Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormones are natural compounds derived from plant sources such as yam and soy that are chemically similar in structure and biologically identical to hormones produced in the human body.
Typical bioidentical hormones include estrogen and progesterone. These biologically identical hormones are not synthesized in a lab, but are compounded by pharmacists in various dosage forms. The hormones used in traditional hormone replacement therapy are synthesized from horse urine and other synthetic sources to elicit hormones produced in the human body.
Bioidentical hormones can be compounded in various forms and dosages. Common delivery methods include pills, patches, creams and suppositories allowing administration topically through the skin, orally through the gut or vaginally.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is typically used for the treatment of perimenopause, menopause and postmenopausal symptoms. As a result, BHRT can improve symptoms related to hot flashes, night sweats, mood, weight, sleep, memory, libido and bone.
It is best to test your hormone levels prior to receiving BHRT and periodically after in order to monitor your levels and adjust dosing as required. Blood, urine or salivary hormone testing is used to determine your hormone levels.
Not all Naturopathic Doctors can prescribe bioidentical hormones. In Ontario, Naturopathic doctors are required to have additional training and receive a certificate in Pharmaceutical Prescribing Standards.
BHRT is not for everyone. If you are not sure if BHRT is right for you, consult with your Naturopathic Doctor. Alternatively, there are other methods that can be used to help regulate hormones including diet, acupuncture, botanical medicine and supplementation.