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Bioidentical Hormones: Pharmaceutical vs. Custom Made



Is hormone replacement therapy right for me?

Sure, women go through menopause and think it’s great because she doesn’t have a monthly anymore. You get no argument from me, but it’s also the time when a female stops making a whole lot of estrogen and progesterone. Not only that, but women never gave one thought to bioidentical hormones. They will, however, when they start experiencing mild to severe menopausal symptoms.

There’s nothing in this world like a hot flash and if you have ever had one, or been around someone who has them, you know it can be something serious. Women also go through night sweats and struggle with painful intercourse or vaginal dryness.

There are many ways to deal with these annoying symptoms and one of them is to replace or increase estrogen by using hormone therapy. If you have had a hysterectomy, you may only need to use estrogen replacement. If not, then you may need to take a combination of progesterone and estrogen. The good thing about taking progesterone is that it helps to prevent uterine cancer.

The Women’s Health Initiative participated in a study involving women 50-79 years old. The study was about the effects of HT and what happens when you’re healthy vs not so healthy individuals. The study concluded that some postmenopausal women who took estrogen and progesterone had a small increased risk of contracting blood clots, heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer.

Because of this, plenty of women stopped using hormone therapy and started looking at alternatives. They found bioidentical hormone therapy. The women not yet 60, but within a decade of experiencing menopause, revisited the study requirements and found that they preferred BHT vs HT to get relief from symptoms.

Do You Know What Bioidentical Hormones Are?

Well, bioidentical hormones are similar to natural hormones. Bioidentical hormones are made to mirror the hormones women make in their bodies while other types of HT are different. slightly from the hormones made in the body.

Although bioidentical hormones are processed in a laboratory, they come from plant-based resources. However, not all naturally made hormones are bioidentical, so be careful of what you call by that name. The experts consider these two kinds of hormonal products as bioidentical and they are pharmaceutical products and custom-made.

Pharmaceutical Hormones

If you’re looking for a hormone approved by the FDA, then you’re in the right place. These pharmaceutical hormones are safe and come under the guidelines authorities set for quality.

Custom-Made Hormones

Some people think of bioidentical hormones as custom-made hormones. These products are processed in a compounding pharmacy. In other words, they are made in a pharmacy that prepares prescription medications following a doctor’s orders. They can contain different amounts of various types of estrogen. Not only that but they are often combined with other hormones.

The ingredients other than the estriol are approved by the FDA. However, the final mixture is not and because of this, the quality is not up to par. It’s very low quality and it’s questionable because the level of hormones can change as each batch is processed.

Those who support compounded products say manufacturers should start customizing hormone doses per the salivary hormone test. Since women’s hormone levels are not ever the same, it doesn’t make sense to even market the therapy. It’s expensive and generally, not covered by insurance companies.

If you ask menopause specialists, they will tell you to use only  FDA-approved products. They are proven to work and they can guarantee their freshness, use, and effectiveness. Still, not everyone can take bioidentical hormones. They could be allergic or need specific medication in conjunction with hormone therapy. Experts recommend using pharmaceutical products so you’ll know how much you’re getting from a product and what’s in it.