Bio-Identical Hormones: What Are They?

Bio-identical hormones, synthetic hormones, and plant based hormones are your three choices when it comes to balancing your hormones.

Bio-Identical Hormones

As the name implies, these hormones are molecularly the same as the hormones produced in our bodies. Because of this, they are easy for our bodies to metabolize and integrate into our systems.

soy bean

They are created in a laboratory from soy beans and yams. Scientists use the hormones in these plants and manipulate them into hormones that are bio-identical to ours.

Many people argue that these are better for you than synthetic hormones because your body can recognize them easier and so, they don't pose the same side effects as synthetic hormones.

Since these hormones cannot be patented and synthetic hormones can, people also argue that synthetic hormones are not as beneficial to women, but they are only created because companies can patent them.

While companies cannot patent human hormones, they can patent their delivery methods (for example, patches and rings).

You can get these bio-identical hormones with a prescription from your doctor or over the counter. They come in different forms including creams, patches, rings, and pills.

Synthetic Hormones and Plant Based Hormones

Here's a brief overview of the two other ways that you can balance your hormones.

  • Synthetic Hormones: Synthetic hormones are not molecularly the same as the hormones in our bodies.

    They are often very strong, and our bodies experience some side effects when metabolizing them.

    You can only get these with a prescription from your doctor.

    Some synthetic hormones can increase your risk for cancer and are thought to be connected to other side effects.

    There is a large debate going among doctors and health professionals about the relative safety of synthetic hormones and bio-identical hormones.

    potted plant

  • Plant Based Hormones: Plants and herbs contain plant hormones, or phytohormones for all three of the hormones that we are focused on: phytoestrogen, phytoprogesterone, and phytotestosterone.

    While these hormones are not the same structure as the hormones in our body, when we use them, they create hormone-like effects within us. Those effects can decrease our symptoms of low estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone.

    Some studies show that plant based hormones work about as well as a placebo, and other studies show that they are even more effective than a placebo. Since these supplements give few side effects, many women choose to take them and see if they help.

    They are easy for our body to metabolize, and you do not need a prescription from your doctor to get herbal supplements for menopause. In fact, women have been using herbs like dong quai and black cohosh for centuries with very few side effects.

    They are a great natural way to balance your hormone level.

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