Bioidentical Hormone Therapy in Menopause Control Test
(Pre-) Menopause Hormone Control Test for bio-identical hormone therapy
At the request of several doctors we have compiled a hormone test to perform interim checks during bioidentical hormone therapy, because they want to measure the levels of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, as well as FSH and vitamin D3 (the level of the follicle stimulating hormone that stimulates the growth and maturation of follicles in the ovaries in women and causes these follicles to produce estrogens).
Women with severe menopause symptoms usually do not experience enough relief with lifestyle changes, diet and complementary therapies. For them (temporary) hormone therapy can be a solution.
20% of all women experience severe menopause symptoms. The symptoms are so severe that they interfere with normal functioning in work, relationships and the family. Menopause symptoms appear to be a very important reason for women between 40 and 60 reporting sick. Half of all women have hot flashes even before their last menstrual period. 10% of all 38-year-old women have hot flashes and 9% of all 71-year-old women still have hot flashes.
Hormone therapy has negative connotations for many people. Also, many (general) practitioners warn about the dangers of hormone therapy.
The Netherlands is the European country where hormone therapy for menopause symptoms is prescribed the least. Less than 5% of all women are prescribed hormone therapy at some point. Less than 1% of all Dutch women use hormone therapy for menopause symptoms longer than 1 year. The Netherlands is the Western country with the lowest percentage of women using hormone therapy for menopause symptoms. This is in sharp contrast with the fact that in The Netherlands, compared to the rest of the world, the highest number of women use 'the pill' as a contraceptive.
To effectively combat menopause symptoms with hormone therapy, 2 types of hormones are used simultaneously. Estradiol (Oestradiol is the same) and Progesterone.
Estradiol is the female hormone. Progesterone is simultaneously needed to protect the endometrium from excessive growth. If the growth of endometrium is not stopped by progesterone, heavy and unpredictable bleeding can occur and in the worst case, uterine cancer can develop. There is one exception where progesterone is not needed, which is in women who no longer have a uterus. Both hormones are made by women themselves during the fertile phase of life. As an egg clot grows and develops, estradiol is made, you make this hormone throughout the cycle. Progesterone is made during the second half of the cycle.
The menopause remedies available in pharmacies always contain estradiol. This is the bioidentical hormone, it looks exactly like the estradiol that women make themselves in a cycle. It is also called 17 beta-estradiol. In addition, these drugs often contain a progestogen. Progestogens are synthetic hormones that work like progesterone, but they are not bioidentical. Anti-menopause drugs never contain bioidentical progesterone. This has to do with patents that are given to the pharmaceutical industry. Means that are bio-identical, meaning that they occur in nature, cannot be patented.
Transition hormones can be prescribed in the Netherlands in two ways:
- to take by mouth: as a pill
- to administer through the skin: as a plaster or gel
The main advantage is that menopause symptoms almost always disappear completely within 2-4 weeks. Hot flashes stop, but also non-typical menopause symptoms such as joint pain, heart palpitations, mood swings, etc. usually disappear quickly. The risk of osteoporosis, severe osteoporosis, becomes lower. This is because the process of osteoporosis, which increases with age, is slowed down. There is evidence that hormone therapy reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease if started shortly after (within 10 years of) menopause.
Disadvantages of Hormone Therapy
One disadvantage is that bleeding may return. Another disadvantage is that there is a higher risk of thrombosis and embolisms when hormones are used than when they are not.
Also read the book: The Power of Female Hormones
by Prof. Dr. Sylvie Demers