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During the peri-menopause and menopause, your body can experience an imbalance, and ultimately, a deficiency in oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, low mood, anxiety, and stress incontinence. One of the main symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause that women come to us with is brain fog – often reporting that their brain feels like cotton wool. Worryingly, this decline in hormone levels can also be partially responsible for multiple diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

What is HRT?

Doctors prescribe HRT for many women who are going through the peri-menopause and menopause. HRT is short for Hormone Replacement Therapy, and aims, as the name suggests, to restore the balance of hormones in the body.

What are the side effects of HRT?

Whilst it can be beneficial for many patients, traditional HRT often comes with side effects. These include:
  • Bloating
  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Leg cramps
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Vaginal bleeding
If your GP has prescribed standard HRT, or even if you’re considering taking it and are concerned about the side effects, read on to find out about the alternatives to HRT.

Lifestyle changes and non-prescribed medication

There are several different ways of treating the symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause aside from traditional HRT. These include:
  • Exercise to help with menopause symptoms
Whilst there’s no evidence that exercise helps with hot flushes or night sweats, being more physically active is likely to reduce some of the other symptoms of menopause. For example, regular exercise can help you to sleep, lift your mood and reduce anxiety. Keeping active is particularly important after the menopause, as low oestrogen can lead to a lack of density in the bones. Muscle strengthening and weight-bearing exercises can help to keep your bones strong, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. If you are experiencing aches and pains in your joints during the peri-menopause, menopause, or afterwards, you should speak to your GP, as they can refer you to a physiotherapist.
  • Herbal medicine to treat menopause symptoms
Herbal medicines are those that are derived from plants or plant extracts, and are sometimes used by women to treat the symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause. Evening primrose oil and St John’s Wort are some of the more popular herbal medicines used during the menopause, and may reduce the severity, frequency and duration of hot flushes and night sweats.
  • Alternative medicines to treat menopause symptoms
Some women prefer to choose alternative medicines to treat the symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause. These include acupuncture, acupressure, and homeopathy, as well as complementary therapies such as aromatherapy, which are often used alongside HRT.
  • Non-hormonal prescribed treatments as an alternative to HRT
It may be that you are mainly suffering from one symptom of the peri-menopause or menopause, and not so much with others. If this is the case for you, your doctor may prescribe a non-hormonal medicine as an alternative to HRT, such as antidepressants if you are particularly troubled by low mood.
  • Bioidentical HRT as an alternative to traditional HRT
Many women who are experiencing symptoms related to peri-menopause and menopause will firstly seek advice from their GP. Often, a standard dose of HRT will be prescribed. These synthetic hormones are not found naturally in your body, and the levels are not adjusted to your individual needs. Consequently, traditional HRT can lead to some unwanted side effects. These include:
  • Bloating
  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Vaginal bleeding
The standard HRT prescribed by GPs aims to bring your hormones to a level that is described as being in a ‘normal range’. This range is based upon the levels of hormones in the general population, with data taken from individuals of 18 years of age all the way through to 90. Conversely, BioID will optimise your hormones to what they were in your 20s and 30s, at the peak of your health. As the levels of hormones that we prescribe are scientifically tailored to your body’s specific needs – not just to the population’s average levels – side effects will be much less likely. Another key difference between bioidentical HRT and traditional HRT is the ingredients that are used to create them. Standard HRT is usually made of chemicals that are foreign to the human body. A range of synthetic hormones are used in their manufacturing process, including some animal sources. Sickeningly, one form of traditional HRT is manufactured using the urine of pregnant horses.  As these substances are not natural to your body, they often cause side effects (listed above). On the other hand, BioID HRT is produced using manmade hormones, derived from the Mexican yam plant. These are then modified to form hormones that are chemically indistinguishable from the ones that your body produces naturally. Since bioidentical hormones mimic your body’s own hormones, they produce minimal side effects.

How does bioidentical HRT work?

Here at BioID Health, we are a doctor-led service that provides bioidentical HRT to optimise the levels of all hormones during the peri-menopause and menopause, with remarkable results. When you get in touch, we’ll start by performing an extensive blood test to comprehensively assess your hormone levels. This will establish whether you are experiencing any specific hormonal imbalances or are deficient in any vitamins. Following this blood test, our expert clinicians will provide you with a personalised treatment plan. This plan will be designed to correct your hormone levels, with the goal of eradicating your symptoms and promoting optimal health. As our bioidentical HRT is chemically identical to your body’s own hormones, you shouldn’t experience the undesirable side effects (listed above) that are linked with traditional HRT. We’re heavily invested in the long term health and wellbeing of our clients. As such, we’ll arrange a follow-up blood test after 6-8 weeks of bioidentical HRT treatment, and review with you to learn whether your symptoms have been effectively reduced. If needed, we can then fine tune your medication. You are also entitled to a follow-up appointment one month after your treatment commences, should you feel you need it. What sets us apart from our competitors providing bioidentical hormone treatment is that we don’t charge for subsequent blood tests or follow-up appointments – this is all included in the cost of your treatment. We supply our bioidentical HRT in three forms – gels, lozenges, or capsules – giving you the freedom to choose the option that suits you best.

Speak to an expert about alternatives to HRT

If you have any questions about using bioidentical HRT as an alternative to HRT, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team. You can give us a call on 0330 460 9999, or send a message using our contact form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.
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