Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos
Natural hormones are the chemicals made by glands present inside body. Each hormone has a particular task that it must perform to regulate different body processes normally. Your body produces these hormones at a balanced level. Their fluctuation can have a negative impact on your physical as well as mental health.
Bioidentical hormones are identical to your natural hormones with respect to their structure and chemistry. When your body does not make enough hormones due to a disease or some other reason, then injecting bioidentical hormones might be the right method of optimizing hormone levels again.
In this article, we have talked about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, its benefits, process, forms, and risks in detail. Go through the article to learn everything you must know about this treatment before having it.
Hormones are the messenger molecules produced by the special cells within the body. They are secreted directly in the bloodstream from where they move to certain organs or tissues to guide their cells to perform a specific task. Hormones control various physiological activities in humans. Examples of these activities include development, growth, metabolism, emotions, mood, fertility, and sleep, etc.
Your body produces hormones in a balanced manner. Sometimes, the hormonal level declines or becomes imbalanced. It may happen naturally when you start ageing (the level of certain hormones decline in both men and women with age), or it may happen due to disease, stress, or any other issue. When your hormones become imbalanced, you notice a change in your mood, gain weight, and other symptoms that disturb your day to day activities. This is where bioidentical hormones come to help.
As the name suggests, bioidentical hormones are chemically and structurally identical to hormones that your body produces naturally. They are manmade and produced from the plants in the laboratories. Common hormones that are made this way include testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Enanthate, cypionate, Sustanon, propionate and nebido are a few bioidentical testosterones available in the market.
Bioidentical hormones are administered in the body through different ways to increase the level of a particular hormone or stimulate the body to make it naturally. Men and women who have hormonal imbalance are offered this treatment option.
Compound bioidentical hormones are actually a blend of different bioidentical hormones. The drug manufacturing companies do not prepare them. In fact, they are made by health care practitioners according to the needs of each patient. Compound bioidentical hormones are not FDA-approved. They are not being tested for their safety, dose, etc. The effectiveness of the combination of different hormones has also not been studied well.
Compound bioidentical hormones are custom-made for you. Your hormonal need is detected through a saliva test. However, it is believed that a simple saliva test does not reflect the true levels of hormones in the bloodstream. Compound bioidentical hormones have not been studied well, so it is hard to tell how effective they are.
The levels of testosterone naturally start declining in men as they age. Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men. It controls various functions, including muscle mass formation, fat distribution in the body, bone mass, sex derive, formation of sperms and red blood cells. When your body does not produce enough testosterone, you notice various physical, emotional, and mood changes.
Men with low testosterone complain about having low sex derive, trouble in achieving an erection, reduced muscle mass, decreased bone density, gain in body fat, trouble concentrating, low motivation, and depression. Although these changes may occur in the body as a natural part of ageing, there might also be an underlying cause behind them, such as a disease. Based on the cause of low testosterone, your doctor will recommend a treatment option.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is one of the suitable choices you have for low testosterone. It can restore your testosterone to optimal levels and help you improve your quality of life. However, you should remember that there are some risks associated with this treatment. You should carefully examine the pros and cons of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy before considering it. If you believe you are suffering with low testosterone then do get in touch to discuss our low testosterone treatment options for men and to book yourself a blood test.
Like men, women also experience hormonal changes as they age. In women, the levels of estrogen and progesterone also decline. Their levels reach the lowest when women enter menopause. During this phase of life, they experience different symptoms, including hot flashes, chills, dry skin, mood changes, vaginal dryness, lower libido, trouble falling asleep, weight gain, thinning hair, breast soreness, joint issues, depression, and fatigue. If you suffer from any of these symptoms then consider getting in touch with our of our team to discuss hormone replacement therapy treatment options.
These symptoms are a part of a phase of life that every woman will go through in her life. They can impact your day to day activities badly. So, increasing the levels of estrogen and progesterone through different ways may help you restore the quality of life again. One of the effective ways of increasing estrogen and progesterone is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. In this therapy, you will be given estrogen and progesterone in a controlled dose to increase their level in the bloodstream.
Many women, who receive estrogen and progesterone, notice an improvement in their menopause symptoms. Some women believe it makes them feel more energetic and younger.
All in all, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may help men and women in the following ways.
The products of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy come in different forms. Based on it, the therapy is divided into different forms. Your doctor will decide which form is best for you. He may also recommend you to try different forms to check which of these is a better choice for you. Below is the list of the common forms or ways of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
Tablets are one of the most common forms of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. They make the simplest method of treatment and are usually taken once a day. However, you should know that the risk of blood clot formation is more when you take hormones through tablets or pills.
Bioidentical hormones come in the form of gels and creams as well. You apply them once a day on the skin, and your skin absorbs them directly.
