Progesterone is Beneficial for Women and should be Included in any Hormone Replacement Therapy Regime
As women begin to age, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone—the result is a hormonal imbalance than can wreak havoc in a person’s life, if not treated. This is also the time when women turn to their doctors in hopes of finding some relief. The uncomfortable symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, weight gain and low libido.
As a woman, it is important to be educated on the facts and ensure your Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is safe, effective, and most importantly, right for you.
HRT is a controversial topic, even amongst doctors. That’s because HRT is a complicated process and it is certainly not a one-size-fits-all kind of treatment.
Typically, doctors will prescribe an estrogen-only therapy to their patients or a combination of estrogen and progesterone or progestin, which is a synthetic form of progesterone.
Knowing the origin of the hormones prescribed is vital when following a HRT regime. Not all hormones are created equal. Bio-identical hormones, also known as natural hormones, are substances that have the same chemical structure as the hormones that are produced by the human body. These are the ones you should be taking rather than the synthetic forms, which can cause negative side effects.
The use of estrogen-only therapy versus including progesterone is also a topic of debate. Women are prescribed a combination of estrogen and a progestin because progesterone can prevent cancer in the uterus. Unfortunately, also because of this, women who have had a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) are placed on estrogen-only therapies.
This is a mistake and should be avoided as more and more studies continue to show that regardless of whether a woman has a uterus or not, HRT should include progesterone not progestin due to its many benefits, which include better sleep, weight loss, neuroprotection, reduced risk of several types of cancer as well as a reduced risk for heart disease and osteoporosis. When taken before and during pregnancy, progesterone is associated with a reduced incidence of birth defects.
It is important to understand that a hormonal imbalance is not caused solely by a lack of estrogen in the body; the problem arises when there is a dominance of estrogen with a progesterone deficiency.
The study of hormones is complicated and requires extensive training because altering hormones will trigger reactions in the body and also change other hormones, but if done correctly, it can improve quality of life.
With the increased popularity of hormone replacement services, your primary care doctor’s office may not be the best place to seek treatment. When dealing with hormones, it is critical to work with a specialized practitioner to ensure safety and efficacy.
As a functional medicine practice, Bellissimo Medical specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and our goal is to ensure your body has an adequate balance of testosterone, progesterone and estradiol, even if you have had a hysterectomy.
Call us today and schedule your free consultation at 954.384.8989. Dr. Jean-Claude Nerette is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Functional Medicine and Stephanie Muniz Nerette is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner and a Diplomate to the Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. Bellissimo Medical is located at 2665 Executive Park Drive, Suite #3, in Weston.