Bioidentical hormone options – Video

There are a wide variety of bioidentical hormones options available through your physician’s office that are safe and effective.

Dr. Michele McDermott, Menopause and Osteoporosis Specialist at The Austin Diagnostic Clinic, explains what some of those options are in the second part of a three-part series on bioidentical hormones:

Video Transcription

I am going to explain all of the different options that you have for bioidentical hormones.

Like the compounded hormones, these bioidentical hormones come in many forms. They come in pills, patches, and gels.

I have in front of me just some examples of the bioidentical estrogen and progestin available by prescription from your physician.

When I see a patient, I show them many of these options.

We take them out and look at them so that they can decide what they think would work best for them.

Let’s start with a basic pill.

This is a tablet that has bioidentical estradiol.

Estradiol is just like the estrogen in your ovary. As you can see, it comes in a simple packet. There is nothing messy or difficult about it. It is covered by insurance. It can be taken once daily.

There are other types of bioidentical progesterone capsules.

Many women believe that progesterone has to be taken in a cream form. In fact, the cream is not proven to be effective to prevent uterine cancer.

This capsule – oral form – has been tested and found to prevent the uterus from being overly stimulated by the estrogen. This is the best type of progesterone to use for preventing uterine cancers. Oral progesterone or it could be in a patch.

We have oral, tablets. We have patches. We have gels of varying concentrations and delivery methods.

These types of gels that come in a bottle are very simple to use.

We simply pump this bottle and a very small amount of gel goes on the arm. Then it is spread on the arm. It evaporates within a few minutes Once it evaporates, the hormone is in your skin and the bloodstream picks it up and takes it throughout your circulation.

That is a very physiologic way of getting your hormones.

Another type of hormone that goes through the skin are the patches. These are very well-liked by women because they are easy to use. They come in a variety of doses.

It is very easy for us to regulate the dose so that it is just right for you. To do that, we talk about your symptoms. We don’t just rely on blood levels.

You may have heard that it is important to measure blood levels. Blood levels vary from day-to-day. They really don’t tell us how you are feeling.

Because we have many doses, we may start with an average dose. If you have a lot of symptoms we may start with a higher dose.

The patch is easy. As you can see the back just peels off. It is applied to the lower abdomen. It is changed twice a week. It withstands heat, showers, baths. Even here in Austin, Texas women find that it stays on perfectly well.

There are some patches that contain both hormones. Of course, that is a very convenient way of getting your hormone therapy.

These are gels that are applied on the thigh. They come in packets. There is even a bioidentical estrogen that comes in a spray.

This is a little spray device that is brand new so the top is a little hard to take off… But this goes on the forearm and just one pump delivers a low dose.

So this would be a very good starting hormone when you are just having symptoms at the very beginning of menopause but you don’t need a very high dose.

Here we have many options for you.

I would encourage you to speak with your physician. If they are not familiar with these choices then look for a menopause specialist like myself.

The way to find a menopause specialist is through the Menopause Society at menopause.org. On that site there is a tab that says find a doctor. There may be a menopause specialist in your area.

Just remember when you feel stressed, worried and overwhelmed with all of the information you see on the internet and hear from your friends, take pause.

Remember that there are many choices and specialists there to help you.