Hormone therapy is still considered the most effective treatment for symptoms of menopause—hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. However, many women are concerned about hormone replacement therapy due to its potentially increased risks for breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots.
Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are molecularly identical to those our body produces during the reproductive years, rather than synthetic or “derived” hormones that are similar yet not identical. While it seems appropriate to use hormone molecules identical to those found in humans to replace them, it’s important to remember that even our own hormones (made naturally by our own body) pose some health risks. Reproductive hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone are designed to facilitate reproduction and add vitality, beauty, desire, and other positive qualities. However, in women, these hormones are programmed to “retire” with menopause.
Bioidentical estrogen is still estrogen, and there are some considerations whether its molecules are identical to human estrogen or not (the same issue exists with progesterone and testosterone as well). Some “bioidentical hormones” also are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), especially compounded bioidenticals, and do not require risks and side effects to be reported on the package insert.
Bioidentical is not always the same as compounded. There are many prescription bioidentical hormone therapies we use every day that are not compounded.
As a result, Women First approaches bioidentical hormone therapy using an individualized approach, with your health and safety as our top priority. Talk to your provider about what…if any…hormone therapy might be right for you.