You can also inject bioidentical hormones directly into the muscles using intramuscular injections which is generally the preferred method of administration.
Transdermal skin patches are suitable for those who do not like taking tablets every other day. These patches are attached to the skin and are replaced every day or after a few days.
The process of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy varies from one healthcare provider to the other. However, it can generally be divided into the following stages.
Your first appointment with a health physician is very important. During this appointment, the experts will ask you different questions to identify the cause of your symptoms. They may ask you questions like when your symptoms first started, what symptoms you feel, etc.
It is advised to answer each question honestly so that the health physician can identify the suitable dose and form of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for you.
During the therapy appointment, you will be asked questions about the changes you are feeling in your body due to the treatment. The healthcare provider may change your initial dosage after seeing its effects on the body and fine tune it to best work with you and your symptoms.
During the therapy appointment, you will also get the dose either through injection, or gels, based on what you decided with your doctor.
There are no strict post-treatment guidelines. The guidelines actually depend on the form of treatment you are receiving. For instance, if you received a pellet, then the physician may tell you to clean the area, etc.
The dose of a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy depends on the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor will first analyze your symptoms then prescribe a dose. The dose may also be adjusted with time. The aim is to keep the dose minimum yet achieve the goal. Your doctor may also check your hormone levels from time to time through urine, blood, or saliva tests. Then he may change a dose based on the levels of the hormone.
Bioidentical hormones are similar to natural hormones with respect to their chemistry and structure. They are obtained from plant sources. On the other hand, traditional hormones used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are mostly made from synthetic hormones or the urine of pregnant horses.
Some people claim that bioidentical hormones are safer as they are closer to natural hormones. However, there is no scientific study that makes a similar claim. In fact, some experts believe that the risks of hormone replacement therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are the same.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is generally safe for healthy people. It can cause complications if you have certain health conditions like blood pressure, liver disease, etc. It may also increase the risks of heart attack, prostate cancer, and blood clot formation in certain people.
You may feel some symptoms after getting this treatment. But know that these symptoms go away after a few months. Following is the list of the common symptoms of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
You should always discuss these symptoms with your doctor so that he can suggest possible ways of overcoming them.
We cannot tell the exact time the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy takes to work. The results of treatment vary from one person to the other. Some people start feeling the effects of bioidentical hormone therapy within three days after the treatment. On the other hand, some feel the effect of treatment within two weeks after starting treatment. Check our our article on how long it takes to see the effects of TRT here.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment. Men and women suffering from hormonal imbalance or low hormone levels choose this treatment option. However, this treatment may not be suitable for you if you have any of the following issues.
It is better to discuss your health history with your physician before choosing this treatment. Getting bioidentical hormone replacement therapy when you have any of the above issues can negatively influence your health and complicate the disease more.
The duration of this therapy depends on your health after getting it. If your symptoms start going away, then the doctor may reduce the dose. And he may end the treatment if the symptoms of the low hormone are gone completely.
You can either stop this treatment at once or gradually. However, it is mostly recommended to decrease it gradually to let the body adjust to it slowly. Otherwise, your symptoms may come back soon after the treatment.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses hormones that are identical to the natural hormones that your body makes. This treatment is suitable for people who are suffering from low hormone levels and want to optimize their hormone levels again. Talk to your doctor to discuss the pros and cons of this treatment before choosing it.
This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.
References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.
Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject.
We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.
If you know your total testosterone reading from a previous blood test input the results to the left above to see if your testosterone levels are normal.
You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.
The Total Testosterone Level You Entered Is Incorrect. Figure Must be in nmol/L you can use our converter here.
Your testosterone levels appear to be in the normal range.
You must be over 38, have had your ovaries removed or have suffered with premature menopause to warrant further hormone tests.
You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.
You appear to have higher than normal testosterone levels, please contact us for further investigation.
Men lose 50 to 100 hairs every day. Your hair falls out, and new hairs take their place as their growth cycle begins. However, sometimes you start losing more hair than you grow. As a result, thin hair patches appear on your head. Data show more than 85% of men lose hair at some time […]
Male hypogonadism is a condition in which your body fails to produce sufficient male sex hormone, testosterone, which plays many crucial roles in the body. It can affect men of any age; however, it is more prevalent in middle to old aged men. Data shows that 35% of men older than 45 years have primary […]
Testosterone, also referred to as the ‘king of hormones’ for men, plays a crucial role in driving libido, regulating mood, and maintaining bone density. But did you know testosterone’s influence extends far beyond these well-known roles? Recent studies have unveiled an interesting relationship between testosterone levels and the immune system. Keep reading the article to […]
Balance My Hormones helps customers restore their hormones to optimal levels through bespoke TRT and HRT treatment plans. We use modern American treatment methods and have over 25 years of experience in hormonal health which is backed up by our very own GPhC pharmacy.