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Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

The term “bioidentical hormone therapy” began as a marketing term for custom-compounded hormones. The term now usually refers to compounds that have the same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are produced in the body, the definition that NAMS uses.

Bioidentical hormones do not have to be custom-compounded (meaning custom mixed). There are many well-tested, FDA-approved hormone therapy products that meet this definition and are commercially available from retail pharmacies.

Indeed, the concern about the use of bioidentical hormone therapy is really about custom-compounded recipes prepared by a pharmacist following an individual prescriber’s order for a specific patient. These medications do not have FDA approval because individually mixed recipes have not been tested to prove that the active ingredients are absorbed appropriately or provide predictable levels in blood and tissue. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that  these compounded medications are safer or more effective than government-approved hormones.

Compounders often rely on salivary and blood tests to “assess” your hormone levels to mix their recipes, but these tests are meaningless for midlife women because hormone levels vary from day to day and even from hour to hour.

NAMS supports the actions of the US Congress, FDA, and other scientific organizations that have warned about the potential harm from compounded bioidentical hormones.

Learn more about these issues at these links.

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