FAQs About Hormones
Here are some of our most common questions about hormones.
Some of the pharmaceutical manufactured hormones include: Estrogens (Premarin, Cenestin, Menest, OrthoEst, EstraTab, Estrogel, Estradot); Progestogens (Provera, Aygestin, DepoProvera, Prometrium birth control pills); Combinations (EstraTest, Activella, PremPRo, PremPhase, CombiPatch, ClimaraPro, FemHRT, many hormonal birth control methods), Testosterone (MethylTestosterone).
Hormones can be compounded with variable dose ranges, according to your individual needs. Such as, bio-identical estradiol, estroil, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and thyroid.
Although we welcome referrals from your family doctor, a referral letter is NOT required for an initial consultation. The initial consultation is complimentary regardless if the appointment is made through a physician referral or by a patient calling in.
BHRT require a prescription from a physician. This is important as hormones may come with benefits and risk which your hormone team can help determine in your case. It is also important that regular follow assessment visits, hormone testing, PAP tests, mammograms and ultrasounds be performed to ensure you are using hormones in a safe manner.
You can get your medical doctor to prescribe hormones for you. It is important to note that not every doctor will use Bioidentical Hormone Replacement (BHRT). It is optimal to work with a team that specializes in hormones and can give you the latest research information and strategies. Hormone balancing is a specialty in itself.
Your general practitioner medical doctor is a part of your whole health care team. It is important to maintain care with your medical doctor and have all your health care providers work as a team. Hormone balancing is a focus of certain doctors that are trained in this area. Your hormone doctor is happy to communicate with your medical doctor and provide tests, and or assessment records at your request.
It generally takes two to six months to achieve hormonal balance, keeping in mind that some people take longer and other people begin to feel better quite quickly i.e. within a few weeks. As each person is unique, adjustments will be made until you reach your state of hormonal balance.
You can begin hormone optimization anytime in your life, including if you still have your period, including if you have PMS, endometriosis, fertility concerns and or have difficult periods. Many women have found that it helps to regulate their periods and helps them generally feel better overall.
It is possible that you may get your period back when using hormone support, especially if you have just recently found that your period has stopped. You and your hormone doctor can decide what is right for you and adjust your hormone levels accordingly which may include not having a period.
The wild yam crème that is often sold in health food stores contains wild yam which is a plant that contains diosgenin, which in the laboratory is used to make hormones like estrogen and dehydroepandrosterone ( DHEA).1 Wild yam is suggested to have some phytoprogesterone, phytoestrogen, and phytoDHEA activity, meaning that it has some weak “progesterone, estrogen and DHEA like” activity, but there is no scientific evidence that suggest it can be converted into the active hormones progesterone, estrogen or DHEA in the body.2-5 This conversion can only take place in a laboratory. In some wild yam crème’s progesterone is added and thus it is not recommended.
Yes, birth control pills are a type of hormone therapy but are different from bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Birth control pill hormones are not provided in a natural rhythm as the body’s own hormones. For optimal hormone balancing it is recommended to come off the birth control pill for 8 weeks to establish your natural hormone baseline. If this is not possible to come off the birth hormone pill, our physician will discuss other options with you.
Yes all hormones are available by prescription only for your safety, so that they can be monitored for your optimal overall health.
Although we do live in a world of information technology, it is important for our physician to be able to assess your health completely. It is recommended to have office visits for refills or change of prescriptions. We are happy to answer simple questions by phone or email, however our experience has lead us to suggest an office visit if there are more questions or concern, as there is a more complete understanding of the total picture.
The only time when medications will interfere with bio-identical hormones is when the medications you’re taking contain hormones, like birth control and certain acne medications. In many cases, certain medications are no longer needed, once hormone levels are restored to a healthy balance. This generally happens because balancing hormones improves your overall health. It’s important to discuss your use of bioidentical hormone therapy with your doctor. We are happy to communicate with others on your health care team upon request.
You and your Skintology Health and Wellness Centre physician will decide the best form of hormones to use. Hormones are self-administered daily (once or twice per day) or a few times per week via transdermal creams, oral capsules, vaginal suppository, intra nasal gel, patch or intramuscular injections.
It is an individual’s choice how long one uses hormone support. Both you and your hormone doctor can decide what is right for you. Ideally the hormone support is used to continue supporting the natural decline in hormone levels with the aging process.
Not necessarily, it depends on how well your body responds to Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). For optimal hormone function it is important for you to manage your diet, sleep patterns, exercise, and stress levels. We will address these issues as part of your treatment plan.
Some patients can wean off various hormones once they become balanced and have fewer symptoms of menopause or andropause. There are also patients who can wean off adrenal and thyroid support once their adrenals or thyroid glands have healed. There is no single answer for everyone, it depends on your individual hormone stability and how well your diet and lifestyle will support everything else.
In general, supplementation by exogenous (external) hormones will result in decreased endogenous (internal) production. However, the body tends to restore hormones to pre-treatment levels after treatment is stopped. If your own hormone production was low before treatment, it will most likely return to the same levels after treatment is stopped. As a result, most of the physical changes enabled by the program will gradually revert back to “normal” baseline.
Bio-identical hormones do have an impact on your health on their own, however this effect will be amplified if you are eating well. Your physician at Skintology Health and Wellness Centre will help to assist you in finding the right lifestyle changes including nutrition. Certain foods can help support the digestive system, the liver and hormone production which are all needed to function optimally for the best hormone balancing results.
Your physician at Skintology Health and Wellness Centre will help to determine if nutrient deficiencies exist, organ weakness including the adrenal gland or other supplement needs to compliment your Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. The physicians at Skintology Health and Wellness Centre recommend high quality supplements, if needed, to give you optimal bio-availability.
1. Schwartz, M.D., The Hormone Solution: Naturally alleviate symptoms of hormone Imbalance from adolescence through menopause
2. Feldman HA, Longcope C, Derby CA, et al, Age trends in the level of serum testosterone and other hormones in middle-aged men; longitudinal results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Clin. Endocrinol Metab. 2002;87:589-598
3. (5) Mulligan T, Frick M, Zuraw Q, et al. Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study. Int. J. Clin. Pract. 2006;60:762-9
4. Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. JCEM July 1, 2010 95 no.7 Supplement 1
5. Kleinman et al, JOEM 55, 465-470, 2013