John A. Whitfield, MD
Gynecology and Gynecologic Surgery located in Fort Worth, TX
Hormone replacement therapy can help menopausal women to live more comfortable and healthy lives. But, it isn’t for everyone. Dr. John A. Whitfield can evaluate your risk factors and help you to determine the best treatment option to combat symptoms of menopause. Dr. Whitfield is an expert gynecologist who is well-versed in hormone replacement treatment including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in the Fort Worth area in Texas. To discuss how hormone replacement therapy may help you, call our office, or book your appointment online today.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Q & A
What is hormone replacement therapy?
Menopause is the time when the ovaries stop producing hormones and the average age is 51. Aging, illness, and lifestyle cause direct changes in your body that can alter your hormonal balance. When the delicate balance of hormones is swayed, unwelcome symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, weight gain, low libido, and mood swings can occur. To keep your optimal quality of life, Dr. Whitfield may suggest bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), including pellets.
BHRT is a type of treatment in which you take hormones to prevent osteoporosis or symptoms of menopause. Specific hormones that BHRT aims to increase or balance include those linked to reproduction and youthfulness like estrogen, progesterone, and sometimes, testosterone. Dr. Whitfield will suggest various forms of BHRT based on your needs as a woman and your symptoms. This could mean creams, lotions, injections, gels, or tablets will relieve your symptoms and allow you to enjoy your normal life.
What is BHRT and why would I need it?
Bioidentical means the hormone molecule is exactly the same as the molecule produced by your ovaries. And whether the molecule comes from a plant, an animal or is synthesized in the lab, it is still bioidentical. It's just like water coming from a mountain stream, the rain or a lab, H2O is H2O.
When a woman goes through menopause, two hormones that are lost include estrogen and testosterone. Loss of estrogen results in hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and bone loss(osteoporosis). We treat these symptoms with estrogen. Loss of testosterone results in sleep disturbances, fatigue, moodiness, irritability, poor concentration, poor memory, low sex drive and difficulty losing weight. These symptoms can be treated with testosterone. These homes can be given in several forms including pills, patches, gels, injections and pellets. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Are there risk factors for hormone replacement?
A clinical trial in 2002 found that certain hormones and certain delivery methods HRT can increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases and some cancers. However, BHRT given properly can lessen those risks and can provide benefits for many women with menopausal symptoms.
What is Pellet Therapy?
Hormone pellets are solid cylinders no larger than a grain of rice that contains bioidentical estrogen or testosterone. These are an excellent way to deliver hormonal therapy because they can deliver a consistent level of hormones for 3-6 months. The ups and downs of hormone levels can result in side effects seen with other delivery systems. This includes not passing through the liver before going to the rest of the body which can result in unwanted risks including an increased risk of blood clots.
Pellets are placed under the skin in the hip or lower abdomen under a local anesthetic. The whole procedure takes less than 5 minutes and patients can return directly to work or their usual daily activity. It is recommended to avoid heavy exercise for about four days to allow the insertion site to heal. Over the next few months, they dissolve as the hormone is used up, so don’t need to be removed. Once used up, a new set of pellets can be inserted.
For an appointment, consultation or second opinion for menopause and hormone replacement therapy, call the office or request an appointment online with Dr. John A. Whitfield today.