body recognizes them and allows them to mimic the functions of the hormones the body produces on its own.
A compounding pharmacist can provide a hormone evaluation for the patient to fill out. A pharmacist experienced in BHRT may also help interpret the results of serum or saliva tests, which measure a patient’s hormone levels. A pharmacist experienced in BHRT can use the results of these diagnostic tools to consult with the patient and her physician about her symptoms and help determine a course of treatment that will give the patient the exact amount of hormones her body needs.
Working closely with a woman and her healthcare provider, a compounding pharmacist can help a woman start and maintain a bio-identical hormone replacement regimen that brings her hormones back into balance and closely mimics what her body has been doing naturally for years. With a healthcare provider’s prescriptions, the pharmacist can prepare hormones in a variety of strengths and dosage forms, including: capsules, topical or vaginal creams, gels and foams; suppositories; and sublingual drops or troches. Once the therapy is begun, the pharmacist will continue to work with the woman and her practitioner to make sure the BHRT is working correctly, adjusting the dosage if necessary, ensuring that the medication is just right for her body.