During the chaos of menopause, it may feel like any relief in hormone fluctuations is a godsend. You may have read about hormone replacement therapy and be ready to jump on the train to a more manageable, day-to-day life. However, not all HRT’s are created equally. There are naturally synthesized and artificially synthesized types of HRT’s. Artificial or conventional hormone replacement therapy has been around for decades, but it was not until recently that this type of treatment had an opponent on the HRT market.
What are the differences?
Natural hormone replacement therapies, or bioidentical hormones, are exact replicas of naturally occurring hormones. These hormones have the exact shape and structure of what your ovaries produce naturally. According to Harvard Medical School, these natural hormones are synthesized from chemical extracts found in yams and soy.
Artificially synthesized hormone replacement, usually come in pill form with a “prem” prefix. The most common form of this HRT is a drug called Premarin. What many women do not know is that this family of drugs are synthesized from pregnant mare’s urine. The estrogen found in a horse’s urine is substantially more potent than of that found naturally occurring in women. Therefore, it can wreak havoc on a menopausal woman’s body.
The side effects
According to Body Logic MD, natural hormone replacement therapy does come with some minor side effects, including:
- Increased aggressiveness or irritability when beginning the drug.
- Breast tenderness, spotting and cramping.
- Itching or redness at injection site.
On the other hand, conventional, artificial HRT’s come with a slew of possible, potentially serious, and even life-threatening side effects. These side effects have been documented by the reputable John R. Lee, M.D.:
- Blot clots
- Breast cancer
- Heart disease
While bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is relatively new, due to it being identical to naturally occurring hormones, it is definitely a safer option for the menopausal woman.