Bioidentical Hormones: The Truth of the Matter

Bioidentical Hormones, Sheila Mitchell, Spirit of Health

There are many questions these days regarding hormone therapy for the menopausal woman: whether to take them or not, and if so, which kind?


The truth of the matter is that there is a wide array of opinions when it comes to hormones and their usage for women within the medical profession, and doctors do not agree among themselves on this issue. This discussion has been going on for years, with opinions varying from those that say to put all menopausal women on hormones and those that say to take them all off. As is usual, the truth lies somewhere in between.

You Are Unique

Each woman is unique in her medical history, family history and symptoms of menopause. All of these should be taken into account when considering hormone therapy. Factors such as family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer or blood clots, history of osteoporosis and severity of menopausal symptoms should all be taken into account by your health care provider when considering hormone therapy. The decision should be a personal one.


There are a multitude of different hormone preparations available for usage at this time. The basic hormones would include estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Blood levels are usually done to assess your personal levels of these in your bloodstream. Saliva testing can also be done. Hormone preparations come in the form of pills, cream, patches and troches that are used under the tongue. The old standby has been Premarin (which is actually made from horse’s urine!). This is usually prescribed in combination with Provera (a synthetic form of progesterone), and a combination of these 2 hormones is available as Prempro.

Tailor Made

However, there is great interest these days in bioidentical hormones, which are natural and tailor made depending on the personal level of hormones in your body. These hormone preparations have proven to be much safer and more effective. An article presented in Postgraduate Medicine in January of 2009 stated that “Clinical outcomes demonstrate that bioidentical hormones are associated with lower risks, including the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, and are more efficacious than their synthetic and animal derived counter-parts.”


So, given the choice, if you are considering hormone therapy, your best option would be bioidentical hormones. However, bioidentical hormones are made only at special compounding pharmacies, and are sometimes not covered under insurance plans. You should discuss the appropriateness of hormone therapy with your health care provider, and understand your personal options for those types of therapy as well. That way, you can make a decision that is just right for you.

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