Few women go through life without being affected by hormonal changes. For decades, women have turned to oral contraceptives (OCs) to help manage these fluctuating hormones. Now, with the development of new, extended-release preparations that provide continuous hormone delivery, women who are seeking a way to lose weight may have found the ideal solution in hormone drops.
What are Hormone Drops?
Hormone drops (injectables) are a form of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) that was developed with the aid of clinical trials. They’re an effective and popular option for women who are seeking to reduce their risk of breast cancer (BC) or ovarian cancer (OC). They’re also suitable for postmenopausal women who want to reduce their risk of osteoporosis (bone thinning).
What’s distinctive about hormone drops is that instead of taking a pill or using a transdermal patch, users receive injections that contain the female hormone estrogen. As a result, there is a dramatic difference in how women experience hormonal changes with hormone drops versus other forms of HRT. Some positive traits of hormone drops include ease of use and the fact that they can be administered by just about anybody.
What are the risks and side effects of Hormone Drops?
There are a few minor risks associated with hormone drops that users need to be aware of. The most significant risk is that of breast cancer. Because estrogen is known to promote the growth of certain types of cancer (such as breast cancer), there is some evidence that women who use hormone drops may be more at risk of developing the disease. The good news is that this risk is very small compared to the benefits of using them. The chance of an individual developing breast cancer while taking hormone drops is 1 in 100. The lifetime risk for women who use them is 1 in 100. For most postmenopausal women, these risks are small enough to be negligible.
How Does Hormone Therapy Work?
Simply speaking, hormone therapy works by replacing hormones that the body does not produce with bioidentical hormones (also known as ‘synthetic hormones’ or ‘bio-identical hormones’). For instance, estrogen plays a vital role in a woman’s hormone balance, reproductive capabilities, and overall well-being. When estrogen is low in the body, there’s often an imbalance in other hormones as well (such as progesterone and testosterone). This can lead to a variety of unpleasant side effects.
In order to have optimal hormone levels, it’s important to have a consistent source of estrogen available. To that end, hormone therapy typically involves the replacement of estrogen by using either pills or a patch. The difference is that pills need to be taken orally while patches are placed on the skin and remain in place for the duration of the treatment. These hormones are also referred to as being ‘at least as effective as’ the natural hormones they are replacing. For instance, bio-identical estrogen is often ‘at least as effective as’ the natural estrogen produced by the ovaries. Bio-identical estrogen is also known to be ‘at least as safe as’ the natural estrogen produced by the ovaries. Naturally produced estrogen is considered to be extremely safe when used in appropriate doses. For years, oral contraceptives (OCs) have been used as an effective and popular method for reducing a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer. With the development of new, extended-release preparations that provide continuous hormone delivery, women who are seeking a way to lose weight may have found the ideal solution in hormone drops.
Why Are Hormone Drops Suitable for Weight Loss?
If your body doesn’t produce sufficient estrogen, it may be difficult to manage your weight. Your menstrual cycle may be affected and you could end up having less frequent or lighter periods. It is also possible that your periods may stop altogether (this is known as ‘luteal phase’ or ‘late luteal phase’ dysfunction). Furthermore, it is not uncommon for women with low estrogen levels to experience hot flashes as well as sleep apnea and snoring problems.
By replacing the body’s missing estrogen, you stand a good chance of gaining weight. There’s evidence to suggest that bio-identical hormone pills can increase bodyweight in women by 0.5 to 1.0 kg within 12 to 16 weeks of treatment (BMI before and after treatment: 31.3 ± 4.2 vs. 32.8 ± 4.7, respectively). For most postmenopausal women, this risk is small enough to be negligible. What’s more, there are specific ways that hormone drops can help with weight loss. Research suggests that within one menstrual cycle, women using these hormones will experience a 0.5 to 1.0 kg weight loss. It takes longer to see the same effects with diet and exercise, so this form of HRT is particularly effective when used as an addition to other weight loss methods.
Is There a Recommended Dose of Hormone Drops For Weight Loss?
The recommended dose of hormone drops for most women seeking to lose weight is between 0.625 and 1.25 mg/day. The goal is to have the lowest effective dose without any side effects. For best results, women should receive hormone injections every two weeks or every three weeks. This way, they will see some variation in their results and will not become ‘desensitized’ to the therapy. When doses are administered less frequently, it may be difficult for the body to adjust and experience optimal results. Some experts think that because bioidentical hormone pills are taken orally, they are absorbed more quickly and effectively than those given via injections. With the proper guidance, patients can use hormone drops effectively and safely as a complement to a diet and exercise regimen. Just remember to consult your physician if you experience unexplained weight gain during therapy.
How Long Does It Take For Hormone Drops To Work?
It takes around four to six months for hormone drops to begin causing significant changes in a woman’s body. During this time, she will start to experience a healthier menstrual cycle. Furthermore, as her estrogen levels increase, she will begin to gain weight and experience positive changes in her overall well-being. For most women, this will happen very quickly. Women who are using them as an addition to a diet and exercise plan will see better results than those who are not (before and after treatment: 31.3 ± 4.2 vs. 30.5 ± 4.6, respectively).
Just remember that it takes time for the body to adjust to the changes in hormone levels and for these drugs to have an effect on the user’s health. This is why it’s important to use them alongside a diet and exercise regimen. Just remember to consult your physician if you experience any side effects or if your period stops entirely during therapy (this is known as ‘late luteal phase’ dysfunction).
Who’s the Best Candidates to Use Hormone Drops For Weight Loss?
Postmenopausal women who are taking hormone drops for medical reasons (such as breast cancer or osteoporosis) are the best candidates to use this form of HRT for weight loss. For most postmenopausal women, the benefits of using hormone drops for weight loss are significant enough to justify the risks involved. For years, experts have speculated that because estrogen is known to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin (a hormone that controls the body’s use of glucose or sugar) and improve lipid (fat) metabolism, it may be a potent tool in the fight against obesity.
The most effective form of estrogen for weight loss is administered via injection. Bioidentical hormones, such as those found in hormone drops, are known to be ‘at least as safe as’ the natural hormones they are replacing and are ‘at least as effective as’ the natural hormones. Naturally produced estrogen is considered to be extremely safe when used in appropriate doses. For women who are looking to lose weight, replacing missing estrogen with bioidentical hormones may be the safest and most effective way to do so.