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:
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 you’re experiencing symptoms of menopause, perimenopause or other health changes, the effects of low estrogen can be painful, conflict with your daily life, and present serious health implications.
That’s why many women look to over-the-counter natural estrogen cream for relief; it’s fast and easy and looks appealing. After all, these creams are supposedly “natural” and don’t require a prescription — surely that means they’re a safe bet, right?
But, the benefits of natural estrogen cream that you can buy OTC are few and far between. Furthermore, you might be putting yourself at risk by using these poorly regulated medications, particularly if you have certain conditions. Instead, the smart choice is to see a hormone replacement therapy professional who can create a customized hormone therapy regimen that’s just right for your body.
To examine why it’s so important to have a professional supervise your estrogen therapy, let’s start with one basic question: What causes low estrogen, and how do you know if this condition is affecting you?
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 variety 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 such as:
- Night sweats
- Breast tenderness
- Sleep disturbances
- Low sex drive
- Hot flashes
- Mood changes
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; and all 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 causes 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 vaginal 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.
So-called natural estrogen creams attempt to mimic the effects of prescription medications used to treat low estrogen levels in postmenopausal women. This is often the hormone estradiol, commonly sold as a prescription vaginal cream under the brand name Estrace.
Unfortunately, the natural estrogen creams you can buy over the counter or on the internet are not subject to the rigorous FDA standards to which prescription medications are held. In fact, there is little regulation of any kind on these OTC supplement products, which means that their efficacy and safety are not guaranteed.
And, since 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. In some cases, the product may not even include accurate and complete drug information. DIY product selection and administration could lead to over or under-dosage, which can either mean ineffective treatment or distressing side effects — or both.
There are few benefits of natural estrogen creams available over the counter and, in fact, there may be significant risks. After all, hormone therapy in general and estrogen-only therapy specifically aren’t safe for all women. Women with a history of conditions such as blood clots, breast cancer, or endometrial cancer need to be especially cautious. But, the simple truth is that there’s no way to truly be sure about the potential risks and benefits that HRT may present for you unless you consult a professional.However, there is a better way. By finding a qualified hormone health professional to work with, you can get on track toward healthy estrogen levels. What’s more, through the power of bioidentical hormone replacement, hormone health specialists now have more powerful tools than ever to treat estrogen deficiency.
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 who have the knowledge to provide professional medical 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 your treatment plan will be built around measurable biomarkers and an in-depth understanding of the human body — specifically, your body. In addition, your hormone health professional will get to know your patient information and specific risk factors so they can steer you away from treatments that might not be safe for you.
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 hormones 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 with other hormones like progestin, a bioidentical hormone replacement product can be prescribed 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 you have ongoing support from a healthcare professional who’s dedicated to finding the optimal solution for you.
Your hormone therapy practitioner will regularly assess your treatment response and fine-tune your treatment plan. They’ll help you manage potential risks through best practices, such as regular mammograms, and you’ll be able to turn to them if you need help with common side effects of estrogen therapy, like bloating and breast pain.
Finally, working with a hormone therapy professional will give you the tools you need to support greater overall well-being and live a vibrant lifestyle at any age. With the right strategy, you can effectively, safely, and sustainably create a brighter, more comfortable future. Ready to start exploring your treatment options for BHRT from a licensed professional? Find an estrogen therapy provider in your state today.
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.