Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for aging and menopause

Menopause and perimenopause treatment (it doesn't have to be hard).

You can feel so much better! Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is one of the most important keys to living your best life as your body continues to advance. BHRT helps itchy, dry, forgetful, bitchy, night sweats, bloating, sleeping AND gives long term cardiovascular, bone, and brain protection.

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Get back the energy, sleep, sexual interest and happiness you had before menopause.

Get back the energy, sleep, sexual interest, and happiness you had before menopause.

Menopause and the decade or so surrounding it can make you feel crazy, like your body isn’t even yours anymore. Even years before menopause women notice mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, depression and lack of sexual drive from testosterone depletion and hormone fluctuations.

The medical community doesn’t talk openly and transparently enough about how dramatically hormonal changes impact how a woman feels and functions as she ages. We believe in breaking down the barriers that make women feel like something is wrong or broken, and offering solutions for these common concerns.

These changes often start in the late 30s and early 40s, before true menopause, when women feel anxious or have difficulty sleeping. Then later, in actual perimenopause or menopause, women are told to eat less to lose weight, take an anti-depressant or, worst of all, that everything they’re feeling physiologically is only in their heads.

Women deserve better options for aging well that help them feel like themselves again AND improve their longevity, energy, and overall health during peri-menopause and after menopause. At RegenCen we are here to support you through the change and to help you maintain your youthful skin, mind, bones, heart, and vagina.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement for menopausal symptoms and post menopause.

Your quality of life after 40 or 70 shouldn’t mean accepting anxiety,
depression, brain fog, and weight gain as a given.

Generations of women before us silently suffered through the second half of their lives with debilitating symptoms ranging from overactive bladders to a sudden loss of sex drive to hot flashes. For years, doctors prescribed oral synthetic estrogen to treat menopausal symptoms but synthetic estrogen was found in the early 2000s to cause increased cardiovascular risk and cancer risk. After that, the majority of women have been dealing with physicians only providing estrogen replacement for a short time to “get through the change” or “until the hot flashes go away.”

But modern advancements in bioidentical hormonal treatments (BHRT) are far safer than synthetic oral estrogen. In fact, BHRT protects you not just from dry skin, vaginal dryness and hot flashes but from osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. BHRT with our hormone and menopause specialists in Petoskey, Traverse City, and Naples allows for a very individualized care plan through menopause and beyond.

christine HRT

Menopause & bioidentical hormone replacement therapy

Women may begin noticing symptoms of menopause anywhere between 40 and 58 years old or after a hysterectomy. Although estrogen should not be replaced until women are officially “menopausal,” which is when women go 12 months without a menstrual cycle, testosterone and progesterone are often prescribed during the years before menopause to help women’s sex drive, energy, insomnia, and weight gain.

At RegenCen, we test women’s hormone levels, thyroid, and other blood levels during a hormone consultation with a simple blood draw. Then hormone replacement can begin at the next visit with Biote hormone pellets and oral micronized progesterone. Once hormone levels are optimized, women only need to come to the office every 4 months. And Biote pellets are widely available if you need a boost and are in another part of the country.

Hormone replacement therapy counters the effects of menopause:

Hormones are in control of almost everything inside the body and, in simple terms, are like a mail carrier in your body. They carry chemical messages throughout your bloodstream, and these messages deliver both chemicals and instructions to your cells, telling them to do something.

Three key hormones change dramatically during and after menopause: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone (yes, women utilize and need testosterone, too!), impacting everything from sleep to skin hydration to sexual desire. A drop in hormones is often what’s behind feeling mentally fuzzy, emotionally depressed, deprived of sleep, hot flashes, sexually frustrated, and “not quite like yourself.”

We offer estrogen and testosterone bioidentical hormone replacement in Petoskey, Traverse City, and Naples at RegenCen by using pellets placed just under your skin to deliver more youthful, consistent levels of hormones. This quick and safe outpatient procedure lasts about four months and is low maintenance compared to hormone patches or creams. Progesterone is administered orally, and can drastically improve your sleep.

BHT pellets have the same chemical structure as the hormones produced by our own bodies, which makes the use of bioidentical hormones significantly safer than the use of oral synthetic hormones.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Science shows hormones help women’s health outcomes, too.

Most female patients come to us for bioidentical hormone pellets in Petoskey, Traverse City, and Naples because they’re tired of hot flashes, anxiety, “flat” emotions, insomnia, diminished libido and vaginal dryness, and love how BHT improves their day-to-day lives. 

