Hormone Replacement Therapy
Two of the biggest questions we get about hormone replacement therapy are “What is it? Is it healthy?” Your concerns are important to us, so here’s a quick breakdown that illustrates exactly what we do:
Bioidentical hormones aren’t as complicated as they sound
In fact, they are actually very simple: bioidentical hormones are hormones that are chemically identical to the natural ones your body once produced in larger quantities. The chemical structure, behaviors, and interactions of bioidentical hormones are identical to those that naturally occur in your body.
Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy (NHRT or HRT) is the use of bioidentical hormones like estrogens, progesterone, and/or testosterone to treat imbalances and deficiencies. While it is normal for your body to gradually decrease (or even stop) the production of these important hormones over time, it is important to remember that we are at our healthiest when our hormones are at natural optimal levels.
Hormone imbalances and deficiencies present themselves as various symptoms. NHRT works to alleviate your hormone imbalance symptoms, including a mix of:
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Poor sleep
- Lack of energy
- Inability to lose weight
- Weight gain or muscle mass loss for no apparent reason
- Mood swings, depression, or anxiety
- Decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, or erectile dysfunction
- Osteoporosis or joint pain
- Loss of focus or chronic fatigue (leading to lots of afternoon naps or relying on caffeine)
How we empower you
We understand how exhausted, frustrated, and oftentimes embarrassed you currently feel. Unlike other doctors, we:
- Listen to your symptoms to ensure we understand your quality of life goals
- Draw blood samples to determine where your hormone levels currently sit
- Optimize your levels for you to eliminate symptoms and protect your body
- Treat you as our own family, not as another number on a piece of paper
- Offer combination treatments for sexual medicine and weight loss concerns
Meet Tim, who is now happier and more intimate with his wife thanks to hormone replacement therapy:
The big 3
- Goals of the program
- Underlying health issues
- Rejuvenating your intimacy
Focus 1: Goals of the program
We truly believe that Hormone Replacement Therapy can be the spark to change your life around. Our goal is to empower you to overcome the dreaded symptoms of menopause and andropause. We want you to feel youthful again, whether that means adding a little romance back into your most intimate relationships, having the energy to hit the gym or play with your kids or grandkids, or even sleeping more soundly than you do now. Our program is here to serve your needs and add energy and joy back into your health, happiness, and relationships.
Focus 2: Underlying health issues
Research has found that low hormone levels directly impact your energy, muscle and fat mass, metabolism, libido, cholesterol level, blood pressure, and development of illness and diseases like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. This is exactly why we require comprehensive bloodwork to start our program. More often than not, we find more than just hormone issues. Luckily, by using natural hormone replacement, we are able to bring your body and health back into balance to get you off statin drugs that can have negative long-term effects on your body.
Focus 3: Rejuvenating your intimacy
We hear it almost every day – “You saved my marriage.” Many patients come in because as they age, they don’t quite feel as healthy as they used to. In a month or two, they see a transformation in their health, energy, mood, and libido. Intimacy issues – from vaginal dryness to erectile dysfunction to low desire – all improve or vanish altogether. As one spouse improves, we soon see the other walk through our doors!
Fill out our online consultation form to get started with us
The easiest way to get started is to fill out a health history form. Our providers will look over your goals and health history before contacting you to get your initial bloodwork scheduled.
Frequently Asked Questions
People with an underactive thyroid have Hypothyroidism. This metabolic imbalance has symptoms like:
- Decreased energy, fatigue, and cognition
- Forgetfulness or confusion
- Weight gain or joint pain
- Thin hair, brittle nails, or dry skin
PCOS is difficult to diagnose because symptoms vary from woman to woman. Many women with PCOS experience weight gain or obesity, as well as acne, hairiness, and insulin resistance. You can learn more here or take a free PCOS self-assesment.
Vitamin D and DHEA deficiencies are linked to symptoms like:
- Fatigue or depression
- Loss of strength and muscle mass
- Decreased sex drive
- Impaired immune function
- Aching joints
- Serious illnesses like diabetes and colon and breast cancer
Men begin Andropause (“male menopause”) in their 30’s and 40’s, and often struggle with:
- Becoming fully erect like when they were 18 years old
- Maintaining an erection
- Achieving an orgasm
This is most often because of a decrease in testosterone, but can also be due to a lack of blood flow from aging or surgery. We have a revolutionary 3-step approach to revitalizing your intimacy – read more here.
