What you need to know about treating menopause

Bioidentical Hormones vs. Synthetic

Bioidentical Hormones:

Hormones are called natural or bioidentical if they are exact duplicates of what your body makes. In other words, the molecular structure of a natural hormone is identical to that of the hormones made by your body. This is an important distinction because the hormones typically handed out by your doctor are not natural; some of them are completely man-made and are found nowhere in nature, and others, notably Premarin, are made from the urine of pregnant mares. Hormones do very complex and specific jobs in the body by fitting into the part of your cells called receptors, much the same way that a key fits into a lock. Once the hormone is in the receptor, it gives the cell instructions. If the molecular structure is different, even by one atom, the instructions given to the cell are different. Hormones that aren’t natural to your body give instructions that can be harmful.

Synthetic Hormones:

Synthetic hormones are not natural to your body. Drug companies purposely make them different from natural hormones so they can be patented. Patented drugs are important to drug company profits because the company that invents them can sell them exclusively for many years, and thus they can charge more for them because there’s no competition. Natural substances cannot be patented and therefore tend to be less expensive. Synthetic hormones are not necessarily made, sold, and prescribed because they work better than natural hormones, but because natural hormones can’t be patented.

Progestins are synthetic progesterones, used in birth control pills and conventional HRT. Some examples are Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate), Aygestin (norethindrone acetate), and Megace (megestrol acetate).

Provera is the most commonly used progestin in HRT.

Premarin is an estrogen extracted from pregnant-horse urine. While it is made of natural estrogens, most of them are natural to horses, not humans, which means they have different effects on your body than human estrogens.

PremPro is the most common form of conventional HRT. It is a combination of Premarin and Provera.

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Fort Smith, AR 72916
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