Hormone therapy is still considered the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. But FDA-approved estrogen-progestin hormone drugs have been shown to increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. There has also been resistance by patients opposed to taking drugs for these symptoms because it treats menopause as a disease rather than a normal life passage. The compromise is “bioidentical” hormone therapy, a natural way to treat symptoms of hormonal imbalances.
There is a lot of evidence that supports the claim that bioidentical hormone therapy is safer and more effective than synthetic hormone replacement. Biodentical hormones are identical in molecular structure to the hormones women make in their bodies and can’t be distinguished from the ones your ovaries produce.
Based on individual hormone levels, a specialized compound can be individually tailored for a bioidentical hormone regimen specifically designed for each patient.
It’s important to discuss your options with your physician or other specialist in menopausal health.
What You Need to Know: Bioidentical Hormones
- Non-bioidentical hormones are not identical to the hormones naturally produced within the body. The use of non-bioidentical estrogen and progesterone is associated with the risk of breast cancer, heart attack, and stroke.
- Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones produced naturally within the body. The body does not distinguish between supplemental bioidentical hormones and the hormones produced within the body. As a result, bioidentical hormones are properly utilized, and are able to be naturally metabolized and excreted from the body.
- Studies suggest that bioidentical progesterone is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Current literature indicates the use of bioidentical progesterone is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer.
- Three types of estrogen are produced in the body: estriol, estrone, and estradiol. The scientific literature suggests the use of estriol is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. While non-bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy is known to increase the risk of uterine cancer, topical estriol is not.
- Research on bioidentical progesterone has shown beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, including decreasing the risk of blood clots, protecting against atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and maintaining healthy HDL levels.
- A review of the scientific literature suggests that bioidentical progesterone may be superior to non-bioidentical progesterone in treating menopausal symptoms. Estriol is also highly effective in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
- Estriol has been shown to improve bone density, promote youthful skin, and enhance sexual and urinary health.