Aging Gracefully and Comfortably: The Benefits of Compounded Hormone Replacement Therapy
As a young woman, I recall my mother watching a TV show with older female stars discussing menopause and “the change of life.” She laughed heartily when one woman continued to go out on dates and have fun despite her worries about menopause; the woman’s friend said something like, “The change of life didn’t change her life much.” I remember wondering why that seemed bitterly funny to my mother. Now, as an older woman, I understand; it’s a daunting proposition to face menopause and all that comes with it.
As women are expected to look younger despite our aging and remain vital and active for longer than ever before, it’s no surprise that we are looking to explore all of our pharmaceutical options. Compounded hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a natural fit; everyone’s body and hormone levels are a little different. This is one area where having just the right compounded dose can be the difference between feeling great and wanting to stay home in bed.
Why Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Menopause or “the change of life” just refers to the end of a woman’s menstruation and ability to have children. But for many women, the loss of the ability to have children is itself traumatic. The fact that this time in life is accompanied by hormonal changes can make it even more challenging. With the body producing less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, it can lead to uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing hot flashes, insomnia, reduced bone density, mood changes, decreased libido, night sweats, decreased skin elasticity, vaginal dryness, and weight gain. Many women experience hypothyroidism in conjunction with menopause and must also take thyroid replacement medication.
For these reasons, many women opt for treatment of their symptoms with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Estrogen-only medications, progestin-only medications, and combinations, whether compounded or just regimens that include multiple drugs, are all options. However, HRT carries some risk; increased risk of blood clots, breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and in some cases dementia or cancer are all part of accepting hormone replacement therapy. There is little wonder, then, why so many women seek to minimize unnecessary exposure by choosing compounded hormonal replacement therapy.
Compounding for HRT
Many compounding pharmacies specialize in hormone replacement therapy. Compounded HRT can mimic exactly what the body is missing and adapt as the body changes. Once a woman’s hormone levels are assessed by her healthcare provider, a precise HRT course of treatment can be determined.
A compounding pharmacist can create a hormone replacement regimen to help a female patient’s hormones stay in the balance she’s used to. And as with any custom compounding, the HRT can take many forms: capsules, topical preparations including vaginal gels and foams, sublingual drops, suppositories, or even troches are all possible options for a woman choosing compounded hormone replacement therapy. Over time, the compound may be adjusted to address any further changes in a woman’s body. And since these are specialty compounding medications created on a patient-by-patient basis, additional options such as compounded thyroid medication can be combined with HRT.
Estrogen Therapy for Anti-Aging
As estrogen levels drop so does skin elasticity; for this reason, some women pursue estrogen therapy which may be via topical medication or systemic treatment. Research shows that women experience atrophy, diminished elasticity and skin strength, fine wrinkling, reduced dermal collagen content, impaired wound healing, loss of moisture in the skin, and thinning of the epidermis associated with drops in their levels of estrogen. Predictably, with HRT women see reduction of skin dryness, reversal of atrophy, and reduced fine lines. This is true even across demographic factors, such as sun exposure.
Custom compounding can work wonders when it comes to making a woman feel like herself again. This fruitful area for both patients and pharmaceutical providers will continue to see increased interest in compounded hormone replacement therapy as women take charge of their healthcare needs and make choices to ensure that they receive specialized treatment.
For information about compounding hormonal replacement therapy, please contact Pharmaceutica North America. We are proud to be your resource for high-quality bulk compounding materials, and we can advise you about treatment regimens and effective carrying agents.