Female Hormone Replacement Therapy – Synthetic or Bioidenticals – Which Is Best?

by Laura Ramirez on July 27, 2011

Female hormone replacement therapy is an effective way of relieving menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, depression, loss of sex drive and weight gain. Basically, there are two types of therapy: chemical or synthetic hormones and natural, plant-derived bio identical hormones. Both of these methods are designed to achieve a healthy balance between estradiol (the active metabolite of estrogen), progesterone and testosterone in a women’s body. If done correctly, hormone replacement therapy can build bone (preventing osteoporosis, protect the heart and brain, keep skin unwrinkled and hair soft and smooth, help maintain a youthful figure and restore libido, vigor and vitality.

A tall order, you might say. And indeed it is. So what is the difference between these two types of hormone therapy for menopause? Synthetic hormones are derived from animals, specifically from the urine of female horses. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plants. They’re called bio-identical because they match exactly the chemical structure and makeup of the hormones produced naturally in the body by women of child-bearing age.

More and more women are making the life-changing switch to Bioidentical Hormones (BHRT). Most of these women have made the decision because they don’t want to roll the dice with the cancer card stacked in their decks.

So why are they switching? Because Bioidentical Hormones are 100% natural!


Synthetic hormones got a bad name when a study published in 2001 by WHI showed a link between taking this form of hormone replacement therapy and a slightly elevated risk for heart disease and cancer. Of course it’s important to note that this study was done on older women who may have already been more prone to this due to their age. Many women do just fine on synthetic hormones.

Some women, especially those who do not have bad symptoms, go through the change of life without any assistance at all. While this is a personal choice, it could potentially accelerate the aging process. Still others use herbs like black cohosh which has been studied extensively and shown to reduce menopause symptoms.

The natural way seems to be the best method to replenish falling hormones, especially because there are no side effects or increased risks of heart disease and cancer as long as hormone levels are monitored periodically by a qualified doctor. Pharmaceutical companies do not advertise bio identical hormone therapy because they cannot patent natural ingredients or make big profits for their shareholders from the sale of products.

How do you feel about female hormone replacement therapy? Do you currently use it or intend to use it for controlling menopause symptoms? Will you use synthetic hormones, bio identicals or herbs to control symptoms?

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