Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is most often used for menopause. Typical symptoms of menopause may include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, low libido, weight gain, irritability, moodiness and sleep disturbances. Yet, any woman who has experienced endometriosis, PMS, weight gain, low libido or fibrocystic breasts may also need to contact their pharmacist or physician.
Structural differences exist between human, synthetic and animal hormones. In order for a replacement hormone to fully replicate the function of hormones which were originally naturally produced and present in the human body, the chemical structure must exactly match the original. There are significant differences between hormones that are natural to humans and synthetic or horse preparations. Side chains can be added to a naturally-occurring hormone to create a synthetic drug that can be patented by a manufacturer. A patented drug can be profitable to mass produce, and therefore a drug company can afford to fund research as to the medication’s use and effectiveness. However, naturally-occurring substances can not be patented, so scientific studies are less numerous on natural hormones, because medical research is usually funded by drug companies.
Natural hormones include estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and pregnenolone. Our compounding pharmacists work with patients and practitioners to provide customized hormone therapy that provides the needed hormones in the most appropriate strength and dosage form to meet each woman’s specific needs. Hormone therapy should be initiated carefully after a woman’s medical and family history has been reviewed. Every woman is unique and will respond to therapy in her own way. Close monitoring and adjustments are essential.
No two women are alike, of course, and the value of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is that it can be adapted to fit your individual body and hormone levels. In fact, hormones can be made in a variety of strengths and dosage forms including capsules, topical creams and gels, suppositories and sublingual troches or lozenges.
With the help of a doctor and a compounding pharmacist, a woman can start and maintain a bio-identical hormone replacement regimen that closely mimics what her body has been doing naturally for years.