The Women's Journal

Bio-Identical HRT Balancing Hormones Naturally

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brenda_pavlic_saveway_am11_sqBy: Brenda Pavlic, CPhT

A woman goes through many changes in her lifetime.

One of the most challenging is peri-menopause through menopause when a woman’s hormone levels begin to decline with age. Some of the hormones affected during this time are estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-sulfate, thyroid and cortisol. There is a long list of symptoms associated with this period and although some women may share similar experiences, none will be exactly the same. Even heredity is not an indicator for what to expect. Factors such as stress, diet, weight, environment, health, life experiences, obstetric and gynecological history, birth order, mother’s age during child birth, and many others can affect the intensity and duration of symptoms during this time. Each and every person will have her own unique experience as her hormone levels begin to fluctuate and/or decline. Just as no two women are the same, neither should their therapy be.

A compounding pharmacy has the capability of duplicating estrogens and other natural bio-identical hormones in the proper ratio needed to balance a patient’s declining levels based on a prescription from a practitioner. The term bio-identical means that the chemical structure matches the hormones produced in the human body. Most of these bio-identical hormones come from plant sources such as yam, soy, and rice. Dosage forms include topical creams, capsules, troches, sublingual drops, pellets injected under the skin, vaginal suppositories or creams, and more.

When a woman’s hormone levels change, symptoms emerge.

Estrogen is essential for bone health, cardiac health, control of vasomotor symptoms, vaginal lubrication, proper cognitive function, sleep and so much more. Although not always solely responsible, if a woman’s estrogen levels decrease, replacement may resolve her symptoms and improve her quality of life.
Many people confuse natural progesterone with synthetic, chemical progestins. Synthetic progestins are primarily indicated to protect the uterus while bio-identical progesterone offers additional benefits. Progesterone helps with PMS symptoms, improves thyroid function, improves cell oxygen level, normalizes blood clotting, helps with hormonal migraines, and restores libido. Being a natural anti-depressant, progesterone helps with all the mood type symptoms such as depression, anxiety and mood swings. Natural bio-identical progesterone works synergistically with estrogens to address most peri-menopause and menopause symptoms.

Testosterone is involved in the maintenance of lean body mass, bone density, sex drive, maintaining proper vaginal lubrication and cardiac health. DHEA is the principle adrenal androgen and is the main precursor for hormone production. Proper levels contribute to bone health, mental clarity, and immune function, prevention of wrinkles and dry eyes, and preserving mood balance. It is important to keep the androgens in range.

When the human body is exposed to stress, whether internal or external, the adrenal glands produce the hormone cortisol. Symptoms emerge when cortisol is either too high or too low and the endocrine system can be affected. There is a gender bias when it comes to stress as women are unique in the way they deal with stress.

Some patients may have symptoms such as dry skin, hair or nails, decreased libido, depression, fatigue, change in weight, slowed metabolism, or constipation.

These symptoms may be due to hormone imbalance but might also be a result of a sluggish thyroid gland. Imbalance of the sex and steroid hormones can directly affect thyroid function and vice versa. The entire endocrine system should be evaluated when considering any type of hormone replacement therapy.

While it is important to test and evaluate all hormone levels, the results should be used only as a guide when treating a patient. Each patient’s symptomotology and response to treatment must be considered as well. A compounding pharmacy that employs a specially trained hormone consultant to evaluate patients is an invaluable resource to most practitioners. This person will work closely with each patient and their healthcare professional to closely monitor and adjust therapies accordingly.

There are many choices for hormone replacement
therapy available to women today.

Each woman is unique and her hormone therapy should be tailored to meet her needs. There is no single treatment protocol that will encompass every patient. Education, support and understanding are the keys to helping each woman as her body changes throughout her lifetime.

For more information, call Saveway Compounding Pharmacy at 302-369-5520 or 1-877-225-8469, or visit them at 31 Albe Drive, #1, Newark, DE 19702.
Brenda Pavlic is a nationally certified pharmacy technician and co-owner of SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy in Newark, DE.  With more than twenty-five years of pharmacy experience she has furthered her career with extensive training and education in Pharmacy Compounding, Women’s Health, Cosmeceutics, Pain Management, Aseptic and Veterinary Compounding.  She has published articles and presented seminars both locally and nationally to healthcare practitioners.  Her experience and education provide her with skills needed to develop formulations that ease medication administration, improve compliance and ultimately result in positive outcomes for patients.

Compounding Pharmacy
31 Albe Drive; Unit 1
Newark, DE  19702

Ph. (302)369-5520  Email: [email protected]  Website:

Hours:  M-F 9am—6pm, Sat 10am—2pm, Closed Sunday

Opening its doors in 2001 SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy, Delaware’s only compounding only pharmacy, is in its tenth year of customizing medications to meet the unique needs of each patient.  Averaging 120 compounded prescriptions per day they have provided solutions to many patients with medication problems over the last decade.  People don’t know that they need a compounding pharmacy until they are sent for a compounded prescription or have a problem with their medication.  For that reason SaveWay Compounding is not in a traditional setting such as a strip mall but rather the lab is located in an industrial park off of Old Baltimore Pike in Newark.  SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy’s staff is comprised of pharmacists and nationally certified technicians highly trained in art and science of pharmacy compounding.

Testimonials for SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy:
“A compounding pharmacy is a rare find. The level of personal service is not comparable! A compounding pharmacy saved my mother’s life!…and let me keep my dog too!”     ~ J.D.

“Dear SaveWay Staff, I would like to thank all of you for your patience, cooperation, and most of all, your compassion. I sincerely appreciate your understanding and all your efforts to accommodate me. While traveling, I will be thinking of your kind hearts and your professionalism! Many thanks to all of you!!”     ~N.K.