You may be familiar with “hot flashes” as the most common symptom of menopause, but there are many others, including mood swings, irritability, poor thinking, vaginal dryness, disturbed sleep, loss of muscle tone, depression, anxiety, and more. For years, women were placed on synthetic preparations of both estrogen (example: Premarin™) and progesterone (example: Provera™) to help alleviate these symptoms.
Studies have shown many benefits of postmenopausal hormone replacement in women, including decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, dementia, an improved sense of well-being, sleep, libido, and mood. However, the synthetic hormones often carry undesirable side effects and have been shown to substantially increase the risk of cancer. For that reason, we only prescribe bioidentical hormones, which, when managed correctly, confer all the benefits but none of the risks.
In women, as progesterone and estrogen levels naturally decline, the ability to heal both acute and chronic wounds decreases. The exact mechanisms by which these hormones promote wound repair is still under study but appears to involve activation of various cells in the immune system and collagen deposition. Estrogen receptors have been found in nearly every cell in the female body, and estrogen is known to have over four hundred functions alone in the female body. Both progesterone and estrogen, both topically and systemically, have been shown to promote wound healing in post- and perimenopausal women.