Bioidentical hormones are compounds that have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as endogenous human hormones. In contrast, nonbioidentical, or synthetic, hormones are structurally dissimilar from endogenous hormones. Although available for years, bioidentical compounded hormone therapy (BCHT) has gained popularity in the United States only recently. This popularity has paralleled women's rising fears of conventional hormone therapy, especially since the publication of the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials. Although BCHT offers advantages, it is not the panacea of hormone therapy. The claims that BCHT lowers the risk of breast cancer, coronary artery disease, stroke, or thromboembolism are not supported by scientific research. The goal of this review is to present an overview of the available research evidence on BCHT, dispel myths about the use of compounded hormones, and provide helpful tips to answer commonly asked questions about BCHT.
- Hormone therapy
- Hot flashes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Family Practice