Mood swings, irregular periods, hot flashes, restless legs, weight gain, insomnia… the list of symptoms of perimenopause can be long, and they can plague women at varying levels and times from your mid-thirties all the way through to your fifties. For women in the thick of perimenopause it can be gruelling. But there are solutions available, in the form of hormone replacement for women, to minimize these uncomfortable symptoms and navigate the minefield that is perimenopause, helping you to sleep better and feel like yourself again. At People’s Choice Pharmacy we specialize in custom compounding of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). Rumours abound and online searches can bring up confusing and contradictory results. So, let’s set the record straight on BHRT.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) For Women
BHRT is a way to ease menopause symptoms by replacing hormones that are on the decline. Your compounding pharmacist works closely with your doctor or Integrative medical practitioner to create a hormone supplement specific to your individual needs. BHRT supplements are tailor-made based on the results of in-depth laboratory testing in order to effectively treat your menopause symptoms in a way that mass-produced drugs cannot (although it is important to note that over-the-counter hormone therapy medications are not available in Canada). BHRT usually matches the needed combination of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, or thyroid hormones in the form of a topical cream, gel, spray, vaginal inserts, or pills.
When Should You Start Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Wondering when to start a BHRT program? Perimenopause symptoms can begin in some women as early as in their thirties. But in most cases, perimenopause starts affecting women between the ages of 40-44. BHRT may be suggested to support relatively young and healthy women aged between 35-59 who are bothered by moderate to severe menopausal symptoms.
Symptoms of Perimenopause
Some women are in perimenopause for only a short period of time. But for most, the process goes in waves which last from 4-8 years before the official start of menopause. The following symptoms are signs of perimenopause:
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Problems sleeping
- Decrease in vaginal lubrication
- Libido changes
- Bone loss
- Breast tenderness
- Cognitive decline
- Facial hair growth
- Changing cholesterol
BHRT For Menopause
All of these uncomfortable symptoms can be attributed to changing hormone levels in the body. That’s where bioidentical hormones step in to replace a woman’s naturally declining hormones. Predominantly, declining estrogen is to blame. However, there are other players in the game.
Decreased progesterone causes mood, cognitive, and bone density changes. Androgens such as Testosterone help to maintain bone density as well as contributing to the elasticity of the skin and sexual function. As women go through menopause declining androgens contribute to bone loss, wrinkles, and decreased libido.
The Most Common Forms of Compounded BHRT
We know that as we age our hormones are changing. So, how do we replace what’s missing to help minimize these life-altering symptoms? How do we maintain our fountain of youth? Our compounding pharmacists develop hormone replacement compounds in the following common formats:
- Sustained Release Capsules
- Vaginal Suppositories
- Sublingual Drops and Troches
BHRT cream is found to be the preferred method because it is easy to use and effective. Applying hormones to the skin in a topical form rather than taking a pill allows them to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Hormones in pill form tend to be less potent because they have to pass through the digestive system before entering into the bloodstream.
Consult Your Healthcare Practitioner
Hormones are powerful messengers that affect many different processes within the body and any intervention must be done judiciously by an experienced medical professional. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help to support your body and reduce the severity of symptoms that can occur when natural hormones are declining due to perimenopause and menopause. A consultation with a professional who has been specially trained in diagnosing, treating, and monitoring hormones will help you find out which BHRT option is most helpful for your specific needs.
The skilled and passionate staff at People’s Choice Compounding Pharmacy uses the highest quality naturally derived bioidentical hormones and ingredients available, the most state-of-the-art equipment, and our facilities meet the most rigorous standards in the industry. Together we can navigate the choppy waters of menopause with relative ease and comfort.
About People’s Choice Compounding Pharmacy
Serving Richmond Hill, Toronto, Markham & Vaughan
Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, People’s Choice Pharmacy is a state-of-the-art, innovative, full-service compounding pharmacy serving Toronto, Richmond Hill, Markham and Vaughan, and shipping across Ontario. Our certified technicians with 45 years of experience will custom compound your medications using top quality, lab-tested ingredients. Call to speak to a friendly, knowledgeable Pharmacist today!