Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)


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Melior Clinics is now offering a natural, safe and effective treatment alternative to conventional hormone replacement therapy called BHRT (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy).

BHRT is the new way to manage hormone imbalances caused by the lead up to menopause (women) and andropause (men) as well as a range of other hormone related conditions including endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome, acne and polycystic ovaries.

BHRT differs from conventional HRT because it uses bio-identical hormones to replace and rebalance the body’s hormones. These have an identical molecular & chemical structure to naturally occurring hormones, including the arrangement of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. This allows for a natural, safe and effective way to supplement hormone levels and treat symptoms of hormone imbalance without the reported side effects of conventional HRT.

Conventional HRT offers a ‘one size fits all’ medication package using synthetic hormones that don’t replicate the natural hormones in the body, which increases the risk of side effects. By comparison, BHRT offers the facility for tailor-made medication packages and, as bio-identical hormones exactly replicate the molecular and chemical structure of natural hormones, side effects seldom occur. BHRT is available to women and men, both of whom suffer hormone imbalances due to the ageing process, to help restore and maintain optimal health and hormone balance.

“After one day on bio-identical oestrogen I felt the veil lift. After three days, the sky was bluer, my brain was no longer fuzzy, my memory was sharper. I was literally singing and had a skip in my step.”

Oprah Winfrey

Clinical Expertise

Dr Priya Manickavasagar MUDR, MRCGP, DPD

Our BHRT experts, headed by Dr Priya Manickavasagar of our Harley Street clinic, use their specialist knowledge of bio-identical hormones to create bespoke medication packages to enable our patients to manage and treat the symptoms of hormone imbalances. Our BHRT clinics are located in Harley Street (London). We enjoy excellent relationships with local specialist pharmacies who dispense our BHRT prescriptions and, for those patients that require mammogram, pelvic ultrasound or further diagnostic tests, we have access to specialist clinicians with whom we have negotiated preferential rates.

Consultation Process

Our consultation consists of two consecutive sessions and will include a detailed patient history, a thorough investigation of symptoms, a BMI check and blood tests. If appropriate, we will also refer patients for a mammogram and/or pelvic ultrasound.

The initial 15 minute session is free of charge and provides our specialist with the opportunity to establish whether patients are viable candidates for BHRT and if it is appropriate for them to immediately proceed to the second stage of the consultation, for which there is a fee. This lasts 45 minutes and includes some diagnostic tests including bloods.

Upon receipt of the blood test results and any other diagnostic test results, our specialist practitioner will write a tailor-made prescription for BHRT hormones which will be despatched to and dispensed by a specialist pharmacy. Patients can opt to collect their BHRT medications from their local Melior clinic or arrange for postal delivery to an address of their choice. A follow-on appointment will be arranged for six weeks later to assess progress of the prescribed medicines, evaluate improvement and any effects and, if required, make changes to medication dosages. One more follow-on appointment will be arranged for 12 weeks later and then reviews will be arranged at six monthly intervals, with new blood tests being arranged once a year. Medication is provided via repeat prescriptions which are valid for 12 months.

Pricing Structure

As BHRT treatment plans are tailor-made for each individual patient, it is not possible to confirm a pricing structure in advance. However, a treatment plan will be established after analysis of blood test results, at which point precise costings will be advised. However, an indication of the likely costs are outlined below:

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Book a consultation
Price
Initial consultation (1st stage)FREE
Initial consultation (2nd stage inc. blood tests)£375
Pelvic scan£250
Mammogram£250
First prescription£120

Patients may be referred for other diagnostic tests for which a fee will be charged.

 

Frequently asked questions

1. Why do we need to replace hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate in the bloodstream and affect the function of every organ in our body. There are moment to moment fluctuations in hormones, as well as minute to minute, day to day, seasonal and then major life events such as puberty, pregnancy, adulthood and the menopause/andropause. There is a drop in hormone levels as both men and women age and, as the levels decline, we lose our energy, strength and vitality. Lifestyle and stress also boost or reduce the hormone balance.

