Bioidentical Estrogen: How to Take it and Why

happy women sitting in sunlight to illustrate bioidentical estrogen
Medically Reviewed
October 10, 2022

Do you feel your energy isn’t what it used to be? Are you experiencing mood swings, irregular periods, irritability, insomnia, or hot flashes? Low estrogen may be to blame. But that doesn’t mean you must accept it. Bioidentical estrogen can help you fight back and restore vitality, wellbeing, and your zest for life.

The problem is that age and hormone imbalance take a toll on your energy levels, libido, and body composition. And specifically, when it comes to estrogen, you can’t hide from the fact that it will naturally decrease over the years and affect your overall health.

But there’s no reason to panic! With a little help from bioidentical estrogen and estradiol creams, it’s possible to restore your hormonal balance and live well at any age.

Treatment is available in creams, pills, pellets, patches, and other forms. But before we dive into bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for estrogen imbalance, let’s look at estrogen and why it’s essential for your body’s functioning.

Estrogen: Crucial for Your Sexual and Reproductive Health

Estrogen is the sex hormone responsible for developing sex characteristics, including physical changes in the body, menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy.

Even though everyone produces estrogen, it’s most associated with women, as it plays a key role in the female reproductive cycle.

We often get asked: “What’s the difference between estrogen and estradiol?” Surprisingly, there are more than 15 forms of estrogen in the body, each of which has its function, and only one is estradiol.

The three primary estrogens, therefore, are:

  • Estrone (E1): the primary form of estrogen after menopause.
  • Estradiol (E2): the primary form of estrogen present in the body during reproductive years.
  • Estriol (E3): the primary form of estrogen during pregnancy.

Estrogen levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle and throughout a woman’s life, with high and low peaks. These fluctuations are normal, and a decline in production is simply a natural part of growing older.

However, if your estrogen levels are consistently high or low, you may suffer from a specific health condition or may be going through menopause. In either case, low levels of estrogen can cause mild to severe symptoms, including:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Low sex drive
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hot flashes
  • Lack of focus
  • Irritability
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Discomfort having sex
  • Infertility

But, women do not have to endure the symptoms associated with declining hormone levels. These symptoms can drastically affect your quality of life, but lifestyle changes and bioidentical hormone therapy are effective ways to reduce them.

Let’s move on to look at how you can live well, even with low estrogen.

What is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?

Bioidentical hormones differ from traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because they come from natural sources, like yams, soybeans, and other plants.

They’re also made in a lab, but unlike synthetic drugs, these are plant-based and designed to be chemically identical to the hormones produced by your body.

There are two kinds available:

1 Commercial bioidentical hormones are FDA-approved, regulated, and available under prescription at any pharmacy.

2 Custom-made bioidentical hormones are ones your doctor needs to order at a special compounding pharmacy. The pharmacy creates the product following an individual prescription for you, a specific patient with specific needs!

Bioidentical Estrogen

As we’ve implied, plant-based estrogen, or bioidentical estrogen, identically matches the molecular structure of the natural estrogen your body produces – increasing its levels and relieving the symptoms of imbalance.

Your Nava practitioner will mainly prescribe this treatment

  • to improve your symptoms of perimenopause, when hormone levels change unpredictably, or
  • to increase your estrogen levels at menopause when your body lowers or entirely stops producing this hormone

The most prescribed form of bioidentical estrogen is estradiol. Bioidentical estradiol may come in different forms, including:

  • Creams
  • Gels
  • Capsules
  • Patches
  • Sprays
  • Shots
  • Implanted pellets

Bioidentical Estradiol Creams

Plant-based estradiol creams replace the most active form of estrogen: estradiol. You’ll remember that this is the estrogen produced by your ovaries during your reproductive years.

When you reach menopause or undergo surgical removal of the ovaries (hysterectomy), your body’s production of estradiol drops or stops, causing all those symptoms mentioned above. But you can fight them with bioidentical estradiol creams.

They’re a safe and effective way to relieve the hot flashes and sexual discomfort caused by low estrogen levels. There are many options available in the market, from external-use creams applied on the skin to internal-use ones applied directly in the vagina to relieve dryness, itchiness, and pain during sexual intercourse.

Is Bioidentical Estrogen Safe?

Most commercialized bioidentical estrogen is FDA-approved, as we said, meaning it has passed safety tests. However, like any hormone treatment, there are some risks.

The best way to know if it’s safe for you is to talk to your Nava practitioner, who will analyze your lab results and prescribe the best bioidentical hormone replacement treatment after taking into consideration your medical history and needs.

Some side effects may occur until your body gets used to the new estrogen levels. If they persist, your doctor will adjust the dosage. Some common ones may include:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems (acne)
  • Increased facial hair
  • Headaches
  • Spotting
  • Cramps
  • Mood swings
  • Itchiness and redness in the area that receives the product

Natural Ways of Increasing Estrogen Levels

In addition to bioidentical hormone therapy, you can adopt a few natural habits to increase your estrogen levels.

Getting enough sleep and exercise may help you cope with the symptoms of hormone imbalance. But making a few changes in your diet can be crucial for an overall improvement of your quality of life.

For example, some foods and supplements contain phytoestrogens, plant-based natural estrogen that acts similarly to the estrogen produced by your body. Some common foods with phytoestrogens include:

  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Berries
  • Fruits

How Nava Health Can Help

At Nava Health, we understand that hormone imbalance is a real constraint to wellbeing. But it doesn’t have to be like that. We’re dedicated to finding the root cause of the issue and building a custom plan to relieve your symptoms and improve your overall wellness so you can live a healthy life at any age.

Bioidentical estrogen treatment is just one of those solutions.

Our holistic and functional approach to medicine addresses the problem from its root to help you find long-lasting relief instead of a temporary fix for your estrogen imbalance.

In addition, Nava’s BHRT doctors will prescribe the best delivery method suited to your needs, combining protocols and hormone supplements so that you can uncover your best version today.

Schedule a consultation and discover our bioidentical hormonal replacement treatments.

Image attribution

Estrogen decreases with age. Learn how bioidentical estrogen can help you fight back, restoring vitality, wellbeing, and zest for life!