Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is the process of restoring and maintaining hormone balance with hormones that are biologically and molecularly identical to hormones produced by the human body. Many commercially available products contain substances that are not the same molecule that your body produces. The most widely used commercial estrogen product, for example, is made from the urine of pregnant mares, a foreign substance to the human body.
Bioidentical hormones have been available and used in hormone treatments for decades. They can be custom compounded to match each patient’s unique needs and body chemistry, instead of the “one size fits all” approach used with off-the-shelf hormones.
There are many reasons that compounded BHRT medications are customized for patients. They can be customized for the dosage a medical provider determines is appropriate for a specific patient instead of the limited options of drug company products. The dosage form can also be customized. Some examples include topical creams/gels, oral tablets/capsules, sublingual tablets/troches, vaginal creams/tablets, and suppositories. Compounded BHRT can even have a combination of hormones to meet the unique needs of an individual patient.
Some hormone therapies are only available as compounded medications. Estriol (an important female hormone) and testosterone for women are two medications that are simply not available in commercial medications. Additionally, commercial drugs can contain preservatives, dyes, peanut oil and petroleum products that patients can be sensitive to or have allergic reactions. These ingredients can be excluded from a compounded preparation.