One difficulty with treatments is determining who they are best for and what groups can stand to benefit even with an increased risk of side effects. Fortunately, my time in San Antonio as an OB/GYN (rapidly approaching 40 years!) has helped me gather a unique sense of each of the age group demographics of the city.
The peri and post-menopausal women (typically from 47-58 years old) are those that were typically most indicated to receive hormone therapy. The therapy was indicated for vasomotor symptoms, more commonly known as “hot flashes,” and vaginal atrophy, or thinning of the vaginal lining. Initial studies into hormone replacement therapy painted the therapy as one only useful and safe for the above indications.
As those studies have been re-examined, it is clear that hormone therapy, especially when carefully titrated, has other significant uses. In women outside that range, it can provide a viable alternative to estrogen or progesterone prescriptions (eg: for those women with a hormone imbalanace) or as a readily available testosterone supplement for men with low free testosterone. Interestingly, it is the results of my patients which encouraged me to look at these newer indications for hormone therapy. Many of my patients have endorses a hollow or empty feeling prior to receiving hormone therapy. Those patients, once appropriately tested, were treated with a hormone regimen to alleviate their deficiency and immediately posted strong improvements.
What does the above mean? It means that a physician has to be open to listen to a patients’ concerns and hypothesis about their problem even if it doesn’t fit conventionally held ideas on the subject. More importantly, the physician has to be willing to stay current with research and incorporate anecdotal evidence into an evidence-based practice.
My recommendation to you is make an appointment with me. I am one of the few OBGYNs who provides individualized bio-identical hormone therapy in San Antonio and, among the ones that do, my tenure in practice is the longest. In our first meeting, we will discuss your symptoms and ensure that hormone therapy is the best treatment for you.