estrogen compounds are available by prescription from compounding
pharmacists. These types of estrogen are bio-identical -- they are chemically equal to the estrogen produced naturally in your body. There are 3 types of estrogens commonly used in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. These are: Estrone
(E1); Estradiol (E2), and Estriol
(E3). Estrone and estradiol cause
most of the risks associated with estrogen use. Natural or bio-identical estrogen
compounds are prepared in any combination or number of these 3 types of
estrogen; the most common formulation is 10 percent Estrone, 10 percent
Estradiol, and 80 percent Estriol--called Tri-estrogen or Tri-est. A two estrogen
bio-identical compound is called bi-estrogen.
progesterone is an important component in menopausal symptom
management for many women. It's available over-the-counter in
products such as Pro-Gest, in compounded prescriptions, and a
pharmaceutical called Prometrium. The benefit of using a cream
product over an oral form is that you need a much lower dose
because it does not have to be metabolized by the liver.
Progestins such as Provera are not natural progesterone but a
synthetic version which is not chemically equivalent to the
progesterone produced by the body. Natural progesterone causes
virtually no side effects--progestins cause side effects that
include irregular bleeding and fluid retention.
- Of course, don't forget to get plenty of regular exercise. Exercise is probably the single most important thing a woman can do to improve her overall health and well-being throughout her life. Regular exercise (at least 3 or 4 days a week) helps prevent and reduce bone loss, and plays a key role in reducing your risk of many types of cancer, as well as heart disease.
Although these suggestions work for many women, remember every woman is different and it may take some time for you to find which treatments, or combination of treatments, work best for you. Always inform your healthcare provider of any natural alternative treatments you are using--this includes all vitamins, herbs, creams, etc.