Could BHRT Help Me Lose Weight?

We focus on both weight loss and bioidentical hormone replacement here at the Center for Weight Loss Success and Center for Hormone Health and Wellness. We have both corporations right here in one location in Newport News.

bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and weight loss

It’s very common to have someone come in to see me for hormone replacement and one of the first things out of their mouth is often, “I want hormone replacement because it’ll help me lose weight”. So, is that true? Is it going to help you lose weight? Well, the bottom line to that is, it depends on what hormone we’re talking about.

We talk about testosterone very frequently.  Testosterone is incredibly safe and can help you with some weight loss. But the other hormones, which people are typically coming in to see me for are progesterone and estrogen. Estrogen is often used to treat the symptoms of night sweats and hot flashes, as well as vaginal dryness. It works wonderfully for that. Now, if you were postmenopausal and coming in, and we were giving you estrogen, you would also need to take progesterone. Progesterone helps offset the stimulatory effect of the estrogen to your uterus. If you don’t have a uterus, progesterone is not required.

So, does progesterone affect weight? The most common side effect of progesterone is weight gain. So typically, progesterone isn’t going help you lose weight, and for that reason we try to use the smallest dose possible if it’s absolutely needed. Typically, that is postmenopausal women that still have a uterus and are receiving estrogen.  Thus, we try to avoid progesterone or use the smallest dose possible because it commonly works against weight loss.

What about estrogen then? When we talk about estrogen, it is important to understand that humans make three types of estrogen. Estradiol is the most important one, and typically the one that we are going to replace. The other two estrogens: estrial which is very important in pregnancy, and estrone which we would try to keep to a minimum since estrone typically is a weight gain hormone. In fact, estrone levels tend to go up during the post-menopause phase.

The one we may actually be replacing is estradiol.  Estradiol is typically weight neutral meaning generally doesn’t cause weight gain, nor does it generally cause weight loss.  In really high levels, estradiol can cause weight gain and often rather quickly.

Estrogen, as I talk about frequently, is something we have to be careful with. We want to keep your levels fairly reasonable – the levels that will fix night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.  Thus, I try to use the smallest dose of estrogen/estradiol as possible to avoid high levels that can potentially cause side effects such as weight gain.

So, what about testosterone? Testosterone is an incredibly safe hormone. It’s very important for men and women, and we get a lot of leeway with that. When I say a lot of leeway, there isn’t a right and wrong level. It’s what level tends to help fix symptoms as well as not give you side effects. They’re nuisance side effects, acne breakouts, growing wild hairs, and these can be improved with adjusting your dose. I mentioned testosterone is very safe, but how does it affect weight loss? Typically, in the long run, testosterone is going to help with weight loss.  Now, when I say long run, we’re talking about six months to a year or so before it actually starts with helping with weight loss. That’s due to the fact that testosterone helps preserve lean body mass. If you’re working out, you can build lean body mass. Subsequently that will boost your metabolism up significantly. So yes, in the long run it can help with weight loss. In the short run, I say maybe testosterone can help with weight loss. The reason I say maybe is because testosterone by itself won’t help with weight loss you also need to do the work necessary to lose weight (diet & exercise).

Testosterone does fix many symptoms that tend to have negative effects on your life such as poor sleep, lack of energy, no sex drive, brain fog and more. Testosterone helps improve many of these symptoms so you can feel so much better.  This makes your weight loss efforts easier to do.

So, can hormone replacement help with weight loss? The answer really is not as simple as yes or no, it depends on the hormone and hormone levels.  You also need to take into consideration short term versus long term weight loss as described.

If you have questions or want to know more about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, give us a call here at the Center for Hormone Health and Wellness (757) 223-0940 or visit our website at

We are in our new Kiln Creek location so please stop in and see us.  We are located at 711-D Brick Kiln Boulevard in Newport News, Virginia. We hope to see you soon!