What Are the Risks of Bio Identical Hormone Replacement?

Many women have turned to bio identical hormone replacement as an alternative to traditional HRT. Any medical treatment, however, has risks. Bio identical hormone replacement therapy is no exception. Bio identical hormone replacement is a safe and effective treatment for some women, but not for every one. Its important to understand the risks and benefits of any treatment you are considering.

Risks in Manufacture

Because bio identical hormones are identical to natural hormones, they cannot be patented. That means that drug manufacturers have no interest in making them because there is no profit for them in it.

The FDA does not control the manufacture of these hormones, either, and anybody can make them. That means that the quality can be poor. The amount of hormone may not be consistent in the product, there may be foreign substances, or it could even be contaminated with bacteria. You simply do not know.

It is important to choose a reliable manufacturer to supply bio identical hormone replacement products.

Risks of Allergy

Bio identical hormone replacements are manufactured from soy and/or wild yams. Allergies to soy are increasing, and it is one of the five foods people are most likely to be allergic to. Although the hormones made from soy are changed so that they are chemically identical to human hormones, the possibility of an allergic reaction always exists.

Risks of Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy has risks, whether you use bio identical hormone replacement or not. Recent studies indicate that, just like traditional hormones, bio identical hormones can cause or worsen some breast cancers. Some women choose to take bio identical hormones even if they have a history of breast cancer. Suzanne Sommers has become a spokesperson for bio identical hormones, and is very outspoken about her decision to take them after she had breast cancer. This is an individual decision, and you should consider the risks carefully before making it.

Women with a history of blood clots should not take estrogen because it increases the risk of another blood clot, including a fatal clot to the lungs. It is not known if bio identical hormone replacement carries the same risk of blood clots as synthetic hormones, but it probably does. A womans endogenous estrogen can increase the chance of having a blood clot, so bio identical estrogen probably does, too.

There are other risks of hormone therapy, and we do not know if bio identical hormones are safer than synthetic ones in these areas. Bio identical hormones probably are safer than synthetic ones, but we need more research to determine which women will benefit most from bio identical hormone replacement.

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