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Menopause is a natural part of life that occurs when hormone production declines and menstruation stops. While some women look forward to the end of PMS, menstrual cramps and pregnancy scares, menopause can bring a whole new set of symptoms to deal with.
In the absence of surgery or a medical condition, menopause typically happens between the ages of 45 and 55 and is marked by no period for 12 consecutive months. However, the transition into menopause (perimenopause) can last for years and include symptoms such as hot flashes, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, night sweats and mood changes.
While these symptoms are completely normal, they can be uncomfortable and disrupt your daily life. Fortunately, BHRT can provide relief by replacing the hormones your body is no longer producing. There are many different types of hormones that can be used, but your treatment plan will be tailored to your unique needs. A complete hormone panel can help determine which approach will make menopause more bearable.
Acupuncture can also help reduce hot flashes, mood swings and trouble sleeping, and micronutrient testing can identify if you’re at risk of nutritional deficiencies that become more common with age. At Aspire, we provide a number of complementary and holistic treatments to improve your wellness without damaging side effects.
Endometriosis is a serious and painful condition that affects an estimated 2 to 10 percent of U.S. women. It occurs when tissue that’s similar to the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) grows and spreads outside of it and into other areas of the body. Endometriosis most commonly affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes and other reproductive organs in the pelvis.
While this tissue isn’t exactly the same as endometrial tissue, it looks and acts just like it. Meaning that it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. However, since it has nowhere to go, it becomes trapped in the body, causing symptoms such as pain, inflammation and severe cramping. It can also lead to the development of cysts, lesions and scarring over time and make it difficult to become pregnant.
There is no cure for endometriosis, but it can be managed with the right treatment. Since the endometrial-like tissue thickens and sheds in response to hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, hormone therapy has been proven to be highly effective in reducing symptoms. Conventional treatments include the use of birth control pills, but BHRT is specifically formulated for each patient and contains hormones with the same chemical and molecular structure as those already found in the human body.
At Aspire, we use BHRT to help counteract the effects of estrogen, which can stimulate endometrial-like tissue to grow outside of the uterus. Before treatment, we carry out the appropriate testing to determine the best course of action and can complement your regimen with additional therapies such as nutritional support, micronutrient testing and acupuncture to promote whole-body wellness.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that occurs when the ovaries produce a surplus of androgens, a male sex hormone that’s usually only present in women in small amounts. Symptoms might include irregular or absent periods, weight gain, excessive hair growth, acne, ovarian cysts, and difficulty getting pregnant. PCOS has also been linked to diabetes, depression, endometrial cancer and other health problems.
Since PCOS is the result of a hormonal imbalance, BHRT is one of the best treatments for managing its symptoms. It works by restoring the equilibrium within the body and maintaining optimal hormone levels, with the goal of increasing progesterone and lowering androgens. Additional medications may be used as well for a holistic, well-rounded treatment plan.
Diet and lifestyle changes are also important, because PCOS can increase insulin resistance and cause elevated blood sugar levels. A hormone panel and micronutrient testing can help understand the full scope of issues that need to be addressed for the best results.
Uterine fibroids are benign (noncancerous) tumors that develop on the walls of the uterus. While not typically dangerous, they can become large and cause symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, heavy periods, pelvic pressure, backaches and increased urination.
Minimally invasive treatments like uterine artery embolization or radiofrequency ablation are often recommended for fibroids, but they can also be managed with integrative medicine. For example, acupuncture has been found to reduce tumor size, alleviate discomfort and improve blood flow for better pelvic health. Similarly, an appropriate BHRT regimen can help stop the pain and growth of fibroids by correcting hormonal imbalances. These therapies can be incorporated into your regular treatment plan to further improve your wellness.
Some studies also show that certain vitamin deficiencies play a role in the development of uterine fibroids. Micronutrient testing can determine if dietary changes or supplements can help reduce your risk of fibroids and alleviate your symptoms.
Infertility can be caused by many things. It might stem from illness, damage to the reproductive system, structural problems or hormonal imbalances. It can also be caused by conditions like endometriosis, PCOS or uterine fibroids. While not all causes of infertility are treatable, some respond well to hormonal and integrative therapies.
In the U.S., endometriosis is one of three major causes of infertility. In fact, 24 to 50 percent of women with endometriosis experience infertility as the condition progresses. Fortunately, it may be reversible with treatment that slows the growth of endometrial tissue.
Uterine fibroids, PCOS and hormonal imbalances are other common but treatable causes of infertility. For women with these issues trying to conceive, BHRT can be a life-changing solution. It can regulate the menstrual cycle and create conditions that are more favorable within the body for a pregnancy to occur.
For both men and women, acupuncture also shows great promise as a fertility treatment. Research shows it can improve sperm motility and sperm count in men, while for women, it can regulate the menstrual cycle, balance hormones, improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, and reduce stress or anxiety. There’s additional evidence that acupuncture may help with PCOS, uterine fibroids and endometriosis, some of the biggest contributors to female infertility. Finally, acupuncture can improve the chance of pregnancy in women undergoing IVF and reduce the risk of miscarriage following treatment.
Nutritional support and micronutrient testing can also determine if you’re missing out on any key vitamins or minerals needed for pregnancy. Additionally, some evidence is emerging that low-dose naltrexone may be effective for improving fertility in some women by stimulating endorphin production and boosting the immune system.
At Aspire, our team can create a personalized treatment plan for women and couples trying to conceive. This includes looking at your overall health and determining which integrative treatments will have the most positive impact on your fertility.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Concerns
Pregnancy is often a time of both excitement and worry for expectant parents. An unborn baby demands a lot from its mother and requires an optimal balance of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. However, we don’t always get our calories from whole foods, which can lead to a deficiency of micronutrients that are important for proper development.
Micronutrient testing can help prevent nutritional deficiencies before, during and after pregnancy. It can also help your doctor recommend a balanced diet and supplement accordingly to support the health of both mother and child.
Throughout pregnancy, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for managing pain and a range of discomforts such as migraines, nausea, backaches, arthritis and more. It can reduce symptoms during all stages of pregnancy without exposing a growing baby to medications that may be harmful. Acupuncture can also help to prepare the body for childbirth. When used at term, it can promote cervical ripening and induce labor to shorten its duration. It can also relax the pelvic muscles and encourage the baby to descend for a smoother process.
After giving birth, BHRT and mental health treatments can address postpartum issues such as anxiety, mood swings, depression and fatigue. Our practitioners may also recommend additional therapies such as acupuncture to help with other problems new mothers may experience, including trouble lactating, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain and more.
Schedule a Consultation
At Aspire, we provide integrative medicine that puts you first. We utilize a number of evidence-based therapies for treating and managing health concerns that affect women of all ages. Our services can be used on their own or as part of a larger treatment plan to help you reach your wellness goals. To learn more or book a consultation with us, click here or call 866-349-1914 today.