Middle age is a time of great emotional growth and hormonal change. Whether you’re a woman going through menopause or a man going through andropause, your hormones are in flux. It affects your body functions and can send you on an emotional roller coaster.

Fortunately, you have options, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). This treatment stabilizes your hormone levels and puts your emotions on a more even keel.

At Viva Health, board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Aleksander Bodnar uses bioidentical hormones to restore balance to the lives of his patients in Clifton and Clark, New Jersey. Here’s what you need to know about BHRT and four major benefits it provides.

What are bioidentical hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant estrogens, chemically identical to those produced in the human body. They interact normally with your hormone receptors, evening out your physical and emotional responses and diminishing uncomfortable symptoms.

Dr. Bodnar also uses compounded formulas. These custom-made medications contain the bioidentical hormone combined with other medications that meet your needs.

The FDA has approved some manufactured bioidentical hormones but no custom compounds. However, you can rest assured that when Dr. Bodnar uses these preparations “off label,” he does so with the utmost care and regard for your well-being and safety.

Bioidentical hormones come in a variety of delivery methods, including oral pills, implanted pellets, patches, injections, and topical creams and gels.

Dr. Bodnar prefers to insert hormone-containing pellets just under the skin or administer a topical cream. These methods lessen your risk of side effects or adverse reactions.

The pellets work for about 3-4 months, after which he reevaluates your hormone status. If you’re doing fine, he can reimplant the pellets; if not, he can modify your treatment.

4 benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy

The first, and perhaps most important, benefit of BHRT is it treats problematic symptoms of menopause and andropause.

Menopausal symptoms are caused by decreased estrogen levels, and they can drag on for years as a woman’s body winds down its reproductive capacity. These include:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Vaginal atrophy
  • Decreased libido
  • Poor sleep
  • Depression, mood changes, and irritability
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Loss of lean muscle mass
  • Overall weight gain

Andropausal symptoms are caused by a gradual decrease in testosterone production (low T), usually starting after about age 30. These include:

  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Low blood counts
  • Mood changes
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Poor sleep
  • Unexplained weight gain leading to obesity

The second benefit is that BHRT can help you maintain bone density, warding off osteoporosis. This bone-thinning disease, caused by decreasing hormone levels, can make the bones fragile and leave you vulnerable to spontaneous fractures, especially in the spine.

The third benefit is that BHRT may reduce your risk for diabetes, tooth loss (related to bone loss in the jaw), and cataracts. Researchers have even suggested it can help hydrate and maintain more youthful skin.

The fourth benefit is a big one: BHRT helps rev up your libido, decrease painful symptoms of sex, and enhance your performance in the bedroom — all important to a healthy and happy life.

If you’re going through that “time of change,” bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may be a way to diminish the symptoms and move forward. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bodnar, call Viva Health, or book online today.

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