What are they?
These are medicines that are made from the same chemicals / hormones that the body produces. The attraction for these types of medicines is that they appear to be a more natural approach to managing hormone imbalances, especially the menopause.
What are the benefits of bio-identical hormone treatments?
They are claimed to be ‘safer’ than traditional HRT. However, there have been no safety studies conducted for the custom compounded unregulated preparations. In addition, because they are unregulated, there is no feedback to the licensing authorities to monitor adverse side effects, as there is for legally regulated medicines.
Why are Bio-Identical Hormones controversial?
There is a difference between the hormone preparations described as “bio-identical”. Some are made up in pharmacies via a process commonly called compounding. This means that the proportions of each hormone are decided by the practising doctor and / or pharmacist – a bit like making your own recipe. These products have not been approved by the regulatory authorities.
Why are the preparations used by Hormone Health different?
Mr Panay and his team at Hormone Health only use regulated/ licenced medication following NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and British/International Menopause Society guidelines. We often refer to the hormone preparations we use as “body-identical” because they are also identical to the hormones your body naturally produces whilst being licenced by the regulatory authorities. So for instance, instead of using synthetic ethinylestradiol, found in the contraceptive pill, we use human-type oestradiol. And instead of using synthetic progestogen, we use micronised human-type progesterone. It is as natural as we can make it, in a safe, regulated regimen.
What should I do if I am recommended a ‘bio-identical’ hormone treatment?
Simply ask if the medicine is approved by the regulatory authorities in the UK.