Is There An Alternative To HRT? Kent-Based Intimate Health Doctor Shares Everything That You Need To Know
Are you looking for the right menopause treatment in the Kent area? HRT is the most well-known treatment offered to women, but the UK is currently experiencing extreme shortages, leaving many women suffering from symptoms for much longer than they should.
In this blog, Kent-based intimate health doctor, Dr Shirin, will share all the information about HRT and HRT alternatives letting you know everything about accessing the best treatment for menopause.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is when a woman stops having periods. It’s a natural part of ageing and usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.
It happens because of natural hormonal changes in your body as egg production in the ovaries stops. It can happen earlier for some women and can also be triggered for reasons such as surgery to remove the ovaries or uterus, cancer treatments like chemotherapy, or genetic reasons.
Your periods stop due to lower hormone levels, and you reach menopause when you’ve not had a period for 12 months.
Women tend to experience symptoms long before they actually reach menopause, which is referred to as perimenopause.
It’s very distressing and unsettling and can impact your mental well-being. Symptoms include:
- Mood Swings
- Brain Fog
- Hot Flushes
- Irregular Periods
- Loss of sex drive
Menopause and perimenopause can greatly affect your life, including relationships and work.
Some treatments, such as HRT, can replace missing hormones and relieve symptoms. However, the UK is currently experiencing extreme shortages of the medicines needed, and many women are unable to access this vital treatment when they need it most.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a safe and effective treatment for most women going through menopause and perimenopause.
It involves using oestrogen to replace your body’s levels around the time of menopause. There are different doses available which are prescribed depending on your symptoms.
HRT can come as skin patches, gels or sprays, implants and tablets. If you have a womb, you will also need to take progesterone to protect your womb lining from the effects of oestrogen. This is called combined HRT.
Progesterone comes as patches, IUS (intrauterine system or coil), and tablets.
Benefits Of HRT
It helps to relieve most menopause and perimenopause symptoms, including hot flushes, brain fog, joint pains, mood swings and vaginal dryness.
Hot flushes and night sweats can improve within a few weeks, but mood swings and vaginal dryness can take a few months.
HRT can also reduce your risk of hormone-related health problems like osteoporosis and heart disease.
Downsides To HRT
The main side effects of taking HRT are:
- Breast tenderness or swelling
- Swelling in other parts of the body
- Leg cramps
- Vaginal bleeding
- Skin irritations
Some women have begun taking HRT treatment and found that it wasn’t right for them, but for others, HRT is simply not an option for medical reasons.
If you’ve had breast, ovarian, or womb cancer, then you can not have this treatment. Also, if you’ve got high blood pressure or a history of blood clots, that will have to be controlled before HRT is offered.
Is There A Safe Alternative To HRT?
The good news is that if you don’t like the idea of HRT or are unable to have this treatment, you can do things to naturally increase your oestrogen levels, such as diet and exercise.
Soybeans, flax seeds and sesame seeds are all great sources of phytoestrogens which are plant-based compounds that mimic oestrogen in your body but it’s unlikely that you’d be able to consume enough to notice a positive effect.
However, the most effective alternative is BHRT – Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
What Is BHRT?
BHRT uses hormones that are structurally the same as your body’s natural hormones. BHRT can be used to treat men and women when their hormone levels drop or become unbalanced.
It uses bio-identical hormones derived from plants that will rebalance your hormones and help you regain control over your body.
Initially, a blood test is taken to establish which hormones are unbalanced in your body, so a custom formula for your menopause treatment is prescribed.
BHRT medication is usually prescribed as a lozenge or a cream that you can take or apply every day. If you undergo BHRT treatment at Elite Aesthetics in Kent, then you’ll receive regular follow-ups and ongoing monitoring to help achieve optimum results.
Benefits Of BHRT
BHRT is a more natural based treatment completely tailored to you. It is suitable for all women, unlike HRT, which is not an option for some due to medical conditions.
Some of the benefits of BHRT are:
- Mimics Your Own Natural Hormones – the hormones are customised to your specific needs.
- Improves Sexual Experience – Decreasing oestrogen leads to vaginal dryness and pain during sex. Hormone replacement therapy restores oestrogen levels improving lubrication and increasing sex drive.
- Gives You Stronger Hair And Nails – When your hormones dip, it impacts your hair, nails and bones. BHRT increases your body’s production of proteins like collagen, which will help you look younger and restores the strength of your hair and nails.
- Decreases Symptoms Of Menopause And Perimenopause – Symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and lack of energy.
Where To Get BHRT
BHRT is not widely available through the NHS. However, with the shortage of medicines and a steadily increasing need for an alternative treatment, BHRT is becoming very popular and can be sourced from private clinics.
Elite Aesthetics in Kent provides BHRT treatment, and Dr Shirin, our practice leader, is an industry pioneer in women’s health and hormonal health.
If you decide that BHRT is right for you, then the first step is to book a consultation. During your consultation, you can ask any further questions that you might have, and Dr Shirin can discuss in detail how BHRT can be tailored to your hormonal needs.
Our consultations are held at our award-winning clinic based in Greenhithe, Kent, which is just 20 minutes away by train from St. Pancras, London.