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    Hormone Replacement Therapy FAQs

    What are some Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) options?

    Depending on the type of hormones needed, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be administered using pills, patches, gels, injections, creams and pellets. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy offers hormones made from natural sources instead of synthetic hormones. Some types of HRT include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid. At HerKare, we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in pill form and via injections.

    What are the benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

    Hormone replacement therapy offers many potential benefits! We'll talk to you specifically about what to expect based on your individual health, but benefits may include more energy, a better mood and an improvement in your memory and concentration. You may experience enhanced libido and an improved sex life with reduced vaginal dryness and thinning, and improved muscle tone. Additional potential benefits include a lower risk of heart disease, stronger bones, fewer wrinkles and fewer hot flashes or night sweats.

    What are the pros and cons of the different Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) options?

    Pills are simple to take but require you to remember to take them daily, and their absorption into the skin can vary based on what you eat. Gels and creams are convenient, but can be messy, difficult to dose accurately due to differing absorption and sweat rates and have a risk of cross contamination to loved ones. Pellets are convenient in that you only need to visit a doctor quarterly to have the pellets inserted. The procedure does require a simple surgical procedure to insert the pellets, which is subject to potential infection and/or body rejection. Once the pellets are inserted, the patient must live with the dosage for the next three months, even if the dose is too high or too low. Patches are simple to apply, but can cause skin irritation, and you must remember to change them every few days. At HerKare, we believe injections administered under the watchful care of a medical provider are the optimal delivery method for testosterone. While this may be less convenient, the medical team is able to customize the dosage up or down on a bi-weekly basis, and monitor any side effects, the resolution of symptoms, and your overall health.

    Who needs hormone replacement therapy?

    You may associate HRT with menopause, and this is one of the common reasons for prescribing hormone replacement therapy to women. However, you can develop a hormone imbalance at any time in your life. Symptoms like fatigue, a loss of interest in sex, vaginal dryness and mood swings can all indicate a hormone imbalance that may be improved with HRT. We will recommend HRT based on your symptoms, your lab results and your overall health.

    How long will I receive HRT?

    This depends on the individual, your current health, health history and symptoms. Our goal is to get you feeling great again with the least intervention possible. Regarding hormones, sometimes simple lifestyle changes will bring things back into balance, and you’re on your way. For others whose body is not producing an appropriate amount of a given hormone, a given therapy may be needed to keep symptoms away. A discussion with a medical provider is the right first step to determine what’s best for you.

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy FAQs

    What is estrogen?

    Estrogen hormones get your body ready for pregnancy and increase your desire for sex. They also help regulate your cholesterol levels and strengthen your bones. Although estrogen is usually produced by the ovaries, your fat tissue or adrenal glands can also produce estrogen. During perimenopause or menopause, your estrogen levels drop. For some women, this can lead to such uncomfortable symptoms as depression, fatigue, hot flashes and a low sex drive. You may also experience symptoms of low estrogen at other times in your life. We may be able to treat your low estrogen with bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy.

    How are low estrogen levels diagnosed?

    We'll discuss your symptoms and use a blood test to determine whether your estrogen levels are too low. When you start estrogen replacement therapy, we'll continue to monitor your levels to ensure that you are getting the right dosage and make adjustments as required.

    How do you treat low estrogen levels naturally?

    If we determine that you need estrogen replacement therapy, we'll use bioidentical estrogen. This offers natural estrogen replacement with estrogen derived from plants rather than made synthetically.

    Who should get estrogen replacement therapy?

    Women who suffer from a hormone imbalance may benefit from estrogen replacement therapy. After discussing your symptoms and health history and determining through a blood test that your estrogen levels are below the normal range, our medical provider will discuss if estrogen therapy is potentially right for you.

    What are the effects of estrogen replacement therapy?

    As is the case with all forms of hormone replacement therapy, it may take from a few weeks to several months to recognize improvements in some of your symptoms. Improvements potentially include more energy, fewer mood swings, and an improved libido. Estrogen replacement therapy has been shown to reduce migraines and night sweats in some patients. Prior to entering menopause, taking estrogen might also make your periods more regular.

    Progesterone Replacement Therapy FAQs

    How do you test for low progesterone?