But they’re often surprised when we tell them that optimizing hormone levels bioidentically has health-protective benefits, too, like improved bone density, better heart health, and protection against stroke and Alzheimer’s. Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that re-establishing hormones to more youthful levels positively impacts longevity and decreases health morbidities. 

HRT Courtney Lo PA

Menopause and how hormones affect a woman’s body:

Testosterone

Women need optimal
levels, too

Impacts or affects:

  • Energy 
  • Mood
  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Muscle mass
  • Libido

Protective benefits when optimized:

  • Reduced cardiac risk
  • Reduced breast cancer risk
  • Improved bone density

Estrogen

Dramatically drops after menopause

Impacts or affects:

  • Temperature (hot flashes)
  • Vaginal lubrication (dryness)
  • Bladder (urinary incontinence)
    Mood disorders
  • Bone mineral density
  • Body weight

Protective benefits when optimized:

  • Reduced development of coronary plaques
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Lowered mortality rate

Progesterone

The sleep champion

Impacts or affects:

  • Sleep
  • Uterine lining (affects abnormal bleeding)
  • Memory
  • Cognition

Protective benefits when optimized:

  • Regulated blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of endometrial cancer
hormone therapy

Menopause doesn’t have to be a bitch.

Hormone replacement therapy gives almost immediate relief to women in the perimenopausal age. Within just a few weeks of balancing sex hormones like progesterone and testosterone, women notice improved sleep, less bloating, more sexual interest, and more energy. (by the way, when we say increased libido, we’re not exaggerating – sometimes our partners can’t keep up and then they come in too for testosterone replacement!)

Menopausal women (even if menopause was 15 years ago!) notice better bladder control, skin integrity, and less vaginal dryness and itching. But science shows the benefits of hormone replacement therapy for menopause are much more than what we feel. The invisible benefits for osteoporosis, dementia, and cardiovascular risk are most exciting. Schedule a consultation to learn more about BHT, hear our own experiences with it, and see if it’s right for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions about
Menopause and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

What are bioidentical hormones and how do they differ from oral synthetic hormones?

The bioidentical hormone pellets we offer in Traverse City and Petoskey have the same chemical structure as the hormones produced by our own bodies. This makes the use of bioidentical hormones significantly safer than the use of oral synthetic hormones. Of particular note is estrogen used in BHT.  Much controversy surrounds the use of estrogen replacement in women, but it stems from a 2002 study that reported a small increase in breast cancer and cardiac risk with the use of a brand of 100% synthetic estrogen. Additionally, the research was conducted on women who’d started synthetic hormone therapy derived from animal sources in their mid 60s, long after menopause, and the primary mitigating factor in the 2002 study was isolated to the use of synthetic progestin. Unfortunately for women, those conclusions led an entire generation of physicians to avoid hormone replacement therapy, and this legacy still stands today.

Researchers today agree that starting estrogen therapy on the onset — or immediately after — the menopause years, has protective effects on the cardiovascular system, on reducing development of coronary plaques, and lowering mortality.

Further, bioidentical estrogen, which is what we utilize in our BHT pellets, has been shown in studies to be safe when used in conjunction with bioidentical micronized progesterone.

 Why is testosterone an essential hormone for women?

Testosterone isn’t just for men. It’s often wrongly assumed to be related solely to sex drive, aggression and muscle development, but it’s a critical hormone for women that starts to decline after the mid 20s, and by the age of 40, is down 50% from its peak, youthful levels.

Imbalanced testosterone affects everything from weight gain, to energy, to thinning and shedding hair, to diminished interest and enjoyment in sex. Women with suboptimal testosterone levels report feeling irritable, depressed and anxious.

When we optimize testosterone to more youthful levels via BHT (that’s been carefully calibrated based on every patient’s blood labs), women report increased energy, libido, ability to concentrate, and an overall renewed “zest for life” that has them feeling — well— normal again for the first time since their hormones began to plummet.

How do I know if I need estrogen after age 40 or menopause?

After menopause, estrogen levels plummet and can leave women with symptoms of hot flashes, vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, decreased sexual function, mood disorders, decreased bone mineral density, and increased body weight just to name a few. Even women who aren’t yet in menopause, experience similar symptoms during perimenopause, usually between the ages of 40-50. We decide on whether you are a candidate for estrogen replacement after running some labs. Estrogen is only replaced once you are fully menopausal.

