Alternatives to Premarin For Hormone Replacement Therapy

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Alternatives to Premarin For Hormone Replacement Therapy

HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is used to alleviate menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. The best course of treatment depends on a woman’s individual health status, her symptoms and personal preference.

Women produce two primary hormones in their bodies: estrogen and progesterone. These chemicals come from the ovaries, but during menopause these levels decrease dramatically resulting in many of the symptoms associated with menopause.

Hormonal pills and creams that contain estrogen or progestin may help alleviate these symptoms. Furthermore, these medications may improve sleep quality, boost bone density, and combat stress and anxiety.

Premarin is a widely prescribed form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It’s made from conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs), estradiol and its metabolites found in the urine of pregnant mares.

Alternatives to Premarin are FDA-approved and have been proven safe for use during and after menopause. These include Estrace, EstroGel, Prempro, and Vivelle-Dot.

Bio-identical hormones are chemically and functionally identical to the natural hormones made by a woman’s body and can be taken in pill, cream or patch form.

Some bio-identical hormones can be prescribed by a gynecologist trained in women’s health. Others come as dietary supplements.

The FDA is concerned about non-FDA approved hormone products sold without a prescription on the internet, commonly referred to as “bio-identical hormones” or “natural hormones.” These hormones may be promoted as safer or more natural than FDA-approved hormones but actually contain none of these active ingredients.

These hormones are carefully mixed by a pharmacist and may include other hormones like testosterone, DHEA or adrenal hormones. They’re frequently touted as safer than FDA-approved hormones derived from pregnant mare’s urine.

Menopausal symptoms can be greatly alleviated with these drugs, and they’re safe to take as long as you adhere to your doctor’s instructions.

However, you should be aware of the potential risks associated with these hormones and their side effects. Some of the more serious potential outcomes include blood clots, stroke, heart attack, eye disease, and breast cancer.

Other common side effects include headache, breast pain, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, stomach/abdominal cramps/bloating, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, fluid retention and vaginal yeast infection.

Women with liver issues should avoid oral estrogens, as they have the potential to harm the organ.

If your liver is compromised, there may be other options such as oral or topical tamoxifen. These medications can help alleviate menopausal symptoms and even extend a woman’s life expectancy.

Selecting an alternative to Premarin is a personal decision. Everyone’s body responds differently to hormones, so the right product for you may vary greatly.

Before making a decision about estrogen or progesterone use, it’s essential to discuss all your options with your healthcare provider. Doing this will enable you to make an informed decision that is right for you.

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