2. What is a bio-identical hormone?
A bio-identical hormone exactly replicates the molecular and chemical structure of naturally occurring hormones produced in the body, including the arrangement of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms. They are 100% identical to the chemical structure of oedstradiol, progesterone and testosterone. As a result, they fit their hormone receptor sites perfectly so their messages are translated properly and their effects are more consistent with the normal biochemistry of the body.

3. Where do bio-identical hormones come from?
There is a growing demand for hormones that are obtained from a plant source and are bio-identical. These hormones are converted from plant sources and manufactured in powder form, which are then available in oral or transdermal forms.

4. What is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT?)
BHRT is the use of bio-identical hormones to replace and rebalance the body’s hormones during the changes leading up to menopause and andropause and beyond.

5. What are the main differences between BHRT and HRT?
Unlike synthetic hormones that are used in conventional HRT, the body does not recognise bio-identical hormones as foreign. Conventional HRT therapies use synthetic progestins to mimic the effect of hormones, which have a different molecular and chemical structure so bind to other steroid receptors resulting in a number of negative side effects, which can include increased risk of breast cancer, stroke and heart disease.

6. What are the risks and side effects of BHRT?
Compliance is a key factor in successful treatments. Bio-identical hormones are not only better tolerated, they can also be individually prescribed and fine-tuned according to a patient’s needs. With the possibility of adjusting dosages as required, side effects seldom occur.

7. How do I know if I’m menopausal/andropausal?
A simple blood test will show if there are elevated FSH (follicle stimulating hormones) and LH (luteinizing hormones) levels or reduced testosterone levels (men) for which tailor-made BHRT medications can be prescribed. As BHRT can also be used as a treatment for hormonal conditions including premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, endometriosis, post-natal depression and most other hormone imbalances, it can be prescribed to a much wider patient base than conventional HRT.

8. Do I have to be on BHRT for life?
No – BHRT is totally individually tailored. The decision to stay on treatment or complete treatment will be made between the patient and medical practitioner. However if a patient is reaping the benefits of treatment and quality of life is noticeably improved, there is no reason to stop the treatment.

9. How quickly will the treatment begin to work?
Treatment is often surprisingly immediate but generally results are seen between three and six weeks. If the hormonal imbalance is severe and the patient is still on a cycle, it can take 3-4 months to experience the desired effect.

10. Can BHRT slow the ageing process?
Yes. Bio-identical hormones can help with multiple effects of ageing. Skin changes, especially loss of elasticity and dryness, worsening cognition and memory, organisational skills and energy and declining sexual function all occur as hormones decline. Balancing hormones can prevent some of these effects and possibly prevent certain conditions from developing, such as osteoporosis.

11. I’m already on HRT. Can I change to BHRT?
Yes. A new blood test will show current hormone levels and medication can be prescribed based on these results. The standard BHRT process will be undertaken consisting of an initial consultation including a detailed patient history, a thorough investigation of symptoms, a BMI test and blood tests. If required, patients will be referred for a mammogram and/or pelvic ultrasound.

12. I’m a man – why does it say I can take BHRT?
We all need hormones as they regulate every function in our body. The andropause (male menopause) presents a series of symptoms due to declining testosterone levels including depression, reduced muscle mass and loss of strength, increased body fat and erectile dysfunction. BHRT will help to relieve these symptoms by rebalancing hormone levels.

13. How much will the medication cost me?
After the initial consultation and diagnostic costs, daily doses per hormone will, in most cases, cost between £1.00-£3.00 – still less than a cup of coffee per day. Prescriptions are individually compounded and made up to a patient’s exact dosage requirement and are available in cream, lozenge, patch and pessary format. BHRT prescriptions are usually dispensed within one day and can delivered to a local Melior clinic for collection or posted direct to the patient.

To download a BHRT Information Booklet & Patient Guide please click here.

To book a free consultation to see if BHRT is a viable treatment option for you, please click here.

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