Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the sections below to see answers to our most frequently asked questions:
1. Q? “Where do bio-identical hormones come from?”
Bio-identical hormones are derived from the molecule DIOSGENIN which is sourced from Mexican yams and then converted into human hormones. By the time the hormone comes to you in the form of a cream, gel, lozenge or patch, there is no plant in it — just the hormone molecule and the base of the cream.
2. Q? “Are Bio-Identical Hormones natural?”
Bio- identical hormones are derived from a plant source therefore they have a natural plant ‘source’.
The molecules themselves are exactly the same as our own hormones so have the same action in our bodies as the real hormones that we produce. There is no plant in the hormone treatments, only the real human hormone.
There are many bio-identical hormones around in medicine used for all sorts of different conditions. For example: insulin in diabetes, Levo-thyroxine for low thyroid, Cyclogest for fertility treatment.
3. Q? “Are Bio-identical hormones safer than conventional HRT?”
There has been much controversy and confusion about the safety of HRT. The current view is the oestrogen part of the treatment seems to be safe, it is the progestogen part that is in HRT that has some risks and side effects.
Synthetic progestogen increases LDL (bad) cholesterol, increases stroke risk and has effects on the breast tissue that has led to questions to its safety for the breast. We use only bio-identical PROGESTERONE. This has none of the side effects and risks of synthetic progestogen, which is a synthetic hormone-like molecule, but not the real hormone. So progesterone has a protective benefit for the breast, lowers LDL cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, acts as a diuretic and is safe to use during pregnancy. The synthetic progestogen is contraindicated in pregnancy.
4. Q? “Does it matter when I start hormones after the menopause?”
Yes! The current evidence suggests that to gain the best cardiovascular and bone protection it is important to start BHRT within 5 years of the menopause
5. Q? “If I have waited more than 5 Years after menopause is it too late to start BHRT?”
No! You can still start treatment
6. Q? “Is BHRT anti-ageing?”
Yes! The combination of hormones is excellent for skin, it improves elasticity and collagen and helps the blood vessels so you will have less wrinkles and less dry skin and hair.
It also helps the ageing process of our organs and tissues inside the body including the brain, heart, bones, eyes, neurological system and urinary tract.
1. Q? “Can I get this treatment at my GP?”
Yes! GPs prescribe bio-identical hormones, although they may not always call them this. If you want to ask your GP for Bio-identical HRT then ask for: OESTROGEL or ESTRADERM PATCH and UTROGESTAN TABLETS
2. Q? “Can I tell my GP about my treatement?”
Yes! We will write to your GP letting them know any tests you have had and give them an up to date summary of your progress.
3. Q? “How long will I need to stay on the treatment?”
This depends on why you are being treated. Some women who take BHRT for the menopause decide to stay on treatment for life – this is totally safe. As the decades pass the amount of hormones needed goes down, so a woman needs the most during her 50s and much less by her 70s. Other women decide to stop after a few years.
4. Q? “What is the cost of the treatment?”
It depends what treatment you are on. Some patients go on to get bio-identical hormones on the NHS and we will help you achieve this if it is more suitable for you.
Oestrogel costs £6 for 1 month.
A compounded mixed BHRT cream will cost about £3/day.
Please talk to us if you are struggling with the money side and we will help you make a plan.
5. Q? “How do I get my medication?”
We use either a compounding pharmacy or issue a prescription to a regular high street pharmacy.Please contact the compounding pharmacy directly to issue your perscription. The compounding pharmacies we use are:
Customised 4u Pharmacy
0800 035 3078
1. Q? “What Blood test do I need?”
Our practice manager will help organise these for you.
2. Q? “Can my GP do my blood test?”
Some GPs are happy to do the relevant tests and we can assist you with this.
3. Q? “How much do blood tests cost?”
Female Hormone Panel from £195.00
Thyroid function tests from £75.00
Insulin resistance test £85.00
Tumour markers £100.00
1. Q? “Is everything confidential?”
Yes. At all times, your details are kept confidential. If you approve we will share your information with your GP and other health professionals caring for you.
2. Q? “How will you communicate with me?”
Text messages will be sent to you 48 hours before your appointment confirming the meeting time and place. Email will be used for letters and reports. All personal emails are sent unencrypted, but if you prefer encrypted, please let us know and we will encrypt the email and send a code to your mobile. We will email your address for this and for practice updates.
1. Q? “Are you registered with The Care and Quality Commission?”
Yes LHC is registered by the Care Quality Commission under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Our certificate Number is 1-2961666253. The CQC monitors the quality of medical care.
2. Q? “Do you have a cancellation policy?”
Yes. If you need to cancel we ask for 48 hours notice. Cancellation after this period will incur a fee. If we cancel an appointment we will give you as much notice as possible.
3. Q? “Do you supply a chaperone?”
Yes. You may request a chaperone to accompany you during an intimate examination.
4. Q? “How do I register comments or complaints?”
We welcome your comments and feedback about any aspect of the services provided. All complaints are dealt with within Care Quality Commission guidelines.