    We'll check your progesterone levels by taking a simple blood test to see if you potentially need progesterone replacement therapy. Symptoms like fatigue or just not feeling like yourself might be the first sign that you are suffering from low progesterone, but we make sure to thoroughly assess your health and potential causes of those symptoms.

    How do you treat progesterone deficiency?

    Once we have determined that you are low in progesterone, and have assessed your overall health, we will discuss an appropriate treatment plan for you. If progesterone replacement therapy is right for you, our medical team would likely prescribe an oral method for administering the therapy. Once we begin hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, we will continue to monitor your hormone levels to make sure you are receiving the appropriate dosage and make adjustments if necessary.

    What is the function of progesterone?

    Progesterone has a number of functions in a woman's body, including helping to strengthen bones and reducing the likelihood of osteoporosis.

    Is progesterone replacement therapy only for women in menopause?

    HRT is most commonly prescribed to women who have gone through menopause since progesterone levels often drop significantly post-menopause. However, hormonal imbalances can affect women at other times in their lives. In the decade or more leading up to menopause, which is called perimenopause, women's hormones may also be out of balance. Progesterone can help regulate heavy or irregular periods during perimenopause as well as symptoms of PMS. At HerKare, we will design a treatment plan for you that could include hormone replacement therapy at any stage of your life.

    What are the symptoms of low progesterone?

    Low progesterone symptoms are similar to those related to other types of hormonal imbalances as well as other conditions. They include depression, moodiness, an irregular period, urinary tract infections and painful sex as a result of vaginal dryness. The variability of these symptoms is why it is important to confirm a progesterone imbalance exists by taking a simple blood test. Then our medical team can prescribe the appropriate treatment plan for you.

    Testosterone Replacement Therapy FAQs

    Do women need testosterone?

    Although testosterone is most commonly associated with men’s health, that doesn't mean it is not important for women as well. Women need lower levels of testosterone than men, but they do produce testosterone in small amounts in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Those small amounts can still be critical to your overall health and well-being. Testosterone is important to your sex drive, your fertility and the production of new red blood cells. Testosterone affects your muscle mass and how you distribute fat. Hormone replacement therapy as a treatment for low testosterone is not just for men. In the presence of low testosterone, women can also benefit from testosterone replacement therapy as well.

    How do you test for low testosterone levels in women?

    Your symptoms may suggest low testosterone, but our medical team confirms your testosterone levels with a simple blood sample. We will also assess your overall health and talk to you about how you are feeling. If our medical team thinks you may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy, they will talk to you about your options.

    How do you treat low testosterone levels?

    If your testosterone levels are low, our medical team may recommend a treatment protocol of the bioidentical hormone replacement of testosterone via injection. Injections are our preferred method for HRT because they allow our medical team to control the dosage, closely monitor your levels and make adjustments as necessary. You'll come in to our HerKare office every couple of weeks for an injection and a quick check of those levels.

    What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

    You might have low testosterone if your sex drive is suffering or if you are experiencing vaginal dryness. Generally feeling weak and fatigued can be another symptom of low testosterone as well as weight gain and insomnia. Low testosterone can make your periods irregular and affect your fertility. Bioidenticals offer natural testosterone hormone replacement that may help you feel better.

    What causes low testosterone in women?

    Menopause is a time that brings a number of hormonal changes that may be treated with HRT, and testosterone is one of those hormones that is present in declining levels for many women as they age. However, low testosterone may occur for reasons other than menopause, such as when ovaries have been removed or in the presence of a condition known as adrenal insufficiency in which your adrenal glands do not function properly.

    Thyroid FAQs

    Do women need testosterone?

    Although testosterone is most commonly associated with men’s health, that doesn't mean it is not important for women as well. Women need lower levels of testosterone than men, but they do produce testosterone in small amounts in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Those small amounts can still be critical to your overall health and well-being. Testosterone is important to your sex drive, your fertility and the production of new red blood cells. Testosterone affects your muscle mass and how you distribute fat. Hormone replacement therapy as a treatment for low testosterone is not just for men. In the presence of low testosterone, women can also benefit from testosterone replacement therapy as well.

    How do you test for low testosterone levels in women?

    Your symptoms may suggest low testosterone, but our medical team confirms your testosterone levels with a simple blood sample. We will also assess your overall health and talk to you about how you are feeling. If our medical team thinks you may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy, they will talk to you about your options.

    How do you treat low testosterone levels?

