To say that there are a lot of symptoms of hormonal fluctuation and imbalance is an understatement. These can range from the public and unpleasant to the private and personal, spanning phenomena as varied as such as depression, weight gain, hot flashes, low libido, vaginal dryness, and insomnia. What’s more, these can interweave and exacerbate each other. Under these conditions, it’s tempting to want a quick fix.
This is certainly the case for women suffering from low levels of estrogen. Whether due to menopause, perimenopause, or other health changes, the symptoms of low estrogen can be painful, conflict with your daily life, and present have serious health implications. That’s why many women look toward over-the-counter natural estrogen cream for relief; it’s fast, easy, and looks appealing. But the benefits of natural estrogen cream that you can buy OTC are few and far between.
Causes of Low Estrogen
Before seeking out any treatment, of course, it is important to know if you need to be treated.
Estrogen is a critical sex hormone involved in a plethora of physiological processes in a woman’s body. While best known for its role in reproduction and the menstrual cycle, it also helps regulate cholesterol, protects bone health, affects mood, and even influences the look and feel of your skin. As women age, however, estrogen supply naturally begins to change during perimenopause, and falling estrogen levels eventually lead to menopause, often resulting in symptoms like night sweats, sleep disturbances, low sex drive, hot flashes, mood changes, and anxiety. However, low estrogen can also be caused by other events and conditions, including removal of the ovaries, eating disorders like anorexia, and pituitary gland issues, all of which can elicit the same symptoms.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of low estrogen, it’s vital to see a health care practitioner who can identify the root of those symptoms—after all, many of the symptoms of low estrogen are also symptoms of other health conditions and it is essential to receive a correct diagnosis before moving forward. If you do have low estrogen, both your immediate symptoms and your long-term health can often be greatly improved by treating the symptoms of estrogen deficiency.
The question is: how?
Are There Real Benefits of Natural Estrogen Cream?
One popular way of treating low estrogen is with over-the-counter natural estrogen creams. These creams are easily accessible and relatively affordable. Many women also find the idea of a “natural” hormone product to be appealing and erroneously believe it speaks to the product’s safety. But these creams are not the best method for alleviating the symptoms of low estrogen.
The natural estrogen creams you can buy over the counter are not subject to the rigorous standards to which prescription medications are held. In fact, there is little regulation of any kind on these OTC products, which means that their efficacy and safety are not guaranteed. Because your treatment is not guided by a medical professional, you don’t know that the product you choose is the right one for you—the cream you pick up may not contain the right amount of hormones or even the right hormones. DIY product selection and administration could lead to over or under-dosage, which can either lead to ineffective treatment or distressing side effects—or both. Overall, there are few benefits of natural estrogen creams available over the counter and, in fact, there may be significant risks, as hormone therapy in general and estrogen-only therapy specifically isn’t safe for all women. But there is a better way.
BHRT: The Gold Standard in Hormone Therapy
Your health is the most valuable thing you have, and your health decisions should be made thoughtfully with the support of experts with the knowledge to provide sage advice. That’s why hormone replacement should always be done with the guidance of a hormone health specialist who can evaluate whether you are a good candidate for HRT and design a treatment plan based on your body’s unique needs. Rather than relying on self-diagnosis and guesswork, working with a hormone specialist means that this treatment plan will be built around measurable biomarkers and an in-depth understanding of the human body—specifically, your body.
Today, one of the safest and most effective treatment methods for low estrogen is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Bioidentical hormones are derived from plants and created to be an identical match to the hormone naturally produced by your body. A high-quality compounding pharmacy can formulate these prescription hormones into an array of administration methods, including pills and pellets. They are also available in creams for women who prefer topical application—which is often recommended for those struggling with vaginal dryness and atrophy. Whether you would benefit from estrogen alone or need combination therapy, a bioidentical hormone replacement product can be prescribeded to suit you.
BHRT allows countless women to restore their estrogen levels and find lasting relief from disruptive symptoms. What’s more, partnering with a hormone specialist means that you have ongoing support from a practitioner who can continuously assess your treatment response, fine-tune your treatment plan, and give you the tools you need to support greater overall well-being. With the right strategy, you can effectively, safely, and sustainably create a brighter, more comfortable future.
If you want to know more about the possible benefits of natural estrogen cream, BodyLogicMD can help. The BodyLogicMD network is comprised of top medical professionals specializing in hormone health and hormone replacement therapy. A BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioner will design a personalized treatment plan to address your symptoms and help you achieve your health goals using the best therapies available today. Contact a local practitioner to schedule your first appointment, or take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz today.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.