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Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement (BHRT) 

BHRT for Women


The ability of a woman's body to produce hormones declines with age. However, her body's need for hormones does not always decline. Hormone replacement can be used to maintain proper functioning of the body. Bioidentical Hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) uses the exact chemicals your body makes unlike some of the traditional therapies. Finding the right balance of these hormones for each woman is essential for optimal benefits. At Hawthorne Pharmacy, our pharmacists will work with each woman individually and her physician to choose the ideal hormone replacement therapy to bring her hormones back to their proper balance.

BHRT for Men

The approach to correcting hormone deficiency in men is much more simple because hormone replacement involves only one hormone, testosterone. A simple blood test can determine this deficiency and if detected natural testosterone supplementation can restore youthful energy and vitality in men. Although we provide compounded testosterone in topical and sublingual dosage forms, we do not currently offer a comprehensive BHRT management program for men like the one we offer for women. Therefore the remainder of the information included below will only address women's hormone issues.


An Overview

Although we rarely think about them, the glands of the endocrine system and the hormones they release influence almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies. In fact, research over the years points to declining hormone levels as a key factor in the aging process, and is responsible in large part for decreased energy and muscle strength, loss of libido, depression, mood swings, inability to cope, and an increase in the symptoms of PMS and menopause. As men and women undergo these hormonal changes, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is frequently necessary and beneficial for supporting good health as we age.

When HRT went mainstream over fifty years ago, the focus was primarily on supplementation of women's hormones. Research and development of synthetic and equine hormones since the 1940's has provided the basis for most references on HRT. Based on this research, the medical community has approached conventional HRT by relying on a variety of "synthetic" estrogens and progestins products that come only in one-size-fits-all doses. While this therapy has worked for some women, many others have found that it has no effect at all, or worse yet, have found they cause a host of unpleasant side effects. Many women who start on HRT ended up going off it a few months or a few years later because of the side effects. In hindsight this should come as no surprise, since the chemical structures of these medications are not identical but only similar to what the body naturally produces. Furthermore, the one-size-fits-all approach does not accurately address every woman's unique hormonal profile and needs.

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) attempts to restore a "bio-identical" hormone balance through the use of plant-derived hormone precursors that are modified to become structurally identical to those found in human beings. By reestablishing a "natural" hormonal balance, BHRT helps alleviate the symptoms caused when the body's hormone production decreases with age. It also confers the many protective benefits provided by naturally occurring hormones. Because bio-identical hormones are molecularly identical to those the patient naturally produces, many women experience fewer uncomfortable side effects with BHRT as compared to synthetic hormone replacement.

When discussing hormone replacement therapy most people think it is reserved solely for women. However, men also experience hormonal and physiological change with age just like women. Andropause, also known as male menopause, is more gradual than that experienced by women, but it is just as real. Over the past 5 to 10 years the practice of HRT has become as routine for men as for women. Maintaining adequate levels of testosterone in the body is critical to many systems to include muscle and bone health, cardiovascular health, stamina, sexual health and mental function.
At Hawthorne Pharmacy we recognize and respect your individuality as a man or women. We know that your hormone profile is as unique as your fingerprint, and you will not experience hormonal changes in exactly the same way as someone else.

Our approach to the BHRT is based on our dedication to providing a one-on-one, private and professional consultation including a review of every aspect of your hormonal health. This consultation may be accompanied by hormone-level assessment and monitoring combined with appropriate recommendations for customized doses of bio-identical hormones.  These therapies are tailor made in our in-house compounding lab. We recognize and promote the important contribution of healthy lifestyle choices and proper nutritional supplementation to hormone balance so we also provide additional information and education for these areas of concern.

At Hawthorne Pharmacy, our pharmacists are experts in the field of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). Over the years they have worked alongside patients and their doctors making thousands of BHRT recommendations and have been very effective in helping patients balance their hormones and thereby improving their health and well-being. We believe the key to our program's success is based upon our desire and willingness to listen to our patients and provide truly unique solutions to their individual needs.