    If your testosterone levels are low, our medical team may recommend a treatment protocol of the bioidentical hormone replacement of testosterone via injection. Injections are our preferred method for HRT because they allow our medical team to control the dosage, closely monitor your levels and make adjustments as necessary. You'll come in to our HerKare office every couple of weeks for an injection and a quick check of those levels.

    What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

    You might have low testosterone if your sex drive is suffering or if you are experiencing vaginal dryness. Generally feeling weak and fatigued can be another symptom of low testosterone as well as weight gain and insomnia. Low testosterone can make your periods irregular and affect your fertility. Bioidenticals offer natural testosterone hormone replacement that may help you feel better.

    What causes low testosterone in women?

    Menopause is a time that brings a number of hormonal changes that may be treated with HRT, and testosterone is one of those hormones that is present in declining levels for many women as they age. However, low testosterone may occur for reasons other than menopause, such as when ovaries have been removed or in the presence of a condition known as adrenal insufficiency in which your adrenal glands do not function properly.

    Sleep Apnea FAQs

    What is sleep apnea?

    Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing periodically while you are asleep. This can cause you to wake up frequently throughout the night even when you don't remember doing so. Sleep apnea can cause fatigue, but it can also lead to more serious conditions, such as high blood pressure and a higher risk of stroke or heart attacks.

    What is enough sleep?

    The recommendation for adults is seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Many adults, especially women, do not get the minimum amount. If you often feel fatigued during the day, you may not be getting enough sleep or are experiencing poor sleep quality.

    What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

    Sleep apnea is a condition that is often associated with men, but women can have it as well. In men, snoring is one of the main symptoms, but women's symptoms can differ significantly. Insomnia, fatigue, a dry mouth on waking up in the morning, headaches, poor concentration and depression can all be symptoms of sleep apnea.

    Can you have sleep apnea if you don't snore?

    Snoring or even gasping and choking while sleeping are common ways that sleep apnea is diagnosed in men. However, you can have sleep apnea without these symptoms, and women in particular may have sleep apnea even though they don't snore.

    How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

    Sleep issues can indicate a number of different conditions, and sleep apnea is only one of them. The only way to diagnose sleep apnea is with a sleep test. At HerKare, we can perform a simple, convenient take-home sleep test that you take in the comfort of your own bed. This test will definitively tell our board-certified sleep doctor the type and severity of sleep apnea you suffer.

    How is sleep apnea treated?

    If we determine after a home sleep test that you have sleep apnea, we will then talk to you about the options for sleep apnea management. Some people are able to control their sleep apnea through lifestyle changes. This includes weight loss, exercise and eating healthily. However, in some cases, this is not sufficient to solve the issue and help you get the sleep you need. You may need a CPAP device to treat your sleep apnea. The CPAP device helps you to sleep by keeping your airway open with air pressure delivered through a small mask on your face. Your CPAP device will transmit your sleep data to our board-certified sleep doctor while you sleep which will help with making any needed adjustments. It may take a few adjustments before you are sleeping comfortably with the CPAP device.

    Vitamin FAQs

    What is folate used for in the body?

    Folate is a B vitamin that plays a vital role in cell division and nerve health and is an anti-oxidant.

    How is a Folate deficiency diagnosed?

    Folate deficiency is diagnosed by blood analysis.

    How is Folate deficiency treated?

    After an evaluation and a review of your lab results, the medical providers at HerKare will determine whether a Folate deficiency exists and customize a treatment regimen specific to your needs. Several different formulations are used for replacement. These are based upon absorption characteristics.

    How do you test for Vitamin B12 deficiency?

    Vitamin B12 deficiency is determined by evaluating a sample of your blood.

    How do you treat Vitamin B12 deficiency?

    Vitamin D deficiency is determined by evaluating a sample of your blood. After an assessment and evaluation of your lab results, the medical providers at HerKare will tailor a regimen customized to meet your specific needs. Vitamin D deficiency can be replaced orally.

    Still have a question?

    If you don’t find an answer to your question above a knowledgeable member of the HerKare staff will get back to you shortly with an answer. Contact us today! *NOTICE: The information contained on this page is general information and is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice, or to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The FAQ contained herein are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions and should not be used as such. Only a qualified physician can determine if you qualify for and should undertake treatment.*