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01277 549 006

drtash@skinenhanceclinic.com

01277 549 006

drtash@skinenhanceclinic.com

Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Role of Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers that control every function in the body so hormonal imbalances can impact virtually every organ in the body and have a significant impact on quality of life. It is important to note that hormones are just as important for men as they are for women and both sexes produce the same hormones but in different amounts.

Hormones that can be balanced with Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) include Oestrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

Dr Tash fully trained in BHRT at the prestigious Marion Gluck Training Academy in London. Dr Marion Gluck is a pioneer and Word-leading Expert with 20 years’ experience in BHRT having treated thousands of patients successfully.

Oestrogen

This is the female hormone that helps regulate a woman’s passage through puberty, fertility and menopause and is one of the most powerful hormones in the human body.

Upon reaching menopause, oestrogen levels fall dramatically leading to the symptoms associated with menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and urinary incontinence. Additional to the reduction in menopausal symptoms, the benefits of bio-identical oestrogen include improved muscle tone, libido, healthy hair and skin and reduction in bone loss.

The menopause has a few detrimental effects on the skin due to declining estrogen levels and includes oily or acne prone skin, sagging skin and wrinkles and hyperpigmentation or age spots.

Progesterone

Progesterone is often referred to as the ‘happy hormone’ because it can greatly improve a person’s mood and sense of wellbeing. Deficiencies or imbalance in progesterone is associated with irregular cycles, pre-menstrual tension, post-natal depression among many others.

At the onset of menopause, progesterone levels decline faster than oestrogen and contribute to irregular cycles, heavy periods, headaches, mood swings, night sweats and vaginal dryness or discomfort. There is a misconception that women who have had a hysterectomy do not need progesterone, however, as oestrogen and progesterone have a complementary effect they are always prescribed together in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Bio-identical Progesterone acts as a natural anti-depressant and reduces pre-menstrual symptoms. It promotes fat burning for energy, reduces fluid retention, maintains a healthy lining of the uterus and protects against breast cancer.

Testosterone

This is a male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. Although women produce it in small quantities they are more sensitive to it and the levels vary from woman to woman.

In both men and women, testosterone enhances libido, decreases body fat and increases muscle strength, helping to counteract lethargy and depression.

Low levels of testosterone are associated with fatigue, irritability, depression, aches and pains in joints, thin, dry and saggy skin, osteoporosis, weight loss, increased risk of heart attack and loss of muscle development.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

This is the most abundant steroid hormone in the body and is converted into oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. The hormone is also referred to as the ‘feel good’ hormone and its levels rise rapidly at puberty until 25-30 years of age and then decline. This correlates with signs and symptoms associated with ageing after the age of 30.

Deficiency in DHEA can lead to fatigue, lack of motivation and drive, aching joints, loss of muscle tone, weight gain and depression. The benefits of DHEA include an increase in energy levels and a feeling of vitality.

Common hormone related conditions

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)

This is characterised by physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms experienced by women 7-10 days before their period starts and diminishes once menstruation begins. Reduced progesterone levels are thought to contribute to this.

Symptoms of PMS

Breast tenderness
Weight gain
Bloating
Depression
Irritability
Headache/menstrual migraine
Hunger
Mood swings

Peri-menopause

This is the transition period before and after the final period. The hormones are fluctuating giving rise to a combination of symptoms.

Symptoms of the peri-menopause

Irregular periods
Breast tenderness
Fatigue
Low libido
Insomnia
Worsening PMS symptoms
Weight gain
Aches and pains
Frequent headaches
Anxiety and/or palpitations
Mood swings or irritability

Menopause

This is defined as the time when a woman has had no periods for 12 continuous months. Hormone levels drop giving rise to symptoms of the menopause but in some the levels fluctuate for some time which can last many years.

Symptoms of Menopause

Hot flushes and night sweats
Fatigue
Insomnia
Urinary problems
Poor memory and concentration
Low mood
Aches and pain
Dry skin
Vaginal dryness
Loss of libido

Hormone-related Acne

Some types of acne are aggravated by fluctuations in hormone levels.

Andropause or ‘male menopause’

Andropause is the gradual onset of symptoms due to the gradual decline in hormone levels.

