FAQ About Hormone Replacement Therapy
What are the goals of BHRT?
Traditionally women were put on Premarin at menopause. Premarin
is derived from the pregnant horse mare’s urine. It is not
bio-identical. Secondly, women were and still are placed on HRT but
usually their hormone levels are not monitored.
Our goal is to give a man or woman the physiologic levels of estrogen or testosterone that their own bodies were making when they were 30 years old.
Who can benefit from BHRT?
Both men and women can benefit from HRT.
The first step involves getting baseline hormone levels and other blood work. Dr. Hoyle will then see you in consultation to review these and make recommendations.
Are there any side effects?
BHRT is essentially side effect free because we are monitoring our patient’s hormone levels through periodic blood tests. Rarely women may spot when first starting BHRT. If there are any side effects, they are usually dose related and resolve with a change in hormone dosing. Any specific concerns you or Dr. Hoyle has will be addressed during your consultation. For example women with a history of blood clots may not be a candidate for BHRT.
What about the concerns regarding hormones and cancer?
This is possibly the most hotly debated area of medicine. The one major study linking estrogen to breast cancer used – guess what?, Premarin, which is not bio-identical. The same study also used Provera, a very strong progestin that many doctors feel is not the best choice. We think that bio-identical hormones are safer, BUT we cannot prove it. Conversely, not taking hormones does not guarantee you won’t get cancer. Dr. Hoyle feels the benefits outway the risks but every person must make their own choice. For example, several people die every day on California highways. A child might ask you why aren’t cars banned if they are so dangerous. Your answer would be that each of us derives a great benefit from driving and perceives our individual risk of dying in a car accident as being quite small. We accept the small risk and choose to drive. It is the same with hormones, it is an individual choice.