Bioidentical Hormones /
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

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How can Bioidentical Hormones / BHRT help you?

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) can be used to treat men and women when their hormone levels drop or become unbalanced. It’s most frequently used with women to ease symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. It may also be used to improve symptoms of cancer treatment or to treat conditions such as:

  • Insulin Resistance
  • Adrenal and Thyroid Disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fibromyalgia

BHRT is typically used as people age and hormone levels drop, particularly for women who are in perimenopause or menopause. It’s used to increase the levels of the hormones that have dropped and improve moderate to severe menopause symptoms, including:

  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats
  • Mood Changes
  • Memory Loss
  • Weight Gain
  • Sleep Issues
  • Loss of Interest in Sex or Pain during Sex

In addition to helping with symptoms, BHRT may also reduce your risk for diabetes, tooth loss, and cataracts. There’s some evidence that it can help improve skin thickness, hydration, and elasticity…and even reduce wrinkles.

For those with cancer who have undergone treatments that affect their estrogen levels, BHRT has been shown to be effective in improving their general well-being and quality of life. (HealthLine)

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Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) are BIG topics…What you see in this section is really just the beginning of the discussion.

Your body’s hormones control most of your basic bodily functions. They serve as an internal communication system between cells throughout your body. They coordinate everything from digestion and growth to your appetite, immune function, mood, and libido. So, when your hormones are out of balance, even slightly, it can have a big impact on your health and well-being.

When people’s hormones drop or become unbalanced, they sometimes turn to Hormone Replacement Therapies (HRT) to ease symptoms. Bioidentical Hormones are different from those used in traditional HRT in that they’re identical chemically to those our bodies produce naturally and are typically made from plant estrogens. The hormones used in traditional HRT are made from the urine of pregnant horses and other synthetic hormones.

Bioidentical Hormones are manmade hormones derived from plant estrogens that are chemically identical to those the human body produces. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are among those most commonly replicated and used in treatment. Bioidentical hormones come in various forms, including: Pills, Patches, Creams, Gels, and Injections.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. It promises a “natural” solution to hormone issues. But what exactly is BHRT, and how’s it different from other HRTs?

Some Bioidentical Hormones are made by drug companies. Others, known as Compounded Bioidentical Hormones, are custom-made by a pharmacy, according to a Doctor’s orders. This process is known as compounding. Compounding typically involves ingredients being combined or altered to meet your needs as an individual. 

BHRT may be an option to help people who have symptoms associated with hormone levels that are low or otherwise unbalanced.

Note: there can be some side effects and risks associated with BHRT and HRT that are serious. Always discuss the use of BHRT or HRT with your doctor or other qualified Medical Practitioner. If you do decide to undergo BHRT, you should use the lowest dose that proves effective for the shortest amount of time possible.(HealthLine)

Bioidentical vs. Synthetic Hormones

The term “bioidentical” simply means that these hormones are chemically the same as the ones the human body produces. They are also called “human identical” or “human iso-molecular.” The term “synthetic” hormones refers to those manufactured with a chemical structure that is foreign to the human body, but mimics some hormonal activity. These chemical differences can mean that synthetic hormones act differently in your body and produce substantially different effects. We recommend that you work with a top compounding pharmacy that specializes in Bioidentical Hormones/Human Identical Hormones so that your custom compounded prescription formulations are exactly to what your body needs. 

Where do these types of hormones come from?

Human Identical Hormones are obtained from sterol analogues found in many varieties of plants, seaweed, primarily soybean and yam/sweet potatoes (if the patient has any allergies their prescription should be altered). The estrogen and progesterone powder is engineered chemically from the plant to be molecularly identical to endogenous human hormones. (True Balance Healthcare)


Dr. Neal Rouzier, one of the pioneers in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, practicing almost since its inception in the early 1990’s, dedicated his life’s work to uncovering the medical literature that supports safe and effective protocols for unique and personalized patient care. 

          bio =“relating to life” + identical =“similar in every detail, exactly alike”

The two word parts put together indicate something that’s exactly alike in a biological sense.

When applied to hormones, this term has a controversial history. Pharmacists, patients, and some healthcare practitioners may think of “Bioidentical Hormones” in a positive connotation. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, regulators, physician organizations (NAMS, ACOG, The Endocrine Society), and the FDA characterize “Bioidentical Hormones” negatively as a made-up marketing term that has no scientific meaning. Some criticize “compounded Bioidentical Hormones,” a subset of “Bioidentical Hormones” made in specific doses and dosage forms for an individual patient in a compounding pharmacy.

It’s likely that each of these parties is at least partially right about the phrase “Bioidentical Hormones.” The word “bioidentical” vividly describes hormones that are biologically and chemically identical to the hormones that come from life or in this case, from the human body. At the same time, “bioidentical” truly is a “made-up term” and that has been used as a way to market or promote hormones for sale.

In Summary: 

Conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin®) and desiccated porcine thyroid (Armour® Thyroid) are natural hormones that are not synthetic and not bioidentical.

The estradiol, testosterone, progesterone, levothyroxine (T4), and liothyronine (T3) ) used to make hormone replacement therapy are not natural but they are synthetic and they are bioidentical.

Our goal should be to speak as precisely (and as transparently) as we can when explaining bioidentical hormones. It may be helpful to think of this in terms of bioidentical vs. non-bioidentical hormones and rather than natural vs. synthetic. (Worldlink Medical’s Academy of Innovative and Preventive Medicine, US)

Bioidentical Hormones are made in a laboratory. They are based on compounds found in plants (usually soybeans or wild yams).

After the plant-based hormone is processed, its structure is said to be identical to the estrogen, progesterone, or androgen hormone your body makes. A compounding Pharmacist can offer you a custom-made formulation in one of many forms. You might get a capsule, a skin cream or gel, a tablet to dissolve under your tongue, a suppository, or a nose spray. Some commonly prescribed estrogens and progesterones are bioidenticals, such as Estrace (estradiol).

There’s a major difference between custom-made formulations and commercial products. Commercial products are regulated and tested for purity and potency, but compounding pharmacies are not.

Just like synthetic Hormone Therapy, Bioidentical Hormones are prescribed to increase or stabilize a woman’s hormone levels. This is most often done during perimenopause, when hormone levels change unpredictably. It’s also done after menopause, when the hormones drop to low levels.

When taking Bioidentical Hormones keep in mind that the risks are not yet well understood. They may have the same breast cancer, stroke, blood clot, heart disease, and dementia risks that synthetic hormone therapy has.

Always check with your Doctor or other licensed Medical Practitioner before taking any Hormone Therapy.

Explore the Research

We believe you should have access to high-quality research to help you make informed health decisions. Below are four trusted databases you can use as tools to expand your healthcare knowledge.