It is difficult to diagnose due to the insidious onset of symptoms and normally noticeable around the age of 40. The decline in testosterone can be accelerated by excess weight, stressful events, depression or illness.

Symptoms of Andropause

Physical symptoms: Reduced body hair, enlargement of the breasts, reduced libido or erectile dysfunction, weight gain, reduced energy levels and reduced lean mass.

Emotional symptoms: Mood swings, depression, insomnia, irritability, poor memory and concentration.

Cardiovascular symptoms: Increased blood pressure, increased cholesterol and increased abdominal fat.

Role of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

Bio-identical hormones can be used to replace and rebalance the body’s hormones due to imbalances for as long as needed. These are particularly useful during the peri-menopause, menopausal or post-menopausal periods. They can also be used to treat the andropause in men and pre-menstrual syndrome in younger women.

What is a Bio-identical hormone?

A bio-identical hormone has the same chemical and molecular structure as the naturally occurring hormone produced in the body. This means that they fit their action sites perfectly, consequently the action they produce are identical to what happens naturally in the body. This is true hormone replace replacement while conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is considered as hormone substitution therapy.

Difference between BHRT and HRT

BHRTHRT
Bio- identical: Structure identical to naturally occurring hormones hence well tolerated and fewer side effects.Not-identical: Structurally not identical to hormones hence the body identifies HRT as foreign substances which possibly leads to side effects and risks.
Mimics hormone actions hence action is specific.May not treat symptoms of hormone imbalance accurately
Manufactured from plant sourcesSome hormones are synthetic hormones, and some are derived from animal sources such as horse’s urine
Individual prescriptionLack of flexibility with dose adjustments

Frequently Asked Questions

Why didn’t my doctor tell me about the treatment before?
Most doctors aren’t familiar with BHRT.

Firstly, they don’t recognise hormonal imbalances as a disease.

Secondly, pharmaceutical companies conduct doctors’ further education, and as BHRT cannot be sold ‘off the shelf’ it remains off their radar. Usually doctors learn about BHRT from their patients. It’s important to create demand for such a successful treatment and encourage your doctor to learn more about how you have benefited from BHRT.

Do I have to be on this treatment for life?
No, BHRT is totally individuality tailored. The decision to stay on treatment or complete treatment will be made between the patient and Dr Tash. There are not set rules. However, if you are reaping the benefits and the quality of your life has noticeably improved, there isn’t a reason to stop the treatment.
When is the menopause over?
By definition, one year after last period is the beginning of your menopause, and it continues till the end of your life. However, menopausal symptoms can last on average between two to six years and some women experience menopausal symptoms continuously.
How quickly will the treatment begin to work?
Treatment is often surprisingly immediate, but generally results are seen between three to six weeks. Mostly, patients can see significant improvements after six weeks. Sometimes it takes more than a single cycle for the treatment to take effect. If the hormonal imbalance is severe, and the woman is still on a cycle it can take three-four months to experience the desired improvement.
Can BHRT slow the ageing process?
Yes. BHRT can help with multiple effects of ageing.

Skin changes, especially loss of elasticity and dryness, worsening cognition and memory, organisational skills, and energy declining sexual function all occur as our hormones decline. Balancing the hormones can prevent some of these effects and possibly prevent certain conditions from developing, such as osteoporosis.

How long has BHRT been around?
It was discovered in the 1940s.
Are the hormones you prescribe natural?
In the case of the hormones used, the word ‘natural’ is used to refer to the structure of the hormone molecules, which are produced from natural plant sources. This chemical structure is 100% the same as that of the naturally occurring hormones produced by your glands. This means their effects are more consistent with the normal biochemistry of your body than those of synthetic hormones.
Where do bio-identical hormones come from?
These hormones are converted from plant sources (diogesin from wild yam or betasitosterol from soya beans) and manufactured into powder form. They are then made available in oral or transdermal forms. There is growing public demand for hormones that are obtained from a plant source and bio-identical.
How much will the medication cost me?
A private prescription for daily doses per hormone will cost you between £1-£3.
How long is a prescription valid for?
A prescription is valid for 12 months from its date of issue.
Where do I get my medication from?
There are no over-the-counter prescriptions. Each prescription is individually compounded and made up to your exact dosage requirements as per Dr Tash’s prescription.

