Your follow-up appointment is the time to inform your bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) physician of your successes, symptoms, and other details concerning your hormone therapy program experience. Make a list of any questions that arise over your initial weeks of treatment and bring it with you to your appointment. Be sure to inform your physician regarding any changes in medications you are using, as well as any new medical procedures or illnesses that may have occurred. Some patients keep a journal of their symptoms which can also be shared with their physicians.
If your doctor initially ordered blood tests to evaluate your hormone levels, he or she may wish to repeat the tests at this time in order to evaluate the efficacy of your hormone replacement regimen. Some hormone doses may need to be lowered and others may be increased. You may be asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning your symptoms similar to one administered during your initial consultation, whose answers will assist your physician in fine-tuning your dosage. Your doctor may also wish to go over your nutritional supplement regimen, and add or subtract products.
During the weeks prior to your appointment, make sure you are compliant with your hormone therapy regimen. Failure to fill your prescriptions or use them as directed will significantly impact your physician's ability to evaluate your program.
By the time of the first follow-up appointment, the majority of patients are already noticing improvements in one or more areas of their lives, including physical, mental, emotional or sexual well-being. While some benefits may be immediately observed, others may take weeks, making it important to use your hormone therapies as directed for a specified length of time until their efficacy can be ascertained. Keep in mind that some hormonal benefits may not be felt, but will be reflected in improved blood test results. Let your physician be the one to decide whether or not to continue with a specific therapy.
Some men and women may go through a period of adjustment to a new hormone regimen, and notice a few symptoms that gradually go away. Be sure to inform your physician if this occurs.
If you and your doctor are feeling good about your results, and no adjustments are needed to your program, he or she may want to see you again in six months or more to reassess your health and the effectiveness of your regimen. If your blood work or symptoms indicated that changes needed to be made, your doctor may want to see you sooner.
With the completion of your follow-up appointment, you've taken the first four essential steps in your bioidentical hormone replacement therapy journey. You've officially joined the ranks of the millions of men and women who have taken action to prevent, reduce and reverse the most blatant signs of aging resulting from hormonal decline. By now, you're living proof of what hormone replacement therapy can do for your body, mood and mind.
Keep going! The benefits you'll continue to reap will encourage you to keep up with your treatments to maintain your body in a younger mode. Be sure to get in touch with your BHRT physician should any new symptoms or problems occur prior to your next appointment.