Facebook Pixel

I am starting bioidentical hormones, what tests need to be done?

By December 3, 2009 - 12:02pm
Rate This

Add a Comment2 Comments

Hi Cheryl,

I believe this is one of our best articles regarding BHRT by EmpowHer's Shamir Benji: Bioidential Hormones and Menopause, who states, "In the short term, there is no question that bioidentical HRT can help strengthen bone, reduce fractures, improve mood and increase energy. There are many anecdotal reports, which claim that bioidentical HRT can help delay the onset of dementia and maintain cognition.

Bioidentical HRT, however, is not for everyone. Women who have liver disease, a history of blood clots or undiagnosed vaginal bleeding should not take these hormones. The typical side effects of bioidentical HRT include headache, bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, anxiety, and breast tenderness."

Thus, the tests that you are asking about---this answer depends on what your personal health and family history risk factor are, what symptoms you are trying to alleviate (why you are taking BHRT in the first place), coupled with the information provided about the risk factors in taking any type of drug or supplement. Do you have a family or personal history of any of the above conditions (bone loss, liver disease, etc).

You may also be interested in reading this article, EmpowHer: Bioidentical Hormones, what are they and do they really work?, which states, "...“natural” or not, bioidentical hormones are still hormones and come with the same set of risks as traditional HRT products. Safety of hormones like estrogen to treat menopausal symptoms has become a concern since the highly publicized results of the Women’s Health Initiative of 2002 that found HRT increased the risk of heart disease and some cancers in certain women on long-term hormone therapy."

Again, if you have any personal or family history with any of the conditions above (heart disease, certain cancers), this would need to be discussed with your doctor, and you can have tests performed to check on your heart health (total blood cholesterol, is a good indicator of heart health as one measure). The "tests" do not need to be complicated, and I'm curious what tests your doctor has already conducted? Are you asking instead about specific tests to check hormone levels?

Research regarding the efficacy of HRT vs. BHRT can be found at: Data on Efficacy of Bioidentical HRT vs. HRT. There are also links to medical experts (2 minute video interview each) regarding BHRT.

Please review the links, and ask any follow-up questions you have. I know I did not answer your question specifically, but if you could provide us with more information (why you are taking BHRT, what your doctors have recommended, what you are concerned about, etc) we can better answer your question.

December 3, 2009 - 1:56pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

Thanks so much for all of the above information. I have reviewed the links as you suggested. Two weeks ago, I started on bioidentical hormones. The symptoms I reported to my OB/GYN were difficulty sleeping, depression, frequent crying, vaginal dryness, no libido and pain with intercourse. She started me on C-Bi-Est 3 mg/Testosterone 1 mg lozenge taken daily in the morning and C-Progesterone 75 mg lozenge taken daily in the evening. The physician did not do initial blood work but suggested I return in 4-6 weeks for lab tests to check the hormone levels. I am interested in knowing exactly what hormones you feel should be tested. Thanks for your help!

December 3, 2009 - 4:57pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.