Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

Bioidentical hormones are used to treat menopause symptoms.

The medical community's growing interest in finding a more “natural” approach to hormone therapy has focused attention on natural hormones. Natural hormones, also known as bioidentical hormones, are used to treat menopause symptoms and other manifestations of hormonal imbalance.

Natural hormones are plant-derived hormones that are custom-mixed in order to be chemically identical to estradiol, estrone, estriol, progesterone, and testosterone, the endogenous hormones made by the body. To keep learning about this, read on.

Understanding Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

The most important difference between natural hormones and traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is that natural hormones are derived from plants as opposed to synthetic chemicals.

Chemical Structures of Different Forms of Progesterone

Synthetic HRT functions similarly to the body's natural hormones; unlike natural hormones, however, synthetic hormones do not have chemically-identical structures. Additionally, dosages for HRT and other synthetic formulations are usually standardized, whereas natural hormone treatments are “personalized”.

The “natural” part of natural hormones generally means fewer side effects. The medical community has become increasingly interested in alternative medicine in the face of evidence that suggests a strong link between HRT and serious conditions like breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, blood clots, and stroke.

Although natural hormones are generally considered safer than synthetic versions, the scientific community has only recently begun to study accompanying their risks and side effects. Since October 2010, the FDA's stance on natural hormones has been that further testing and research is needed. For more information on natural solutions for menopause symptoms and hormonal imbalance, go to alternatives to hormone replacement therapy.