Related Topics: HRT, Opinion

HRT – Synthetic or Bioidentical Natural Hormones? Read the Small Print.

If you are concerned about your hormone health then you may have to read news items more carefully in future to see exactly what they are saying.

AnnA Rushton

When I wrote back in January about whether period pains could be helped by the Pill or bioidentical natural progesterone I didn’t realize my sub heading of ‘Read the Small Print’ would be needed again quite so soon.

The confusion over language is one of the main problems, which is why you need to pay attention to what is really being said.  There was an article in a women’s monthly magazine recently that stated that “natural HRT” carried similar risks to conventional HRT, which is certainly news to me and the Doctors worldwide who prescribe it.  However what the experts quoted did not mention was that they were talking about oestrogen supplements only and not about a combination where oestrogen is in a ratio provides the balancing effects of bioidentical natural progesterone.

We know about the dangers of unopposed oestrogen as they are well publicized.  It is why Doctors do not prescribe HRT to women with a history of breast cancer, or strokes.  What they seem to keep missing is that oestrogen is not a ‘villain’, but that its functions in the body need to be balanced with progesterone, particularly at menopause.

At menopause many doctors seem to feel that oestrogen is the only hormone that women need, but that is far from the case as it is hormonal balance that women need to maintain to stay healthy. Women are usually prescribed  either combined oestrogen and a progestogen (synthetic progesterone) or oestrogen only HRT to but any additional oestrogen needs to be balanced with bioidentical natural progesterone to provide protection from cancer, strokes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

The article didn’t actually mention progesterone at all but the inference was that all natural hormones pose a risk – which is far from being the case.  Certainly if you are taking an oestrogen supplement on its own – whether natural or synthetic – then you need to be aware of the risks, just as there are risks with HRT and its synthetic progestin component (chemical progesterone) that also need to be weighed in the balance.

Natural HRT which combines bioidentical natural progesterone and natural oestrogens in the correct ratio is providing a solution that is recognized by the body as being able to restore hormone balance. So ‘natural HRT’ does not have the same side effects or risks as conventional HRT as many women can verify who have switched to a more natural alternative.

So referring to ‘natural HRT’ in a negative way is inaccurate when it is only talking about oestrogen, and confusing to anyone who only has time to read the headlines and not the small print.

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