As women age, estrogen levels slowly decline. Women who have experienced menopause, a hysterectomy, or chemotherapy will see a more dramatic drop in their estrogen levels. This lack of estrogen results:
- Thin, dry, or inflamed vaginal walls
- Vaginal discomfort
- Vaginal itching
- Decreased lubrication
We mostly use small pellets to deliver the hormones into your body. Pellets are:
- The size of the grain of rice
- Inserted under the skin of the fatty part of the buttocks
- Dissolve completely over the next 3-6 months, leaving no residual effects
After the first pellet insertion, peak lab levels are drawn around 4 weeks. Our providers then review the results to ensure an appropriate hormone dosage is prescribed. You’ll then come in every 3-6 months (depending on your medical history) for a recurring pellet insertion.
Our medical providers use a local anesthetic to make the procedure essentially painless. The whole process only takes a few minutes.
We also offer topical testosterone creams that are applied daily to the genitals. Only a small percentage of our patients are using creams, because:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding cannot use it
- Transference can be an issue, especially with children around the house
- Clothes, bedding, towels can absorb the cream, so they must be washed to avoid transference too
- It requires consistent, daily application to remain effective
Bioidentical hormones are superior to synthetic hormones, which have been altered in a lab to resemble our natural hormones. Pharmaceutical companies alter these hormones so they can obtain patent protection on the product. This allows them to obtain FDA-approval, acquire insurance coverage, and generate and protect profits. Natural hormones, on the other hand, can’t be patented since they are naturally-occurring.
As an example, the structures below represent the differences between natural progesterone and Provera (a synthetic progesterone from Pfizer). Unfortunately, since Provera has been altered, there are a lot of risks because our bodies can’t completely break down the synthetic hormone, leaving a free radical structure. This ultimately increases the chances of cancer and other comorbidities. To reiterate, these risks are NOT found in bioidentical progesterone or other NHRT hormones.
Another example: Testosterone
We understand that the majority of doctors are unaware of the differences between hormone replacement therapy vs. Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy and unfortunately often associate the risks of the first with the second.
We also understand that providers cannot specialize in every facet of medicine, specifically in this case, hormone therapy. At Your Wellness Center, we do not specialize in OB/GYN and therefore would not offer specific medical advice when it comes to that field. We would suggest that you go see a specialist. In terms of Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, we are that specialist.
We are up-to-date on the latest evidence-based research and studies. Every provider at YWC attends numerous conferences a year specifically geared towards BHRT and the evolution of the practice. We can provide you with the most current medical literature regarding the use of HRT to promote health and wellness.
Ultimately, the patient should understand that they are in charge of their health and should educate themselves on any treatments they undertake.
Yes, we are normally able to help you feel better because our providers interpret lab results differently than traditional methods. We want to treat you and the symptoms you have, so we don’t base our medical decisions on whether your blood draw number falls within the “normal” range on a piece of paper. We see men and women every day who come in with “normal” lab results – but they’re still experiencing a myriad of symptoms that are associated with a “low” level! This tells our providers that you are not part of this “normal” population, and therefore shouldn’t be treated as such.
Our experienced providers will work with you to improve your quality of life, bring your lab levels to the best optimal range possible, and ensure that you are being treated as an individual, not just a number on a piece of paper.
“Treat the symptoms, NOT the numbers.”
Of course! We strive to be on the forefront of hormone optimization research, and believe that using bioidentical hormones are the best step to helping our clients’ improve their quality of life. To this end, we are proud to be a part of a select group of physician practices with an advanced-level training in the newly established Advanced Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (ABHRT) Certification Program. This allows us to use specialized pharmacies called “Compounding Pharmacies” to prescribe natural progesterone, testosterone, and estradiol for clients.
Our typical client comes to us between the ages of 30-65. They are usually experiencing symptoms associated with menopause and andropause (male menopause). Each patient experiences a unique mixture of symptoms. Some hormonal changes happen overnight, while others can be a gradual change over multiple years or even a decade.
But there is one universal truth: no one knows your body like you do. If you think something is wrong or missing, trust what your body is telling you.