Body identical hormones vs bioidentical hormones

Body identical hormones vs bioidentical hormones

HRT comes in many forms, and when you look on the internet, it may feel like there is a confusing array of messaging around different types and formats, each purporting to be the ‘best’. But which one is right for you?

It is possible to give HRT using body identical hormones which are exactly the same as your body’s own natural hormones. This is by using oestradiol and micronised progesterone (if a progestogen is required) and if it is needed, testosterone too. Body identical hormones are medications which have been subject to safety testing and quality control and are regulated by the Medicines Regulatory Agency. In other words, they are safe, and trusted by the NHS, and recommended in guidelines laid down by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Body identical HRT is available at this clinic.

What are ‘bioidentical’ hormones?

Bioidentical Hormones is a term used for compounded products which are marketed as being “natural” and “individualised” or “customised” for women. Bioidentical hormones are actually artificial hormones and are often made following expensive salivary hormone measurements which can be inaccurate and vary daily.

These products are marketed as ‘natural supplements’ and are unregulated by the Medicines Regulatory Agency and are unlicensed. They’ve also not been subject to stringent randomised, controlled trials. In some clinics, women are prescribed progesterone creams, which are known to be poorly absorbed through the skin and these products have not been subject to the same safety testing or quality control as the regulated HRT products in body identical HRT. The use of bioidentical compounded hormones is not recommended by the British Menopause Society, and nor are they available in the NHS.

There’s no evidence that ‘bioidentical’ hormones are more effective than body identical hormones, despite some of the ‘hype’ online, and there are issues around the standardisation of ingredients from one batch to another.

In addition, some bioidentical hormones may contain impurities and toxins from their manufacture, and as a result, we do not prescribe these unregulated products in our clinic.

Bioidentical compounded HRT is not prescribed at this clinic.