Bio-identical hormones are compounds which are manufactured in the lab, to have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as the hormones that are produced by the human body. Since hormones are like "keys" that unlock the body's receptor sites and trigger many vital functions in the body, bio-identical hormones are naturally and easily recognized by the body's receptors. The human body also metabolizes bio-identical hormones as it was designed to do, thereby minimizing side effects. We emphasize the use of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at our clinic for best results and to minimize adverse effects.
In contrast, pharmaceutical hormones tend to be not bio-identical which means that they are not identical in structure to the body's own hormones. They are hormones that have been chemically altered which allows them to be patented by the pharmaceutical companies as unique compounds. Well-known pharmaceutical hormones used for hormone replacement therapy include Premarin and Provera. Premarin is derived from pregnant mare's urine and sold by Pfizer. It is considered non-bio-identical because it contains mostly conjugated equine estrone (CEE), which is not bio-identical to natural human estrogen which is estradiol. Provera is medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and is marketed by Wyett. It is not bio-identical to natural human progesterone.
Hormones that are not bio-identical are very potent and more likely to produce adverse effects. Most studies which show negative effects from HRT usually involve these non-bio-identical hormones.
Precise dosing is key to achieving optimal hormone balance. Pharmaceutical HRT can also be bio-identical but they are mass-produced. Therefore, doses and formulations tend to be limited. This makes it difficult to tailor doses to the specific needs of each patient. In contrast, compounded bio-identical hormones can be customized to the individual needs of each patient.