We often focus on using bioidentical hormones as therapy (BHRT) to treat the symptoms of perimenopause and post-menopause. Today, however, we’re going to look at how BHRT can improve the lives of young women. You may be a young woman reading this. Or you may have younger women relatives you’d be interested to help with this information.
In this article we’ll also bust two myths:
- Hormone replacement therapy for women is dangerous.
- Hormone replacement therapy is only for middle-aged women
The fact is that, when appropriate, hormone replacement therapy with bioidentical hormones can improve the lives of women of any age.
More specifically, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is commonly suitable as a safe and effective way to treat hormone imbalances in adolescent women, young women, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Problems in Young Women When Bioidentical Hormones Could Help
If you’re a young woman who suffers from the symptoms of hormone imbalance, then you know that something’s up with your body.
You may have been told over and over again that acne, cramps, and mood swings are all part of the menstrual cycle. You may have even been told that irregular periods are just part of life. This isn’t necessarily true.
The truth is that once you get into your late teens and early 20s, your menstrual cycle should be firmly established.
Yes, you may have some ups and downs and a little discomfort, but irregularity, disruptive pain, and emotional swings are not a normal part of a healthy menstrual cycle. These are actually symptoms of a hormone imbalance. In fact, what people commonly refer to as PMS is a catch-all term for hormone imbalance symptoms.
In menstruating women, these symptoms can include:
- Excessively painful periods
- Frequent headaches
- Heavy bleeding
- Mood swings
- Uterine fibroids
- Irregular periods
- Excessive hair growth
- Ovarian cysts
Since these symptoms are caused by hormone imbalances and nutrient or vitamin deficiencies, you should see them as red flags and seek treatment.
The reason is that, when left untreated, these symptoms can worsen and lead to anxiety disorder, other mental/emotional problems, and even common eating disorders.
Working with a doctor to find the root cause of these symptoms and treat them can bring not only relief but an improvement in your health and overall wellbeing.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Before 40?
For some women, it’s not just about PMS. For them, it’s about POI. Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) occurs when your ovaries stop functioning properly before you hit 40. If this happens, your ovaries stop producing the typical amounts of estrogen you expect or stop releasing eggs regularly, which can lead to infertility.
POI looks a lot like premature menopause, but in fact women with primary ovarian insufficiency have irregular periods for years and might even get pregnant. In contrast, women with premature menopause stop having periods and can’t become pregnant.
POI is pretty rare, admittedly. But in addition to causing infertility and uncomfortable symptoms, POI is associated with
- decreased bone density
- increased risk of fractures
- early progression of cardiovascular disease
- depression, anxiety, and decreased perceived psychosocial support
- early decline in cognition
- dry eye syndrome
The good news is this. Research has shown that appropriate use of HRT, especially with bioidentical hormones, can increase the quality of life and decrease associated health risks in women suffering from POI.
We’re Back to HRT and Myth #1
Let’s clear the air. The root cause of all of the controversy around HRT is a study done decades ago by The Women’s Health Initiative. Unfortunately, the media released the results to the public before researchers were completely done interpreting them. This caused a panic among women taking HRT and the doctors who were prescribing it.
Since then, it has become clear that the media was misinformed. Unfortunately, the effects of the panic still linger, while the scientific data doesn’t get much attention.
Yes, the results of the WHI study showed serious risks for menopausal women who, on average, were 63 years old, but these results should not be applied to young women with POI or early menopause. If you have an estradiol deficiency, you need to “replace” the hormones that you’re deficient in. And the best way to do this is with bioidentical hormones.
How to Naturally Balance Hormones With Bioidentical Hormones
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is the most effective way to treat a hormone imbalance.
What are bioidentical hormones? Manufacturers make them from plant derivatives. They’re the exact same size and shape as your own hormone molecules. Therefore, they’re like identical twins to your own hormones, making them more easily recognized by your body. Bioidentical hormones are also linked to fewer adverse side effects than traditional synthetic hormones used in HRT.
Why not just use birth control pills to balance hormones in younger women?
For some women, this is a reasonable solution but traditional oral contraceptives are a one-size-fits-all approach. There’s a standard amount of hormones in birth control pills, which means that you may be getting too little or too much of a particular hormone.
In contrast, the pharmacy customizes the amount and ratio of hormones used in BHRT to every individual, which means your body gets exactly the amount of hormones it needs to function optimally.
BHRT also comes with more medical support. For example, most women on the pill have never even had a doctor check their hormone levels. BHRT doctors frequently check hormone levels to make sure they stay in balance throughout your cycle and changes of lifestyle.
Unfortunately, in addition, synthetic contraceptives have been found to link to severe side effects such as migraines, frequent headaches, severe mood swings, weight gain, depression, and several different forms of cancer. So the pill isn’t always the best option.
Luckily women of any age, younger or older, can have bioidentical hormones. In the form of BHRT pellet therapy, this is a very convenient way to solve hormone imbalance.
We’re Here To Help
Are you sick of being told to take some Midol and stop complaining? Are you concerned that your ovaries may be malfunctioning or that you’re going into menopause way before your time?
Our team takes a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment. We will listen to and respect your concerns, take a deep dive into your medical history and labs, and work with you to create a treatment plan to get you and your menstrual cycle back on track. Our goal is for you to live your best life and feel great doing it! Contact us for a consultation.