What about HPV vaccination in women over the age of 26?
Neither Gardasil nor Cervarix has been FDA approved for use in women over the age of 26. There have not been any problems vaccinating this group of women, just that the protection is not as great, due to the fact that many women in this age group have already been exposed to at least one strain of the virus. If you are over the age of 26, and you are considering the HPV vaccine, you should have a chat with your doctor. If you have never had an abnormal pap smear, and never shown evidence of HPV, you may be an excellent candidate. If you have had an abnormal pap smear in the past, you may still receive the vaccine, but know that you have previously been infected with some strain of the virus, and therefore the vaccine will not protect you against those strains. That is the short story, but you should have a longer discussion with your doctor.
What is Hormone Therapy (HT)?
Hormone therapy is the use of prescription medications to treat the symptoms of menopause. This includes Estrogen only or Estrogen plus Progestin or Progesterone. The phrase HT has replaced the term HRT (Hormone replacement therapy).
Are there different types of HT?
You betcha! There are many different types of hormone therapy, and many appropriate options available for patients. A patient may choose the option that best suits her symptoms, desires, beliefs, and lifestyle. There are pills, patches, creams, gels, injections, and implants.
What are bioidentical hormones?
The term bioidentical refers to medications (in this case, hormones) that are structurally identical to the hormones that the body makes or made in the past. This term is often used to refer to custom-compounded hormones, but bioidentical hormones are also available at your conventional pharmacy in government regulated/FDA approved formulations. The custom-compounded formulations are not FDA approved.
Are bioidentical hormones new?
No, they have been around as long as conventional hormones, but they have received new media attention in the last few years, which has made many patients think they are newer and better options. Something you should know: Bioidentical hormones have been prescribed by physicians for years, before anyone ever called them bioidentical. They have been an option in hormone therapy for approximately 50 years. They have received new attention in the last 8 to 10 years, so patients suddenly think they are new. Many patients have been on bioidentical hormones for years and don’t even know it. Some examples of conventional bioidentical hormones are, Estrace, Gynediol, Estradiol, Climara, Vivelle, Vivelle dot, Estroderm and Prometrium.