By: Courtney Lo, PA, Founder
Estrogen and Safety
When we’re talking about hormone replacement, the biggest one we think of is estrogen. Everyone seems to know that term but honestly I think most women are confused when they hear it… Is it a good or a bad thing? Understandably because estrogen replacement got a really bad name when it was being given just in pill form and it wasn’t balanced with other hormones.
But the fact is – estrogen is essential to us. It has hundreds of functions in a woman’s body, from skin tone to memory to cholesterol. And when our estrogen is depleted due to natural menopause, surgical menopause, for breast cancer treatment, or other medical reasons, it’s really difficult to feel good every day. It’s important to our vitality and we deserve to have it balanced throughout our lives.
Good news – there are ways to do estrogen replacement safely. And when estrogen is replaced and balanced with your other hormones – weight is better regulated, skin tone is improved, hot flashes go away, vaginal lubrication is better, mood swings improve…the list goes on and one. And there is improvement in things you can’t see and feel – like blood pressure, memory, and bone density.
Women have 3 types of estrogens: Estrone, Estradiol and Estriol.
Estrone we don’t replace because it increases risk of breast cancer.
Estradiol is the one you hear of most, that helps most of the hundreds of functions
Estriol you hear about less, but many women notice it increases vaginal lubrication and skin lubrication more than estradiol. It also may actually reduce breast cancer risk.
So you’re probably getting the idea that estrogen replacement isn’t as simple as just taking a pill every day – different estrogens help us in different ways, so estradiol has to be balanced with estriol, which then balances with other female hormones…
That’s why before we start your estrogen replacement, we get thorough hormonal testing including all of your other hormones, including thyroid.
Hormone Replacement with Biote® Pellets
There are multiple ways to replace estrogen but the most recent research shows that estrogen replacement through the skin is safest and most effective. At RegenCen, we prefer estrogen pellets because they offer a consistent delivery of estradiol over a several months, so it’s low maintenance, it seems safest, and the levels stay rock steady in the blood stream.
Many people still take the pill form of estrogen, but research is pointing away from pills because of risks like blood clots, heart disease, cancer… Estrogen replacement through the skin or the vaginal membranes eliminates some or all of those risks, even for breast cancer survivors.
Inserting pellets is done after your testing. The pellets are about the size of a tic tac and they are placed just beneath the skin. Over about 3-4 months the pellets reabsorb and then we replace them. In addition to pellets, we often prescribe vaginal estriol to be used a few times a week for improvement in dryness.
Women notice improvement in symptoms generally within a few weeks after replacement but it takes a couple of months for full benefits. Click here to schedule your consultation.