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Menopause and HRT

Holistic-online.com

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy:  Delivery Systems

As in the traditional HRT, the hormone in natural hormone replacement therapy can be taken in several forms - from creams, gels, and drops to oral tablets or suppositories. What you choose to use is based on your preference, and, in some instances, how your body responds.

Cream

Some women love using the creams or gels, others find them messy. Creams or gels can come with handy applicators that allow you to measure out an exact dose. The transdermal (absorbed through the skin) creams and gels are applied to those parts of your body where the skin is thin and the cream can be easily absorbed -e.g., inner wrists, inner arms, face, stomach, breasts, neck, and palms of the hands, all the places where capillaries are abundant and close to the surface. They can work when rubbed on the stomach as well. The transdermal creams and gels have the great advantage of delivering the hormone directly into your bloodstream, where it is carried through your body. In this form, the hormones bypass the liver's first-pass removal process, allowing greater immediate systemic effect. Women with gastrointestinal problems or liver problems are advised to use the transdermals.

Not meant to be used prior to intercourse since it is likely that your partner will absorb the cream as well. The side effects of estrogen are worse for men. If added lubricant is needed, use one of the non-medicated lubricants available.

Oral Drops/Pills

Easier to control dosages. Pills are familiar to all. If possible use a micronized hormone product. It is absorbed through the lymph system and goes directly into circulation, thereby avoiding the digestive tract and decreasing the liver's first- pass removal.

Patch

Many women hate the idea of having something stuck to their bottom all the time. It can also be irritating to the skin, and its adhesive backing contains undesirable chemicals.

Next Topic: Alternative and Natural Approaches to the treatment of Menopause

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