Please take a moment to browse through the rest of the information we've provided on Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Our pharmacists suggest that you first consult with your physician if you decide to pursue BHRT. If you would like to speak with one of our pharmacist about BHRT please go to our BHRT Evaluation Form.  This is a confidential form that will be reviewed by a pharmacist.  Once this information is submitted, you will be contacted within 48 hours.

Regain Your Body Balance

The key to hormone health in men and women is balance. Hormone imbalances can become increasingly complex because sometimes the level of a hormone is not as important as its ratio to the other hormones. This situation is especially true with a woman's hormones, which is why we talk of "balancing" hormones rather than merely increasing them.

Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Entering Menopause

Considered a normal consequence of aging, menopause is the time in women's life when the production of hormones in their body decreases to a point that causes normal or physiologic menstrual bleeding to stop. Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, when a woman's ovaries run out of available follicles or eggs (a natural process) or when her ovaries are removed surgically. In the absence of these estrogen-producing follicles, estrogen levels fall below the point necessary to trigger ovulation and cause physiologic uterine bleeding.

Effects of Menopause

The symptoms of hormone imbalance are unmistakable for most, but women do have different experiences during the menopause process. Approximately 10 to 15% of women go through menopause with little or no symptoms, while others experience severe problems. The most common symptoms of menopause are:

  • Hot flashes, which occur in more than 60% of cases
  • Night sweats and sleeplessness
  • Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse
  • Painful urination, more frequent urinary tract infections
  • Headaches and joint pains
  • Increased anxiety, mood swings and depression
  • Reduced sex drive

The long-term health consequences of hormone deficiency include the thinning and weakening of the bones (osteoporosis) which is aggravated by menopause, leading to an increased risk of fracture. Women also become more vulnerable to heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and memory disorders such as Alzheimers disease.

Traditional HRT

A program of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a way of replacing lost hormones to counteract the negative effects and consequences of menopause and hormone deficiency. It is a proven remedy for hot flashes and sleep disturbances, and also alleviates vaginal discomfort. Studies have also shown that HRT can help maintain bone density, but its effect on heart disease and stroke is less certain.
The traditional HRT regimens consist of first the administration of a synthetic estrogen and if indicated a progestin and/or testosterone. However, we now know from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) that synthetic hormones (Premarin and Prempro) appear to provide greater risks than originally thought.

Bio-Identical HRT

In the shadow of the WHI results, over 50 million American women are now making major health decisions about the best way to optimize health during the changes of menopause. Many physicians and their patients are now choosing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) instead of conventional, synthetic therapies to treat peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms, PMS and sexual dysfunction.
At Hawthorne Pharmacy, our goal is to help women feel their best as they live through this transitional time. One of the primary ways we have done this is by implementing a comprehensive BHRT program. We spend time with each patient in order to understand the causes of their symptoms and educate them about the solutions that are available. We also listen to their unique description of symptoms and then recommend the appropriate natural hormones to achieve hormonal balance in order to resolve your symptoms.

In addition, pharmacists at Hawthorne Pharmacy have achieved the highest levels of training and recognition in prescription compounding so you can be assured that your BHRT medication is precisely created and personally tailored to meet your needs. For women experiencing menopause or other hormonal disorders, Hawthorne Pharmacy has the expertise, the knowledge and the advanced training needed to provide the highest quality care and customized prescription compounding to improve your quality of life.


For more information concerning BHRT or to begin the process of getting started with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement, please visit the following links:


Frequently Asked Questions


Getting Started on BHRT


BHRT Evaluation Form


Confidential Follow-Up Evaluation


Taylor Street Location
1520A Taylor Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Laurel Street Location
2761 Laurel Street
Columbia, SC 29204
West Columbia Location
2854 Sunset Boulevard
West Columbia, SC 29169
Camden Location
2534 Broad Street
Camden, SC 29020
Lugoff Location
814 Hwy 1 South, Suite 4
Lugoff, SC 29078