Reduced muscle mass, easy weight gain, lower energy levels, sleep difficulties, and diminished libido are common complaints among many adults in their forties, fifties, and beyond. Why? These irritating mid-life problems are often prompted by one natural, age-related process: The steady decline of reproductive hormone levels.
Fortunately, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is an effective and highly beneficial solution for women experiencing disruptive menopause symptoms as well as men dealing with the unwelcome effects of low testosterone.
Unfortunately, pervasive misconceptions surrounding hormone therapy cause many people who could benefit from this proven treatment approach to doubt its safety, efficacy, and health advantages. Read on as Jennylle Zanzi, FNP-C, and our team at RVA Regenerative Wellness debunk these common myths and set the record straight on hormone therapy.
Myth: Hormone therapy can cause breast cancer
Fact: Thanks to the widely publicized results of outdated, flawed studies that have since been disproven, many women worry that taking hormone therapy for menopause symptoms will substantially increase their breast cancer risk. It will not.
With a controlled treatment plan, estrogen-only hormone therapy doesn’t increase the risk of breast cancer when taken during perimenopause, or the years-long transition into menopause.
Using combined hormone therapy after the transition to menopause appears to elevate breast cancer risk for the duration of treatment by less than one extra case per 1,000 women per year. This risk is significantly lower than the breast cancer risk associated with modifiable factors like inactivity, being overweight, and alcohol consumption.
Myth: Hormone therapy increases blood clot risk
Fact: This is another common myth that’s based on decades-old studies that considered the effects of older types of synthetic estrogen taken in tablet form. While taking oral estrogen can lead to sticky blood changes that increase your risk of developing a blood clot, this risk is very small overall.
Furthermore, this risk is non-existent with transdermal estrogen, or the type that you absorb through your skin via gel, spray, or skin patch. So, even if you have a clotting disorder that leaves you at a higher risk of blood clots, transdermal hormone therapy is a safe option.
Myth: Lifestyle changes are preferable to hormone therapy
Fact: Many women find that making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, getting regular exercise, and healthy eating can help alleviate some irritating menopause symptoms like low energy, weight gain, sleep difficulties, and hot flashes.
Even so, these healthy changes don’t deliver the same beneficial effects for all women, or even consistently reliable effects for an individual. You don’t have to “power through” menopause symptoms and take control of them yourself. Hormone therapy can provide real and enduring relief that supports your lifestyle changes and keeps you balanced.
Myth: Only women benefit from hormone therapy
Fact: Hormone therapy is widely thought of as a treatment for menopause, mostly because all aging women go through this natural process, many of whom have bothersome effects from the hormonal imbalances it creates. But that’s only half the story.
Men also experience an age-related decline in reproductive hormones, experiencing a 1-2% decrease in testosterone each year starting around the age of 30. Testosterone deficiency, also known as “Low T,” causes many older men to experience decreased muscle and bone mass, low energy levels, weight gain, decreased motivation, diminished libido, and erectile problems.
By restoring and maintaining adequate testosterone levels, hormone therapy can help men alleviate these common “age-related” concerns and enjoy a better quality of life.
Myth: Hormone therapy is intended for severe symptoms
Fact: Hormone therapy can effectively alleviate mild menopause and Low T symptoms and prevent them from progressively becoming more severe or disruptive. Contrary to the common misconception that it’s a “last resort” treatment for people dealing with severe or persistent symptoms, hormone therapy can help you restore balance early on.
Continuous hormone regulation makes it easier to attain long-term relief from the effects of menopause as well as low testosterone. Starting hormone therapy earlier can also benefit your health by preserving bone density and protecting against osteoporosis.
Myth: Hormone therapy is a one-size-fits-all treatment
Fact: Hormone therapy is a fully individualized treatment that aims to help you attain effective, enduring symptom relief using the lowest possible dose of prescription bioidentical hormones. Your hormone therapy plan specifies the dosage, delivery method, and duration of treatment based on your personal health needs.
Wondering how hormone therapy can benefit you? We can help. Call 786-224-6878 today, or use our online booking feature to schedule a visit at RVA Regenerative Wellness in Midlothian, Virginia, any time.