Hormone therapy has been considered as one of the effective solutions for treatment for a long time now and there are many women and health experts out there who are still debating regarding the fact whether it is worth it or not. The trial for using hormone therapy had been going for some time before there were any women who came forward saying that there were added risks. And that is the reason why hormone therapy had to be discontinued. Even though it is still considered one of the most effective treatments for certain symptoms, there are many women who do not want to go back to it.
That is when the concept of natural hormones came into the picture because people thought they would be safer. But what exactly are natural hormones? It was considered that any product the principal ingredient of which was derived from an animal, plant, or mineral source was considered as a natural hormone. However, there is no certain evidence that these natural hormones are actually safe or not.
What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are those which have a similar molecular structure to those hormones that women naturally produce in their bodies. They are synthetic in nature and are usually made from a plant chemical that is extracted from soy and yams. Today the bioidentical estrogens are typically 17 beta-estradiol, estriol, and estrone. The important thing that is needed to know is that estradiol is the hormone that decreases in quantity in the bodies of the women after menopause.
The reason why bioidentical hormone therapy is also referred to as natural hormone therapy is that these bioidentical hormones behave the same way as the hormones that are generated inside the bodies of women. On a technical note, your body is unable to differentiate between the bioidentical hormones and the ones which your ovaries actually produce. When you take any blood test the total quantity of estradiol includes the bioidentical estradiol you consume along with the natural estradiol your body is producing.
Where can you find bioidentical estradiol?
Today most of the bioidentical hormones are converted into a wide range of products and many of them are even FDA approved. You can just get them with a prescription at a local drug store. Bioidentical estradiol is now commercially available in different forms like the pill, patch, cream, gel, and many more.
When it is consumed in the form of a pill, the bioidentical estradiol is converted into estrone in the liver but if it is consumed in the form of a patch, it just enters the bloodstream as bioidentical estradiol. Another way to take bioidentical estradiol directly to the bloodstream is to apply the cream or gel on your legs and arms.
However, there is no evidence as to whether it is safe or it actually works. But according to reports, it has been noticed that it works in relieving hot flashes and vaginal dryness. However, women need to make sure that whatever hormone they are taking, has to be FDA approved.
Side effects, uses, and effectiveness of bioidentical estradiol.
Estradiol is typically used to treat estrogen-related conditions and estradiol treatment has been proved to be effective after Menopause. Every form of estradiol is not approved for hormone replacement therapy, but it is better to consult your Healthcare provider so as to know whether it is safe for you or not.
You can get estradiol as a generic skin patch and there are different brands available out there for you to choose from. The generic version comes in the price range between $33 to $63.
Coming to the side effects, estradiol may have some effects when it is applied directly on the vagina like itching and a higher amount of secretions. There may be some more serious Side Effects as well like fungal infections. Hormones like these are typically known to increase the amount of melanin produced in the body which is responsible for providing pigmentation to the skin. Hence some areas of your body can darken.
There may be some rare but severe side effects as well as high blood pressure, blood clotting, heart attack, low calcium, gallbladder, etc. The fibroid present in a uterus can also enlarge due to this and the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer also increases.
Using any estrogen hormone-like bioidentical estradiol is a risky factor and it is very important to consult a doctor about your medical history before using it.