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Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy
Natural, bio-identical hormones have the same chemical structure as the hormones made by the human body. The difference between natural, bio-identical hormones versus synthetic hormones is the molecular structure of the hormone. If a hormone is a being replaced in the human body, its chemical structure must match the original hormone exactly in order to replicate the full physiological function of the hormone.

You can see below that the natural progesterone hormone and the synthetic progesterone hormone clearly do not match in chemical structure.
Progesterone Chemical Structure Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Chemical Structure
Progesterone (Natural) Medroxyprogesterone acetate (Synthetic)

Researchers have proven that there are significant differences between hormones that are "natural" to humans (bio-identical) and those that are synthetic (including horse). The structural differences between synthetic and human hormones can be responsible for many of the side effects a person may have when non-bio-identical hormones are used for replacement therapy. It is the structure of the hormone, not the source that is key. Bio-identical hormones are chemically derived from precursors found in yams or soy plants, yet they are identical to the hormones produced by the human body. Hence, the term "bio-identical plant derived hormone". These hormones are able to follow normal metabolic pathways so that essential physiologic response is produced in response to hormone replacement therapy.

Synthetic (which means patented, artificial, horse, or conventional) hormones have been chemically altered and are not identical in activity or structure to the naturally occurring hormones they are intended to replace. In order for a drug manufacturer to patent a hormone, a side chain must be added to the natural hormone. Bio-identical substances cannot be patented; therefore scientific research funded by drug manufacturers is not available.

Recent surveys have shown that women prefer natural hormones and they are better satisfied with the outcomes than women who are taking synthetic supplements. Bio-identical hormones include estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), progesterone, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

In response to a prescription from a licensed practitioner, compounding pharmacists prepare customized dosage forms containing the precise dose for administration by the most appropriate routine for each individual patient, using FDA approved pharmaceutical grade chemicals with certificates of analysis to verify purity. These bulk chemicals originate from the same sources that supply pharmaceutical manufacturers.

When a physiologic balance is restored using bio-identical hormones, many symptoms attributed to hormone decline can be eliminated. Based on results of laboratory tests, symptoms, and response to therapy, doses of individual bio-identical hormones can be adjusted and administered in the most appropriate dosage form to meet each women's specific needs, while minimizing the risk of side effects.