What Are Bioidentical Hormones?

Bioidentical hormones are hormones that have the exact same chemical structure as human hormones.     Bioidentical hormones are typically compounded in a special pharmacy. They may or may not be Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved.FDA approval is not necessary to use a drug as a therapeutic medication.  

Some observational studies have shown that the natural estradiol and progesterone found in bioidentical hormones in combination may lower the risk of breast cancer compared to traditional hormone therapy which has been shown to increase the risk. The safety profile of bioidenticals are a reason why many women want to use them as well as the ability to tailor dosing and route of administration to the individual patient.  Research is ongoing with regard to their safety profile.  

Another distinct advantage of bioidentical hormones is that they can be specifically formulated to an individual’s needs with regard to dosing, mixture of different hormones and methods of delivery.  A common way of administration is through the use of creams that are applied and absorb through the skin.  The most popular way of obtaining bioidentical hormones is through a prescription written by your doctor and formulated by a special pharmacist in a compounding pharmacy.  A specific amount is then applied a rotated site of skin surface daily.  There will be days that you do not use hormones to give your body a rest from them.  

Compounded bioidentical hormones typically contain 2-3 types of estrogen and a progesterone. In addition male hormones such testosterone can be added for women who also need androgen therapy.  Androgens are male hormones that can help women with low libido, and energy. Androgens can also improve your feeling of energy and wellness. Women naturally make androgens, but the levels drop after menopause.  

It is important to see a doctor who monitors your hormone status. Bioidentical hormones are often monitored using salivary testing.  This is easy to collect, and results are available within 7-10 days.  Salivary testing will allow your doctor to fine tune the amount and type of hormones in your bioidentical compounded formulation to give you the most optimal results for your specific needs.  

To learn if bioidentical hormones are right for you, consider a consultation with Dr. Peters.  He will evaluate your specific needs and answer all of your questions.