What is body identical hormones vs bioidentical hormones?

What is body identical hormones vs bioidentical hormones?

It can be confusing to know what type of HRT is best as the words used to describe it sound similar and are sometimes used interchangeably.

Body identical HRT is the safest and most regulated type, and the type that is provided on the NHS. This is because it’s regulated and has decades of research that demonstrate its safety and efficacy.

The chemicals used in body identical oestrogen and progesterone are derived from the yam plant and mimic the same molecular structure as the natural hormones we produce in our bodies, hence the name body identical. This is also why they are better absorbed in the body, have fewer side effects and have the least risks.

Bioidentical (sometimes called compounded) HRT does not have the same level of backing by science and is not quality controlled or regulated in the same way or prescribed on the NHS. The hormones are custom made to prescribe them in combination doses or preparations that are not routinely available. Combination doses of oestrogen and progesterone are problematic as you don’t have the flexibility to change the dose of one hormone but not the other, according to symptoms.

It is important to research any menopause treatments before you commit to taking anything – you can check whether any treatment you’re considering is regulated and approved by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence). There is no evidence that compounded bioidentical hormones have fewer side effects or are more effective than body identical HRT, and bioidentical treatments have not passed the same rigorous checks that body identical types of HRT have.