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Have you been prescribed antidepressants to treat hot flushes or hot flashes even though you may not feel depressed? Read more

Bioidentical Hormones Snapshot can be a place to start if you are searching for information about bioidentical hormones, pharmacy-compounded hormones or custom-mixed bioidentical hormone preparations.

Bioidentical Hormones SnapshotIn Menopause Management: Pharmacy-Compounded Hormones the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health explain:

“Pharmacy-compounded hormones (sometimes referred to as bioidentical hormones) are mixtures of hormones made in compounding pharmacies that are promoted as hormones ‘exactly like our own’ hormones. They can contain oestrogens, progesterone and sometimes other hormones such as testosterone.

The hormones are made into capsules, creams, gels, drops applied to the tongue, lozenges or troches (soft square-shaped tablets) sucked in the cheek”.

Bioidentical Hormones SnapshotIn Bioidentical Custom Compounded Hormone Therapy the Australasian Menopause Society elaborate on:

“It is important to realise that no hormone used in any preparation of pharmaceutical grade menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) or compounded “bioidentical therapy” is ‘natural’. They are all synthesised in the laboratory from some precursor by enzymatic manipulation”.

In Menopause FAQs: Hormone Therapy for menopause Symptoms – Bioidentical Hormones SnapshotQ. I’ve heard about something called bioidentical hormones. What are they? the North American Menopause Society’s (NAMS) elaborate on:

“A. …Bioidentical hormones do not have to be custom-compounded (meaning custom mixed). There are many well-tested, FDA-approved hormone therapy products that meet this definition and are commercially available from retail pharmacies in a variety of doses that will allow you and your doctor to customize your therapy to meet your needs”.

In Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Other Complementary Approaches – Bioidentical Hormones the (United States) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health note:

  • “It’s been claimed that custom-mixed bioidentical hormone preparations are more effective and safer than conventional hormone therapy, but scientific evidence to support this idea is lacking. Custom-mixed bioidentical hormones may actually be riskier than conventional treatment because less is known about their safety. Also, no regulatory agency oversees their preparation, and therefore their content may vary from batch to batch”.

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Last Updated: 23 August 2021 – Last Revised: 23 August 2021

Complementary and Integrative Health and Menopause Snapshot can be a place to start if you are searching for information about complementary and integrative health and menopause.

In Menopausal Symptoms: In-Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Natural Products the (United States) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) elaborate on:

Complementary and Integrative Health and Menopause Snapshot

“Many natural products have been studied for menopause symptoms. However, none has clearly been shown to be helpful. There’s little information on the long-term safety of natural products, and some can have harmful side effects or interact with drugs. The sections below give more detail about several natural products studied for menopause symptoms”.

In Menopausal Symptoms: In-Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Mind and Body Practices the NCCIH elaborate on:

“Only a small amount of research has been done on most mind and body practices for menopause symptoms. However, the limited evidence currently available suggests that some of these practices might help to relieve symptoms or make them less bothersome”.

In Complementary Medicine Options for Menopausal Symptoms: Main Points the Australasian Menopause Society caution:

  • Complementary and Integrative Health and Menopause Snapshot“Speak with your doctor before using complementary medicine because it might affect other medications
  • Avoid buying online products – their safety cannot be guaranteed
  • You should not use soy/phytoestrogen products if you can’t take prescribed hormone therapy for safety reasons such as breast cancer
  • Bioidentical compounded hormone therapy cannot be recommended because their safety is unknown
  • No complementary medicine is as effective as oestrogen therapy for menopausal symptoms”.

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Last Updated: 23 May 2021 – Last Revised: 23 May 2021

Hormone Therapy Alternatives Snapshot can be a place to start if you are searching for information about hormone therapy alternatives.

In Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Alternatives the (United Kingdom) NHS explain:

“If you’re unable to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or decide not to, you may want to consider alternative ways of controlling your menopausal symptoms”.

In Non-Hormonal Treatment Options for Menopausal Symptoms: Main Points the Australasian Menopause Society explain:

Hormone Therapy Alternatives Snapshot

  • “Your doctor can suggest prescription medication options for your menopausal symptoms if you are unable to or do not want to use menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)
  • Prescription medication options can help with hot flushes, sweats and changes in mood and sleep patterns
  • Specific antidepressants and epilepsy medications can help with menopausal symptoms in many women
  • A blood pressure drug (clonidine) can give relief for some women with milder symptoms”.

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Last Updated: 23 August 2021 – Last Revised: 23 August 2021

Are the custom compounded hormones you take, safe? Ask your health care provider if safer, approved products are available, as a patch, gel, spray, lotion or oral pill. Be informed and safe. Read more

Bioidentical Hormones Update July 2020, includes a recent study which “concluded that their wide-spread use poses a public health concern”. Read more

Early Menopause: Experiences and Perspectives of Women and Health Practitioners, Healthtalk Australia’s new digital resource on early menopause. Read more

The Menopause Explained is “a series of seven short videos covering different aspects of the menopause”, launched by the British Menopause Society to coincide with World Menopause Day on 18 October 2019. Read more

Meno Martha: Delay Menopause Procedure points you in the direction of some recent information about a procedure to delay menopause. Read more

Menopause FAQs: Bioidentical Hormones includes some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about bioidentical hormone therapy (BHT), bioidentical custom compounded hormone therapy or ‘bioidenticals’. Read more

Health Topics

“Although the risks of blood clots and stroke
increase with either type of hormone therapy,
the risk is rare in women ages 50-59”. Read more

“Gradually decreasing your HRT dose is usually
recommended because it’s less likely to cause
your symptoms to come back in the short term”. Read more

“Bioidentical hormones are hormones from plant sources that are chemically similar or identical to hormones produced in the human body”. Read more

“Black cohosh is the most extensively researched of all herbs used for managing menopausal symptoms, and is available in many different formulations, which vary in…”. Read more

“Treatment of bothersome hot flashes and night sweats is the principal reason women use HT. Hormone therapy also treats vaginal dryness and painful sex associated…”. Read more

“Hormone therapy is available as a daily pill,
but it also may be taken as a skin patch, gel,
cream, spray, or vaginal ring”. Read more

“Ovarian cancer is a rare condition but all the risks and benefits of hormone therapy need to be carefully considered when treating women at menopause”. Read more

“Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy
that can help you manage your problems
by changing the way you think and behave.”. Read more

“No over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplement
or herbal therapy has been found to be effective
on menopause symptoms”. Read more

“Although cigarette smoking does not prohibit hormone therapy use, smokers are urged to stop smoking before beginning ET or EPT”. Read more