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Information on BHRT for menopause and andropause

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
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need to know about BHRT for menopause and andropause
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 28 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a novel method of post-menopausal hormone replacement to replenish the low hormone status of Oestrone, Oestriol, Progesterone, Testosterone and Dehydroepiandrostenedione.
The difference from the regular pharamaceutical Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) is that, there is no synthetic substance used, rather more of natural source like Phyto-oestrogen from Soyabean are used.

BHRT is not part of allopathic medicine but rather alternative medicine practice. It is available in the form of creams, tablets and injections.

In menopause, there is less oestrogen and progesterone, for which HRT becomes useful. Oestrogen is needed to prevent thinning and decreased mass of bones i.e. to prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fractures of the spine and hip. But oestrogen alone can be harmful and increase the risk of cancer of the endometrial lining of the uterus, and also risk of clots formation in the blood vessels and risk of increased lipids in blood and heart attacks so the hormone progesterone is also combined with oestrogen to reduce these risk further.

Progesterone can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, breast pain, weight gain, lipid disorder in blood as well. Testosterone and related metabolites are needed for healthier skin, hair and also has a role to play in positive sexual libido, although it may increase the risk of acne if taken in higher doses. Most of these hormones are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) but there is no evidence of BHRT being more effective and/or have a side effect profile less than the regular HRT yet.

Hormone replacement is usually advised to those patients who have symptoms of menopause like hot flushes, osteoporosis, risk of Alzheimer's disease, dry vagina which makes sexual intercourse difficult etc.

There are a few contraindications to choosing BHRT especially if the person has risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, clotting disorder, liver and gall bladder disease, epilepsy, migraine etc. So, it is advisable to consult your Doctor and get a thorough examination and all risk factors be acknowledged before starting HRT.

For Andropause also known as male menopause, which is caused due to effect of low male hormones like Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, if the person has symptoms like weakness, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, this treatment can be indicated. The person needs to supplement the medication with proper diet, healthy lifestyle, daily exercise, and enough rest and sleep.

You may discuss the benefits and risk of the therapy before attempting to take it so that you enjoy a more comfortable life.

Hope I have answered your query, I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

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