HRT and bio-identical hormones deliver the same results and help women alleviate the symptoms of menopause. However, since they use different ways to synthesize the hormones, they have slight differences in their performance.
The use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has drawn a lot of interest recently. It claims a "natural" hormone treatment method. Due to their natural origin, it is considered better than traditional HRT. So, to put everything in a better light, we will discuss whether bioidentical hormones are better than HRT in this article.
Are Bioidentical Hormones Better than HRT?
Bioidentical Hormones are extracted from natural sources, and their chemical composition is identical to the hormones that the human body produces. Among the hormones that are most often reproduced and utilized in therapy are testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.
In comparison to their synthetic equivalents, which have different molecular structures, bioidentical hormones have some distinctively different and possibly opposing physiological effects.
As opposed to traditional HRTs containing synthetic progestin, studies on patients report higher levels of patient satisfaction with progesterone-containing HRTs.
Moreover, when compared to the elevated risk linked to synthetic progestins, physiological and clinical studies show that progesterone is associated with a reduced risk for breast cancer. Progesterone can help prevent some harmful cardiovascular consequences of synthetic progestins.
Furthermore, bioidentical hormones are included in several FDA-approved hormone treatment products that are recommended by medical professionals or other healthcare professionals.
What Makes Up Bioidentical Hormones?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain bioidentical hormones, such as progesterone and bioidentical estriol, which is a type of weak estrogen. Apart from these, specialized custom-made hormones are commonly known as compounded bioidentical hormones.
Pharmacists prepare them according to the recommendation of the doctor. Depending on patient needs, the process involves altering the ingredients to suit the requirement. The safety and efficacy are not yet proven by research; hence, they do not have FDA approval. However, some patients have reported positive results from the treatment, although the components are highly unclear.
How Are Bioidentical Hormones different from Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Traditional HRT uses hormones created from non-bioidentical hormones and the urine of pregnant mares. Hormone substitutes are used in conventional HRT. Estrogen and progesterone are the synthetic HRT drugs most frequently provided to female patients. A synthetic progesterone, medroxyprogesterone acetate, is used to create the progesterone.
Although these artificial hormones comprise animal estrogens that are not found in humans' natural bodies, they nonetheless strongly attach to human estrogen receptors. Women who have undergone a hysterectomy or who are suffering from severe menopausal symptoms are frequently advised to utilize HRT.
Synthetic hormones are not completely compatible with the human body due to the differences between conventional and bioidentical hormones in the chemical component. This means that artificial hormones frequently don't have the same effects on the body as hormones from the natural world. However, bioidentical hormones work in a manner that is identical to that of the body's own.
How are Bioidentical Hormones Beneficial?
Most frequently, perimenopausal or postmenopausal women who are experiencing a decline in hormone levels utilize bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). It helps to alleviate mild to severe menopausal symptoms by boosting hormone levels that have lowered.
These symptoms may include weight gain, mood changes, sleep issues, hot flashes, reduced sex drive, memory issues, pain during intercourse, and night sweats.
Hormone replacement treatment helps with symptoms and may lower your risk for tooth loss, diabetes, and cataracts. According to anecdotal evidence, some people think it can increase skin hydration, suppleness, and thickness. It may even help reduce signs of aging, including wrinkles.
What Are the Modes of Taking Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones come in various forms that are suitable for almost all types of preferences. Implanted pellets, creams, gels, patches, and injections are different forms available for these hormones. Once you start BHRT, you will probably need to get a check-up frequently to see how your body is responding.
However, the FDA advises not to determine hormone levels through blood and saliva testing. These only provide an instantaneous indication of your hormone levels, which might change significantly during the day. If you decide to take any type of hormone treatment, the FDA advises using the lowest effective dose. In addition, you should not take these hormones longer than necessary.
Who Can Take Bioidentical Hormones?
Early menopausal women, and occasionally even those in perimenopause 1https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/guide-perimenopause, can benefit from hormone treatment. It reduces the chances of side effects and helps improve the quality of life. Moreover, the likelihood of adverse events such as blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes is lower in younger people.
However, women who have had breast cancer are often not advised to undergo hormone replacement treatment for menopausal symptoms. Since the theoretical hazards start to exceed the benefits about 10 years after the onset of menopause, most doctors will advise against initiating HRT at this time.
If a younger woman begins BHRT within five years after menopause, there may be greater upside and less downside. However, people with the following conditions are not good candidates for bioidentical hormone therapy.
- A history of blood clots or being at high risk for developing one.
- Previous history of a heart attack or stroke, as well as an increased risk of vascular disease
- Bleeding in the cervix without cause
- Chronic liver disease
- Breast cancer, whether it is present or not
- Cancer of the womb
- A fibrocystic breast condition
- Illness of the liver or the gallbladder.
Are there Any Risks Associated with Bioidentical Hormones?
Companies that manufacture bioidentical hormones assert that they are safer because their products are "natural" and chemically identical to the hormones the body naturally makes. However, most physicians concur that BHRT and HRT have comparable benefits and risks.
Although the FDA has given its approval to some bioidentical hormone products, compounded bioidentical hormones have not yet received this approval. Thus, neither the safety nor the efficacy of compounded bioidentical hormones is governed. Some persons are unable to use BHRT or other hormone replacement therapies. Your medical history may have an impact on the risks and potential effects of the treatment.
Bioidentical hormones have a natural origin and resemble human hormones with effectiveness slightly better than HRT. If you are considering hormone replacement treatment, you should consult a doctor specializing in bioidentical hormone treatment procedures. A medical expert can completely describe the variations between conventional and bioidentical HRT and the many uses for each.
Additional resources and citations