Menopause FAQs


Learning Centre, Menopause, Women's Health

The most common question we get asked is,

“Will I get breast cancer if I take HRT?”

Taking into consideration your past family history and other factors, click here for the current medical evidence and advice regarding HRT. ( Learn More on Risks of HRT)

Menopause FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Hormone therapy remains the most effective treatment for hot flashes and genitourinary syndrome of menopause, according to the 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement released by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Taking into consideration your past family history and other factors, click here for the current medical evidence and advice regarding HRT. ( click on Risks of HRT) 

There is no evidence to support gaining weight on HRT. Exercising regularly , having a healthy diet, reducing the intake of alcohol and healthy lifestyle choices should help lose unwanted weight.  Menopausal women undergoing hormone replacement therapy tended to have less body fat, especially visceral fat. 

Typical timelines for improvement are several weeks to feel the initial benefits of HRT and up to three months before the effects are fully realised. Keeping in regular contact with your specialist will help to assess and react to changes.

The main difference between traditional HRT and BHRT are the substances used to create them.  BHRT are man made hormones derived from plant sources that are chemically similar to our own naturally produced hormones, whereas HRT is synthetically derived. It is thought that bioidentical hormones can attach to the hormone receptors in the body like our own hormones, and thus the body can metabolize the hormones in a more efficient manner.

Bioidentical or body-identical hormones are estradiol and progesterone derived from the yam plant and are molecularly identical to human hormones. Most (not all) modern menopause hormone therapy is bioidentical.

The difference between “bioidentical” and “body-identical” is that body-identical is the preferred conventional term and bioidentical the term traditionally applied to customised hormone formulas. Most of the ingredients in compounded bioidentical products such as oestradiol, progesterone and testosterone, are the same as in body identical HRT. This means that the pharmacy is able to prepare custom doses and application methods to address the individual needs of a patient. Body identical hormones are produced by large pharmaceutical companies in regulated, set doses and application methods.

Estrogen supports brain function and can have a positive effect on the brain. By stimulating the neurons it supports new cell growth and helps existing cells to form new connections. This is why in menopause we see the notable symptoms of brain fog, anxiety and depression and even memory loss. Research has shown that persons who take HRT have a 58% chance to lower Alzehemiers with the greatest benefits seen in women who have taken HRT for six years or more with over 70% reduction in this condition. There are some persons who due to family history may have a predisposition to dementia and it is of paramount importance to discuss this with your specialist physician.

We never get a break from our hormones. When estrogen declines, the impact on our mental health can be seen in the form of mood swings, low self esteem, low energy, anxiety, getting angry or irritable at situations that would not have caused you to feel this way before. When testosterone declines we can see a shift in our sex drive and energy. The key to remember is that when our hormones change, there can be a psychological impact which can shift us off what we knew as our normal base. By introducing a balance of estrogen and  testosterone into our bodies we can see an improvement in our libido, mood, energy and concentration. Hormone optimisation treatment can help tremendously but so can changes in lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and management of stress levels. At BioConnect we work with experts in these fields to get you back on track and back to your best self.

Changes in our hormone levels, can have an impact on our libido. Changes in our estrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness which can cause pain during sex. Changes in testosterone can leave us with lower libidos with both of these contributing to a lower sex drive. It is important to have a sexual health conversation with our specialist physician who will review your health and discuss with you options and alternatives including medication, lubricants, or solutions such as the Mona Lisa Laser , a painless and minimally invasive laser treatment for vaginal health.

Menopause is the exact date 12 months after a woman has experienced her last period. Therefore if you are privileged enough to live past this anniversary, then yes you would have experienced menopause.  Prior to this date women enter a transition phase associated with hormone level fluctuation, this is called peri-menopause, the length of it varies between individuals and in some cases can last up to 10 years. Everything after this is post-menopause. Each person will have a unique experience through this time of life. For some women they will be able to manage their symptoms with lifestyle changes but for others , they need more intervention. Wherever you are on your journey the experts at BioConnect will meet you where you are at and create a unique roadmap to improve your quality of life. We no longer have to martyr through this stage, we can thrive!

The sooner the better. Unfortunately many Physicians are not trained fully in menopause and the most current medical guidance as it relates to this stage in life. It is important to seek a specialist who has the scope of knowledge to not only guide you on why you are going through what you are experiencing, but to also give you the most up to date information and options available to help improve your life. Timing is important. Starting your treatment as soon as possible will decrease both your risk of long term effects as well as risks associated with the therapy itself.

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to Menopause! This can be the best stage of a woman’s life. Occurring at a time when we have wisdom of experience and we can better manage through the bounces of life. One of the most celebrated factors is the benefit of no menstruation , heavy periods, cramping or PMS and longer the need to have menstrual products. Yes there are changes that we will experience, but as we step into the second half of our life we can do it with confidence and celebration!

You just learned about: Menopause

Click here to learn more about Menopause Diagnosis.

The most common question we get asked is, “Will I get breast cancer if I take HRT?” As this is a conversation that needs a wider view…

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BioConnect Medical Centre in Barbados is the Caribbean’s first and only clinic specifically dedicated to women transitioning through the menopause, perimenopause and post-menopause. We are here to do this stage of your life with you through a combination of medical, aesthetic and wellness solutions.

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NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP)

As the definitive resource for menopause and other midlife healthcare issues,
NAMS developed a competency examination program in 2002 to

  • Set the standards for menopause practice
  • Assist women in locating clinicians who could provide optimal menopause-related healthcare

To learn more please view the NAMS website here.

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