Bioidentical hormones are lab-produced hormones derived from plants. They are chemically identical to those the human body produces. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are among those most commonly replicated and used in treatment. Bioidentical hormones come in various forms, including pills, patches, creams, gels, and injections 1.
Some bioidentical hormones are made by drug companies. Others, known as compounded bioidentical hormones, are custom made by a pharmacy, according to a doctor’s orders. This process is known as compounding. Compounding typically involves ingredients being combined or altered to meet the needs of an individual 1.
Hormone therapy is used to treat cancers that use hormones to grow, such as some prostate and breast cancers. Hormone therapy is a cancer treatment that slows or stops the growth of cancer that uses hormones to grow 1.
Hormone therapy is also used to treat common menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal discomfort. Hormone therapy has also been proved to prevent bone loss and reduce fracture in postmenopausal women 2.