Bio Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
What Are Bio-Identical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are identical to the hormones your body produces. They mimic your own hormones and function in your body the exact same way your hormones do. These hormones are plant-based, but because of the similarity with natural hormones, your body perceives them the same way.
This allows for a natural integration into your body’s physiology. Bioidentical hormones are available commercially as well as from compounding pharmacies. These hormones are used to replace what your body no longer makes as you go through menopause or andropause.
The most popular method of administration of these hormones is by use of a cream, gel, or patch on the skin transdermally, or orally. Although estrogen is the main component of Hormone Replacement Therapy and relieves most symptoms, natural progesterone is also added to alleviate anxiety and promote better sleep. Besides Estrogen and Progesterone, women may need other hormones like DHEA and Testosterone.
Is Hormone Replacement Safe?
Depending on your body, we may use a combination of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. In young postmenopausal women, Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a safe and an effective tool to alleviate moderate to severe menopausal symptoms and to prevent long-term degenerative diseases such as osteoporotic fractures, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and, possibly cognitive impairment.
Dr. Pagador is very conscious of common patient concerns, such as the increased possibility of breast cancer linked with Hormone Replacement therapy as well as controversies regarding compounded hormones. All of your concerns regarding these issues can be addressed at your appointment.
How Does the Hormone Replacement Program Work?
Initial visit: Orientation, explanation of the overall process, education about hormones, review of medical history, and advanced hormone lab testing.
Follow-up visit: Every 7-8 weeks. We will review lab results, symptoms, and treatment plans.
Lab work: Done on initial visit, then every 6 weeks until you reach optimal levels, then every 6 months thereafter. It can take anywhere from 3-12 months to reach optimal levels.
Medications: We use Anazao Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy based in Tampa, Florida. We chose this company because of their purity, potency, and reasonable pricing.
We fax your prescriptions (2 months supply) to Anazao Pharmacy, and they mail your medications directly to your door. It takes at least 5 days for processing and shipping, which is why we prefer our patients to have follow-ups every 7 weeks to avoid running out of medications too early.
No Contracts - Stop at Any Time.
Our hormone replacement program is contract free. You can stop at any time, no questions asked. We base our methods on honesty and trust, and never try to lock in our patients in something they do not choose.
If you need to stop the program for any reason and have already received your medications, the monthly recurring fee will continue for 2 months to pay for 2 months worth of medication already shipped. The pharmacy cannot take back anything that have been shipped out already (federal regulation). So if you need to stop the program, just make sure to do so before the next round of medication ships.
Seriously Health HRT or REVITA?
At Seriously Health we offer two methods of receiving your hormone therapy, and we let our patients pick the program that works best for them!
Seriously Health HRT: Prescription bio-identical estradiol and progesterone that you can get filled at your pharmacy. They are not compounded, therefore they are only available in stock doses.
REVITA: Bio-identical estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone which are compounded and natural (plant based!) They are specific and can be given at the exact dose needed based on symptoms and labs. REVITA is a monthly subscription based program, which includes the visit and the hormones.
For our patients that are looking for affordability and a non-subscription based program, we find that Seriously Health HRT is the option for them.
Our Hormone Replacement Therapy Q&A
What is the best age to consider bioidentical hormone therapy?
At Seriously Health, we believe most people should have their hormones checked by the age of 40 or earlier if they are experiencing symptoms of menopause (or andropause in men). The way to prevent illness and to optimize one's health is to take an active role in addressing health care risks before they become a problem. Getting tested when you still feel good gives you a benchmark for later comparison as the inevitable hormone changes and decline begin.
Why do women need hormones before, during, and after menopause?
Can hormone therapy help with stress?
High stress levels are very common in individuals with unbalanced hormones. Regulating hormones with bioidentical hormone therapy will certainly help to decrease stress levels and increase general feelings of well-being. When your body undergoes chronic stress, the over production of the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, gradually wears the body down. Chronic stress can have a wide range of effects on your overall health. Stress is linked to high blood pressure, arrhythmia, blood clots and atherosclerosis. Stress has also been found to worsen pre-existing symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), erectile dysfunction, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While stress reduction techniques may be helpful in the short term, the long term effects of chronic stress usually require medical intervention.
I experience low sex drive. Could it be my hormones?
Yes. A deficiency of testosterone, estrogen, or other types of hormonal imbalance can cause a low libido. Replenishing these hormones can improve sex drive and quality of life.
Will you prescribe me vitamins and supplements?
If our team finds your overall health and hormonal balance could be improved through vitamins and supplements, we will prescribe or suggest them to you. Seriously Health recommends only high grade vitamins and supplements for their patients so they get the most benefit from each supplement.
Will I have to take these hormones forever?
I am on birth control. Does this count as hormone therapy?
Yes, birth control pills are a type of hormone therapy but are different from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Birth control pill hormones are synthetic. Synthetic hormones have differences in their chemical structure that are not a replica of the body's natural hormones.
Why don't traditional doctors prescribe bioidentical hormone therapy?
Traditional doctors do not usually have the time or the resources to seek expertise in bioidentical hormones. Dr. Jennifer Pagador M.D. has committed to extensive training in bioidentical hormone therapy and has specialized knowledge in women’s hormonal concerns. With more than 30 years of experience in family medicine and women's health, she has specialized training in the use of bio-identical hormones. She continues her ongoing education to stay aware of the most up to date research available on bioidentical hormone therapy.
Do I need a prescription for bioidentical hormone therapy?
Yes. Bioidentical hormones are compounded prescription drugs that are produced in a specialized pharmacy. Each prescription is hand made from the highest quality ingredients and made by pharmacists that specialize in formulating drugs. Since every patient is unique, the strength or the dosage form needs to be specially made to fit the individual.
Are there side effects with bioidentical hormone therapy?
Because bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure of the hormones made naturally by your body, there are relatively few side effects. Side effects occur mainly when the dosage of hormone is too high for the individual. At Seriously Health we monitor and evaluates you consistently to assure balanced and proper dosing. Keeping follow up appointments is essential to your success!
I heard estrogen might increase my risk of a heart attack or breast cancer. Is this true?
Are bioidentical hormones approved and regulated by the FDA?
The ingredients in bioidentical hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are approved by the FDA. However, state and local pharmacy boards have jurisdiction over them, not the FDA. It is important to know you are using the highest quality compounding pharmacy and that they follow the most stringent guidelines and have excellent quality assurance.
Will bioidentical hormones interfere with my currently prescribed medications?
Typically, the answer is no. The only time when medications will interfere with bioidentical hormones (and vice-versa) is when the medications you're taking contain hormones, like birth control and certain prescribed acne medications. In many cases certain medications will no longer be needed once hormone levels are restored to a healthy balance. This generally happens because balanced hormones improve your overall health. It's important to talk with your healthcare provider about any medications and supplements you're currently taking to know for sure if the interaction will have any adverse effects.
Can you use lab work that I've already done?
You may bring along any lab work, bone density, mammograms, PAP smears, or other diagnostic tests you have had done in the past year. We will not need the actual x-rays or ultrasounds, only the report. You may need to do a new, complete female or male hormone panel which includes both blood tests. As our hormones are not static, this comprehensive diagnostic panel will help us determine exactly where your hormone levels stand today. We can then customize a therapy tailored to meet your individual needs.
Is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy covered by my insurance?
130 Business Park Dr.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
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Saturday: 9 AM - 2 PM