What Can I Anticipate When Starting BHRT?
In the initial weeks of treatment, you might experience minor side effects as your body adjusts to the new medication. This is normal, as most medications have short-term side effects during the acclimatization process. These side effects may include mood swings, tenderness at the application or injection site (depending on the delivery method), headaches, breast tenderness, and water retention. These effects should diminish after a few weeks.
As your body adapts to the BHRT protocol, you may notice a quick alleviation of some hormone deficiency symptoms. Within a couple of weeks, you may experience increased energy, improved sleep, stabilized moods, and relief from hot flashes and night sweats.
Other changes like enhanced body composition, heightened libido, relief from sexual dysfunction, sustained high energy levels and an overall zest for life usually manifest after about eight to ten weeks.
Follow-up consultation and testing are typically scheduled after three months to assess your progress. Adjustments to your protocol may be needed to optimize your levels. This is an excellent opportunity to update your provider on how you’ve been feeling, whether you’re still experiencing symptoms, and how the protocol is working for you. You will continue to have follow-up consultations with your medical provider every six months to review and adjust, ensuring your levels remain optimized. Given that bodies and hormone levels change over time, it’s crucial to continually monitor and adjust your protocol to continue enjoying the full benefits of BHRT.
What is the duration for Hormone Replacement Therapy?
BHRT is an ongoing treatment. Hormone imbalance symptoms arise when your body ceases to produce adequate hormones or produces them in insufficient amounts. Presently, there are no treatments that can permanently stimulate the body to produce more hormones. Therefore, BHRT replenishes the deficient levels to provide relief from symptoms.
To sustain elevated hormone levels and feel better, it’s essential to continue your BHRT protocol. Discontinuing BHRT will result in a return to the lowered hormone levels you experienced before, leading to a recurrence of disruptive symptoms that initially drove you to seek treatment.
How Soon Before Hormone Replacement Therapy Takes Effect?
How soon BHRT works varies from patient to patient since it involves optimizing levels to each patient’s requirements and it takes time for medications to accumulate in the body and produce an effect.
Some patients report positive changes within a few weeks, including improved moods, better sleep quality, increased energy levels, and relief from hot flash episodes. In general, most of the lasting benefits of BHRT take about 8 to 10 weeks to fully materialize. These benefits encompass heightened libido, reduced sexual discomfort or pain during intercourse, improved vaginal dryness, stabilized moods, an easier time maintaining healthy body composition, and overall enthusiasm for life, which may have been lacking before.
Consistency and optimization are crucial with BHRT. It’s vital to adhere closely to your BHRT program, take your doses as prescribed at the same times and days, and maintain regular follow-up consultations and lab work. Your provider will make necessary adjustments to optimize your protocol for the best results.
Is BHRT Covered by Insurance?
BHRT is sometimes covered by insurance when administered through a Primary Care physician or traditional doctor, although this is not common. Additionally, insurance companies usually do not cover all the necessary elements for you to feel your best. Brand-name prescriptions also often lack the dosage and delivery system variations needed to create the best plan for you.
Menopausal women who commence a BHRT protocol will not resume regular menstrual cycles. A woman is considered to have reached menopause if she has not had a period for at least 12 months. Menopausal women are typically prescribed a consistent dose of Progesterone to prevent the uterine lining from developing, thereby eliminating the need for menstrual bleeding.
While menopausal women do not regain regular cycles, they may experience spotting as they adapt to their protocols and their provider fine-tunes the hormone dosages. Achieving the right balance of Estrogen and Progesterone is essential to relieve hormone imbalance symptoms while preventing uterine tissue buildup that leads to menstruation. Typically, this spotting is nothing to worry about and clears up as patients reach hormone optimization.
Perimenopausal women, who still experience periods but also have hormone imbalance symptoms, will continue to menstruate. However, BHRT may make menstruation more predictable and easier for them, as changes in Estrogen during perimenopause can lead to challenging periods.
Can You Experience Menstruation While on Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Are Birth Control Pills Equivalent to Hormone Replacement Therapy?
No, birth control does not equate to BHRT. Birth control does not balance hormone levels, and BHRT does not provide contraceptive protection.
Although both treatments involve female hormones, their goals differ significantly. Birth control aims to suppress ovulation and decrease the likelihood of pregnancy, making menstrual cycles more regular and manageable. The hormone dosages in birth control are tailored for this purpose and are intended for women with active cycles who have not yet entered menopause. On the other hand, BHRT is designed to replenish hormone levels from an external source for women whose bodies no longer produce sufficient hormones.
BHRT is often prescribed to menopausal women who no longer menstruate. However, it can also be recommended to perimenopausal women experiencing hormone imbalance who still require contraception. If you are considering BHRT while also needing birth control, discuss a plan to address both needs with your provider.
Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss is often a symptom of hormone deficiency. Declining levels of female hormones, Estrogen and Progesterone, can result in brittle hair, thinning, and increased hair loss. Many women notice heightened hair loss and thinning as they approach menopausal age. Replenishing hormone levels and achieving hormone balance can alleviate this symptom, leading to thicker hair and less noticeable hair loss.
Hence, it is unlikely for BHRT to cause hair loss unless your protocol is not sufficiently tailored, potentially worsening the imbalance between female hormones and androgens and causing hair loss and thinning. This underscores the importance of regular follow-up consultations and comprehensive lab work to ensure a successful BHRT protocol that provides the appropriate dosages for you.
If you are predisposed to androgenic alopecia, a genetic sensitivity to the androgenic hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), you may experience hair loss and thinning once your hormone levels are optimized. This isn’t caused by BHRT itself but by the genetic hair loss condition; balanced hormone levels simply make the symptoms more apparent. iPharma Pharmacy offers prescription-strength hair loss formulations that can help with this.
Can BHRT Lead to Weight Gain?
Many women are hesitant to start BHRT because they fear it causes weight gain. In truth, hormone imbalance can cause changes in body composition and fat accumulation, particularly in hard-to-lose areas like the abdomen.
Hormones play a vital role in regulating body composition throughout the body. Androgens like Testosterone, produced by both men and women, also contribute to muscle growth and overall physical fitness. A decrease in these hormones can lead to unwanted fat gain. Moreover, hormone imbalance can make it harder to lose weight. Optimizing your hormones can help your body perform at an optimal level. Combining BHRT with a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle will help you to achieve your ideal fitness level.