Common Physical Symptoms of Menopause
The symptoms of diminished hormones can occur at any age (sometimes up to 10 years before actual menopause), but we typically associate these with women over the age of 35. Commonly reported, bothersome symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Irritability and mood swings
- Weight gain
Many women also complain of a “mental fogginess,” during these years, with a decreased sense of “sharpness” in thinking, and less ability to focus on multiple responsibilities at once.
Sexual symptoms may include profoundly decreased sexual interest, vaginal dryness, and pain with intercourse. All of these complaints can significantly diminish a woman’s quality of life. The good news is that, for most women, hormone therapy can really help!
Bioidentical vs. Conventional Hormones
The term “bioidentical” hormones is a common description of hormones which are made under sterile technique. A compounding pharmacy uses natural ingredients to formulate specific types of common hormones.
Bioidentical hormones have been popular for many years now, as they have been espoused by celebrities as being a sort of “fountain of youth” for women and men. Some authors, and even some health care providers claim that “bioidentical” hormones are safer than other hormones. They insinuate that if a woman takes a “bioidentical” estrogen, then they are, for example, not at increased risk for breast cancer. This is not true.
All hormones carry the same risk, whether compounded or manufactured by a pharmaceutical company. One type of hormone is not good, and the other type is not evil. At Serenity Women’s Care, we use both compounded hormones and conventional hormones as well — whichever is preferred by an individual patient.
We do, however, guide each person in understanding her individual risk, and help her come to the decision that’s right for her.