Do alternatives for hormone replacement therapy exist? Yes! Available alternatives for hormone replacement therapy are of two primary forms – synthetic therapy and natural hormone replacement therapy.
The synthetic hormone replacement therapy drugs are not the same as natural hormones that occur in the body. Since substances occurring naturally cannot be patented, drug companies alter the molecular structure and create new substances that are patentable and therefore protected for business purposes. Examples are Premarin, Prempro and Provera – these synthetic drugs are different in their molecular structure from the estrogens and progesterone found in the human body.
But alternatives for hormone replacement therapy using synthetic drugs may not treat your symptoms of menopause safely! And the problem with synthetic drugs is – since they are different from what occurs naturally in the human body, the body treats them differently, and the result is often harmful side effects. Synthetic hormone replacement therapy risks may exceed the benefits based on numerous clinical trials such as the Women’s Health Initiative studies!
On the other hand, natural alternatives for hormone replacement therapy use natural estrogen and/or natural progesterone hormones. Natural hormones are also referred to as bioidentical hormones. Using safer natural alternatives for hormone replacement therapy is recommended by numerous physicians since the body is able to receive, use and eliminate the natural hormones as needed. Most women may not need synthetic drugs with related side effects to regain health and eliminate symptoms of hormone imbalance.
The two primary hormones for a woman are estrogen and progesterone. Both are needed to function normally and for good health. In a healthy woman and normal menstrual cycle, estrogen is the main hormone produced for the first 10-12 days following the previous menstrual flow. With ovulation, the body begins producing progesterone that continues for the next 12 days or so. If pregnancy does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels will drop at around day 28 and menstruation begins. However, if there is no ovulation, progesterone will not be produced by the body that cycle. This event is called an annovulatory cycle, and it is happens frequently today for women in their thirties and forties – no ovulation and no progesterone.
What this means is the woman will be deficient in progesterone with an excess of estrogen, which will likely result in symptoms of hormone imbalance. Progesterone balances or opposes many actions of estrogen. Without suitable progesterone in the body, symptoms of hormone imbalance will likely be experienced. The symptoms of hormone imbalance can be signs that your body isn’t getting the support it needs.
If the woman has had a hysterectomy, surgical menopause means the body produces little or no progesterone, creating hormone imbalance. And in postmenopausal women, the production of progesterone ceases as ovulation no longer happens. However, estrogen production will still be 40 to 60 percent of what it once was even after menopause.
How does a woman know more about appropriate natural alternatives for hormone replacement therapy? One way is to work with a naturopathic doctor who is schooled and trained in both conventional medicine and natural alternative medicine. If you are currently on synthetic HRT and want to change to natural HRT, you should consult with doctors experienced in the use of natural hormone replacement therapy. Naturopathic physicians are medical doctors that work to restore and support the body’s systems by using medicines and techniques that are in harmony with natural body processes. A naturopathic physician will prefer treatments which keep harmful side effects risks at a minimum.
Another way is to take the online hormone health test provided by a leading women’s health clinic. The online test takes just a few minutes and is free. Find out more about your health, symptoms, what the symptoms may be telling you and what to do about it based on your answers to important questions. And read more about hormone imbalance and physician-recommended natural alternatives for hormone replacement therapy.