How are these hormones different from the ones in standard HRT?
Bioidentical hormones are marketed as more 'natural' – the big selling point to bioidentical hormones is that they are supposed to be the more ‘natural’ option to HRT, because they are chemically identical to the hormones produced by your body. However, what many people don’t realise, is that:
“Standard HRT does contain hormones that are identical to our own hormones, and most importantly they are regulated for safety.” – Dr Heather Currie, chair of The Menopause Society
Many of the standard HRT medications actually do already use hormones that are bioidentical.
Doctors don't see a medical difference – many doctors believe that, in fact, the effects of HRT and BHRT are very similar – they carry the same health risks and have similar side effects. The main difference is that HRT is heavily regulated, whereas not all of BHRT is. This is a potential safety issue because the risks associated with unregulated medications are not known, and the levels of the hormones in each product are not controlled.
You doctor can explain bioidentical hormones to you in person – if you are interested in bioidentical hormones as a plant-based alternative to HRT, talk to your doctor in the very first instance. They will be able to advise you in your specific situation, and advise you on whether or not the treatment is safe.