How is BHRT (bio-identical hormone replacement therapy) and motherhood related? Recent research seems to suggest that motherhood has a different effect on the brain entirely!
It seems the hormones produced during pregnancy may have a positive effect on neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to make and maintain connections that impact cognition and memory.
The researchers found that estrogens produced during pregnancy and after childbirth had a similar effect in minimizing a symptom of menopause, just as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does.
This led the researchers to speculate that HRT may work differently on women entering menopause who had children or who never had children. This difference needs to be considered when prescribing HRT.
The Study on BHRT
The study, which was done by the University of British Columbia, looked at the impact of estrogen on the brains of rats.
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The researchers found that introducing estrone, a type of estrogen found mostly in older women, negatively impacted the learning abilities of rats who had given birth. Although, it actually improved the memory and learning abilities of rats that had never had a litter, the it had the exact opposite effect of rats who had given birth.
Estrone, along with the other forms of estrogen, Estradiol and Estriol are used for hormone replacement in women.
Dr. Liisa Galea, lead researcher on the project said that their results suggest that one way or the other, motherhood “permanently changes the brain” and the way it reacts to hormones later in life.
So, motherhood needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about using BHRT to relieve the cognitive difficulties that often accompany menopause. Galea went on to postulate that the results of her research may explain, at least in part, as to why the ways in which menopausal women respond to BHRT for “foggy thinking,” vary so greatly.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement
Whether you are a mother or non-mother, the most effective form of HRT, should you need it, is BHRT.
As the name implies, BHRT uses the exact same hormones – molecule for molecule – as those produced by your body. This is particularly important for women, as it has been found that the simulated hormones produced by the pharmaceutical companies, such as progestin, are not as effective as “real” or natural progesterone.
Despite the fact that pharmacists, and even some practitioners, use the terms “progestin” and “progesterone” interchangeably, they are NOT the same thing!
Progesterone is the hormone that is produced by your body, or derived from all-natural sources that are chemically identical to progesterone. Progestin is a synthetic hormone, created in a lab, with a chemical structure so radically different from naturally occurring progesterone, it was patentable.
That is the problem with synthetic hormones. They are engineered to be unique, so they can be profitable for the drug companies that manufacture them. As such, they are not as easily recognized, or used by your body as are bioidentical hormones.
While these synthetic progestins may be able to mimic some of the effects of the real deal, progestins have been known to react differently with your body’s progesterone receptors.
There is increasing evidence that targeted tissues do not always react the same way to the presence of synthetic hormones due to their different molecular structures, as they do to naturally produced hormones.
The only way to be sure you are receiving the safest and most effective course of hormone optimization is through the use of BHRT.
Have you or anyone you know tried any BHRT treatments? What were the results?
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