Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Marla Ahlgrimm: A Quick Q&A on Bioidentical Hormones

Marla AhlgrimmHormones control almost every bodily function, says Marla Ahlgrimm. These chemicals work to ensure proper communication between the cells. Hormones direct everything from libido to immune function. Bioidentical hormones are often prescribed to treat hormone imbalance.

Q: What are bioidentical hormones?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Bioidentical hormones are those made to exactly mimic human hormones. They are typically made from plant hormones, which are surprisingly identical to that of humans. Bioidentical hormones are available in a number of delivery devices including creams, injections, patches, tablets, and suppositories.

Q: Where do women obtain bioidentical hormones?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are many generic formulations available at retail pharmacies via prescription. These are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. However, women in need of a custom approach may opt for a compounded variety, which is mixed at a pharmacy based on her doctor’s orders. Compounding provides a tailored solution for women suffering with hormone issues, including PMS, PMDD, and menopause.

Q: What is the difference between traditional and bioidentical hormones?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Bioidentical hormones, as mentioned above, are chemically the same as those already found in the body. They can serve as a replacement when the body quits making necessary hormones. In addition to plant extracts, many products used in hormone replacement therapy are derived from chemicals found in the urine of pregnant horses.

Q: What are some issues that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can ease?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Bioidentical hormone replacement is an option for women suffering with mood changes, night sweats, hot flashes, and insomnia. There is some evidence that it may also help with skin conditions, such as waning elasticity. Hormone replacement therapy does not “fix” a problem. Instead, it is simply a way for women experiencing hormonal fluctuations to level things out, so to speak. In doing so, these women may experience a restored quality of life and improved overall well-being.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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