When we replace estrogen to optimal levels, it can reverse these disruptive symptoms.  Years of scientific research has shown that optimal estrogen has additional protective benefits against heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.

And because the estrogen we use in BHT is bioidentical, it’s much safer and more tolerated by the body than oral synthetic estrogen, which remains the default go-to bandaid hormone solution all-too-many practitioners prescribe.

How is progesterone used to help me sleep better?

Progesterone is an amazing hormone that— when optimally balanced — can dramatically improve a woman’s sleep (a common complaint in many women after age 40 is insomnia or insufficient sleep). Progesterone is the one hormone in our BHT regimen that’s taken orally, and in some patients, it’s used in conjunction with estrogen therapy to help reduce certain health risks after menopause such as abnormal bleeding. Balanced progesterone levels have been shown to be protective against endometrial cancer, because it helps prevent a build up of endometrial (uterine) cells.

It’s also a game changer for the brain, helping enhance memory and cognition. Progesterone is the only hormone we replace orally and we can safely replace progesterone before menopause to help with sleep and anxiety.

When does it make sense to consider bioidentical hormone therapy?

The tough thing about life after 40 is sometimes hormonal symptoms and change happens so gradually, you can’t see how “off” you’re feeling until you look back and realize you used to have more energy, clarity, interest in life, and control of your bodily functions.

That’s why we recommend women come in for a consultation and blood tests by age 45 — when perimenopause starts to kick in. At RegenCen, we’ve administered BHT regimens to women as young as 37 who — whether from life-altering events like chemotherapy, or the simple earlier onset of menopausal symptoms like urinary incontinence or hot flashes — want a better quality of life.

If you’re in the thick of menopause, or even past it, BHT can help you better good as you age. Hundreds of studies have shown that optimizing your hormone levels can help improve your health outcomes and increase lifespan.

How are bioidentical hormones administered?

At RegenCen in both Petoskey and Traverse City, we offer estrogen and testosterone bioidentical hormone replacement by using pellets. Pellets contain time-released estrogen and testosterone and are placed just under your skin in the hip to deliver more youthful levels of hormones.  Compared to daily or weekly patches or creams, pellets are low-maintenance and deliver consistent hormone doses at all times. This quick and safe out-patient procedure lasts about 3 months for women and 5-6 months for men.

What should I expect during the consultation and office visits?

Initial visit: You’ll Meet with a female Physician Associate who collects a detailed history and discusses your symptoms and concerns.  After your consultation, we'll give you a lab order for hormonal testing.

Visit #2: We review your the lab results from your bloodwork, which detail your current hormonal levels and deficiencies. With that information, we determine the appropriate hormone levels to balance your body’s unique needs, and administer pellet insertion and/or a prescription regimen.

Visit #3: After the pellets are inserted, we’ll monitor your progress through bloodwork that shows your hormone levels as well as your symptom improvement.

In the week prior to your follow-up visit in Petoskey, Traverse City, or Naples, you’ll need to have another set of bloodwork drawn. At your visit, we’ll review the results from your bloodwork, discuss improvements in symptoms that you’ve experienced, and move forward with the appropriate treatment regimen for you, which may include adjustments to the original pellet doses and plan. 

Typically women need to come in 3-4 times a year to maintain optimal levels.

Does the pellet insertion hurt? Do I need to stop any of my normal activities?

Hormonal pellet insertion is quick and easy and done just with local anesthetic.

How should I expect to feel in the days and weeks after receiving hormone replacement with pellets?

It varies from patient to patient but many patients report similar experiences as their hormone levels are optimized. Because hormones are such a fundamental part of our every day bodily functions, there may a “transition time” where your body adjusts to the BHT. Often patients report a rather rapid increase in a positive mood, interest in life, interest in sex, and ability to focus. Energy for exercise and day to day life improves.

Usually sooner but by the 3-month mark, women report reduction in hot flashes, sluggishness, vaginal and overall skin dryness, and insomnia as well as improved bladder control. They also tell us their partners are happier, too, because BHT helps overall moods, spark their libidos, make orgasms easier, and generally make their sex lives a whole lot more fun again.

Is oral estrogen replacement safe after menopause?
Oral estrogen increases blood clots and cardiovascular risk. At RegenCen, we only replace estrogen through the skin with pellets as it gives the most consistent estrogen release.
Am I too old for bioidentical hormone replacement?

Rarely. Come see us for a consultation. We treat women on customized bioidentical hormone therapy even decades after the change. There are safe, effective ways to give bioidentical hormones to virtually all women, at any age.