Understanding hormones

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bioidentical Hormones?

Bioidentical hormone therapy involves a set of hormones that is given to women to help their bodies combat the most frustrating of menopause symptoms. It’s important to understand what bioidentical hormone therapy is and if it is safe, then you will be able to fully understand what the pros and cons of this therapy are – and whether or not you should use it as a way to combat the many side effects of menopause.

What Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy?

BRHT can include estrone, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and estriolBioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a term used to describe the use of hormones that, on a molecular level, are identical to endogenous hormones. The specific hormones that are used in bioidentical hormone therapy vary, but can include estrone, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and estriol. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is almost solely practiced in the United States and is considered a form of alternative medicine. Not only are bioidentical hormones promoted to fight menopausal symptoms, but it is also used as a treatment that can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Pros of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

BHRT reduces risk of colorectal cancer and decreases chances to develop osteoporosisReduced risk of colorectal cancer. Bioidentical hormones have been known to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in women.

Fewer fractures. Bioidentical hormone therapy can strengthen bones and decreasing one’s chance of developing osteoporosis.

Cons of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

BHRT has been related to several side effects such as increased risk of heart attack and strokesIncreased risk of heart attack. Many women who used bioidentical hormone therapy regularly during menopause were reported of being at a higher risk for heart attacks than women who took a placebo drug during their years or menopause.

Increased risk of stroke. When a woman begins taking bioidentical hormone therapy it causes drastic changes in her blood and the way her body functions. This can lead to increased risks of strokes.

Increased risk of blood clots. Bioidentical hormone therapy can increase a woman’s risk of blood clots. It is important for any woman who decides to use bioidentical hormone therapy to be conscious and aware of the fact that her risk of blood clots will most likely increase.

Increased risk of breast cancer. An increase of estrogen in a woman can in turn lead to higher than average levels of breast cancer. With something so serious, it is important for women to weigh the pros of menopausal relief with the cons of higher risks of cancer.

Before you decide to use bioidentical hormones to fight your menopause symptoms, be sure to check with your doctor. If you want to learn more, click on the following link about other alternatives to bioidentical hormones.

Reviewed on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013