Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHRT)

Clinicbe in Knightsbridge offer Bioidentical Hormone Therapy. 

Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to the natural hormones produced by the human body. Although their primary ingredients come from plant sources such as yam or soy they are subjected to extensive laboratory modifications to be made “bioidentical”.

Advantages of Bioidentical Hormones

Their advantages compared to synthetic hormones and other hormones such as Premarin used in conventional HRT are their ability to bind with the same receptors in the human body and to follow the same metabolic and elimination pathways as naturally produced hormones. Therefore, their actions can be more “physiological”.

Additionally, they can be measured in bodily fluids – i.e. blood, urine, saliva – allowing your doctor to monitor  their levels throughout your treatment and avoid over- or under-replacement.

Conventional HRT hormones cannot be measured in bodily fluids and dosage remains fixed and unmonitored.

BHRT refers primarily to the replacement of sex hormones i.e. oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. However, for better results, your doctor will assess and restore the status of other vital hormones (thyroid, DHEA, melatonin).

FAQ – BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Therapy)

What are the health benefits of BHRT?

Efficient treatment of hot flushes & sweats; prevention of osteoporosis/ bone fractures; improvement of incontinence and vaginal dryness; improvement of sleep and mood; improvement of memory/concentration/thinking; improvement in wrinkles,skin texture and hair ; improvement of body composition and muscle mass; improvement of libido and sexual function.

What are the risks and safety profile of BHRT?

A big study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) in the late nineties monitored the risks of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots in women receiving synthetic (non-bioidentical) HRT compared to women not receiving HRT; the study was terminated prematurely due to increased risk of all the above listed conditions and HRT got out of favour resulting in many women being left without treatment despite severe menopausal symptoms and poor quality of life.

Ten years after the termination of WHI many expert societies including the British Menopause Society have reviewed the evidence and revisited the WHI findings concluding that HRT/BHRT confers significant benefits for menopausal symptoms, bone health and possibly heart disease prevention if started early in menopause. Furthermore, further studies showed that oestrogen creams/gels – unlike oral oestrogens – do not cause blood clots and bioidentical progesterone does not share the same bad risk profile as synthetic progestins like Provera with regards to breast cancer. Your doctor will assess your individual risks before starting any BHRT treatments to ensure maximal safety and will address your concerns and questions. Despite promising emerging evidence, our advice is that all supplements and hormones may pose risks if used without professional supervision and without prior assessment of individual patient suitability.

Who is eligible for BHRT?

Female menopause/perimenopause and male andropause are the main periods of  hormonal imbalance in life.

Depending on the severity of symptoms menopause and andropause may lead to distress, frustration and poor quality of life.

Genetics, lifestyle choices such as diet and physical activity and environmental toxic exposures may all affect the way our bodies function throughout menopause and andropause. BHRT is very effective in alleviating the symptoms of menopause/andropause  making life more enjoyable.

If think you have the symptoms of menopause and andropause, our services include medical testing.

Hormonal imbalances may also occur throughout life and present symptoms such as stress, fatigue, weight gain, acne or sexual dysfunction. Hormonal imbalances at a younger age are usually managed well with individualised programmes combining diet, targeted nutritional supplementation, stress management and exercise prescription.

BHRT is most effective and safe if combined with specially designed life-style medicine interventions and this is what is offered at Clinicbe.

What am I to expect once I have booked an appointment for BHRT?

We will send you your personal BHRT pack and we will ask you to complete a few health questionnaires and to have a few tests done, including:

  • blood
  • urine
  • saliva

In a couple of weeks your doctor will receive your results and you will be invited to come in for an initial consultation which will include:

  • a physical examination
  • discussion of your concerns
  • explanation of test results
  • personalised BHRT prescription if required
  • supplement regime specifically tailored to your needs

Is there any follow-up and how often does it take place?

Follow-up with the doctor is essential for safe and effective BHRT. There is a short review six weeks after getting started on the programme and from then onwards routine reviews take place every 3-4 months. After a while on BHRT most people need routine reviews only once or twice a year. If you experience any problems in between routine follow-ups your doctor will be available for an appointment to discuss and fix the problem.

When should I start feeling better?

It varies from person to person. Some people may notice significant changes within six weeks while for others it may take longer- up to 3 months. It also depends on what symptoms are predominant: some symptoms improve faster than others.