Marla Ahlgrimm: Hormone replacement therapy is essentially replacing hormones naturally produced in the body with prescription hormone medications. When the body fails to produce enough of a certain hormone—which may include progesterone, testosterone or estradiol—a woman may begin to feel symptoms of hormone deficiency.
Q: What’s the difference between synthetic and natural hormones?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Synthetic hormones are similar to those hormones produced naturally in a woman’s body. An example of synthetic hormones are those found in oral contraceptives. Natural hormones are identical to those produced in a woman’s body -progesterone, testosterone, and estradiol. Natural hormone replacement therapy is typically considered advantageous over synthetic hormone replacement therapy by many women and their doctors.
Q: Is hormone replacement therapy suitable for all women?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Hormone replacement therapy is determined on a case-by-case basis. No two women are alike and each woman must be prescribed exactly what’s needed to meet her unique needs. It is not a one-size-fits-all treatment for any condition.
Q: What should one look for in a hormone replacement therapy provider?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Women seeking hormone replacement therapy should consider both the physician and the pharmacist providing services to them. It is ideal to have providers who are experienced in hormone replacement therapy and who are willing to listen to the woman, as she is the one who will know her body most intimately and be able to gauge whether the therapy is working or not.