In the UK, the medications are available and can be dispensed from specialist compounding pharmacies including the Specialist Pharmacy which is used by Skin Enhance Clinic.

Can I tell my GP about this treatment?
Yes of course. As a Doctor, Dr Tash would be happy to write to your GP on request.
Do men need hormones also?
Yes, we all do. Hormones regulate every function in our body, whether male or female. However, men are often reluctant to seek help with hormonal issues and go through the andropause which usually also presents as a series of symptoms unique to every man.
I have a history of cancer. Can I go on this treatment?
Possibly, however this needs to be discussed with your oncologist and GP and would be recommended to receive treatment at a specialist clinic. Dr Tash will advise you accordingly.

Patient Journey and Cost of Treatment

Here is a guideline of a patient journey in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy at Skin Enhance Clinic, however, individual treatment schedules may differ with consultations required outside of the specified schedule.

Optional Telephone Consultation (Up to 20mins) £50

Discuss if BHRT is suitable for you and when to book an initial consultation. The charge will be deducted from the initial consultation if you go ahead.

Initial Consultation (Up to 60mins) £199

Face-to-face in-depth consultation going through the symptoms, making an initial assessment, and organising appropriate tests.

First Follow-up Consultation (Up to 30minutes) £99

1 week following initial consultation, you will be invited for the results of the tests and review. A suitable treatment plan will be made and a personalised prescription as appropriate will be issued.

Second Follow-up Consultation (Up to 30minutes) £119

6 weeks later you would attend for a review to check on your progress and answer any questions you may have. Any adjustments to the dosage of medication will be made if necessary.

3rd Follow-up consultation (Up to 30minutes) £119

12 weeks later you will attend for a progress review, dose adjustments and repeat medication.

4th Follow-up consultation (UP to 30minutes) £119

At 6 months review, it may be necessary to have further tests during the review appointment otherwise repeat prescription will be issued.

Ongoing regular reviews (Up to 30minutes) £119

It is recommended that you have a review every 6 months in person or via telephone. Please note that in order to receive ongoing prescriptions for BHRT you will be required to have a face to face review and blood tests at least once per year. Depending on the treatment or condition, further tests may be advised at these appointments.

Blood Tests and other Tests

Dr Tash will take blood for testing as appropriate during appointments. The laboratory fees for blood tests are charged separately and some examples are shown below:

Female Hormone Profile £199

Male Hormone Profile £199

Thyroid tests £99

Vitamin D levels £120

Pelvic Ultrasound £99

Mammogram screening up to date

Cervical Screening up to date

Bone Density scan if indicated

Prescriptions

The prescription will be sent to the London Specialist Pharmacy which produces (compound) bespoke BHRT medicine to the highest quality standards in their state-of-the-art laboratory. The medication will be delivered to you within 3 working days. You will liaise and pay the Specialist Pharmacy directly for the cost of the drugs. As a general rule private prescription for daily doses per hormone will cost between £1-£3.

Other charges

Repeat prescription without face to face appointment £50

Letter/Medical Report from £50

Book Your Treatment Today

FIVE GOOD REASONS TO CHOOSE SKIN ENHANCE CLINIC

Just what makes Skin Enhance Clinic so unique?

Here are five reasons why you should choose us when you are considering cosmetic treatment.

  1. The guiding principle of Skin Enhance Clinic is to deliver exceptional patient care and Dr Tash always has her patient’s welfare at heart.
2. You start with a face-to-face consultation at Skin Enhance and there will be plenty of time to consider all your options, and ask any questions you might have before you decide, together with Dr Tash, what treatment is right for you.
3. Dr Tash will work with you to identify the correct solution for you, one that is appropriate for your needs and meets your expectations.
4. Dr Tash only ever uses the best products that are sourced for Skin Enhance Clinic through official UK Pharmacies eliminating, as far as is possible, any risk to her patients and assuring the quality of the treatments given.
5. While Dr Tash knows that to most people having cosmetic treatment is all about being more beautiful, she firmly believes that consultation can also help to reduce any emotional and psychological effects that a patient might be experiencing with some skin conditions. There are many other things that Dr Tash can advise you on, and these include Professional skin care products and maintaining a healthy skin and wellbeing.