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Synthetic Vs Bioidentical Hormones: They Are Not The Same

22 November, 2022

Why is it that so many women still sacrifice their sanity, sleep, sex life and everything else rather than get help for hormonal issues? 

It’s because they’ve been left terrified and disempowered by decades of misinformation. They’ve been denied a fundamental piece of information, and that is this: not all hormonal treatments are the same. 

The Women’s Health Initiative Study

If you have heard that hormones are very dangerous, it is likely because of a 2002 study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), which rocked the world of patients and providers alike. 

This very large study revealed an increased risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and blood clots in those taking synthetic oestrogen and synthetic progesterone (also known as conjugated equine oestrogen and medroxyprogesterone acetate) compared with those in the placebo group. 

Unfortunately, the WHI did not test bioidentical progesterone — the study was based on synthetic hormones as opposed to bio-identical hormones. 

Meanwhile, there is no study linking bio-identical progesterone with an increase in breast cancer. And given that cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in women, what about the differences in heart health?

Progestin vs progesterone

Synthetic progestins negate oestrogen’s cardioprotective benefits on heart health; bioidentical progesterone does not. Here are the differences between progesterone and synthetic progestins:


  • Beneficial for cardiovascular health

  • Good for mood and sleep

  • Reduces the risk of breast cancer


  • Can cause high blood pressure

  • Can cause hair loss

  • Can cause anxiety and depression

  • Increase the risk of breast cancer

Despite this, it still isn’t being made clear to women that there is a big difference between bioidentical hormones, which can prevent a number of serious diseases, and synthetic hormone-like drugs, which can increase the risk of these diseases. 

Synthetic vs bioidentical hormones

The distinction between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormone-like drugs is very important. 

Natural or bioidentical hormones are identical to those in the body. Synthetic or non-bio-identical hormones are found in the pill and in many standard HRT products, and they are not identical to those found in the body. 

If you imagine that bioidentical hormones are like keys that fit perfectly into a hormone receptor or lock, synthetic hormone-like drugs behave more like a hairpin being used to open the lock and other unwanted locks too. Synthetic hormones bind to other receptors as well, causing issues that you don’t see with bioidentical hormones. 

Progestin and pregnancy

One big difference is that bioidentical progesterone doesn’t stop ovulation, and is actually given to pregnant women to help them sustain a pregnancy. 

Synthetic versions of progesterone, otherwise known as progestins, do stop ovulation, and any kind of progestin is forbidden during pregnancy because they create a large risk of birth defects.

Unfortunately, many standard HRT products contain a synthetic hormone-like drug because they are patentable, whereas hormones that are identical in structure to the body’s own are not patentable. 

The benefits of hormones

Historically, there’s been a dismissive approach towards hormones. There hasn’t been enough done to distinguish between the different effects that bioidentical hormones versus synthetic hormones have. 

And because we haven’t really gone into detail about hormonal treatments and how different hormones, different doses and different routes may be beneficial for different conditions. The attitude is still: “you’re either in menopause or you’re not. And if you’re not, then look at other options for your symptoms of hormone imbalance, such as antidepressants.” 

We need hormones because healthy hormone levels make us bloom. Healthy hormone levels make us feel:

  • Energetic

  • Happy

  • Creative

  • Glowing skin

  • Clear of head

  • Vital

Conversely, hormonal imbalances, which are prevalent in our ways of modern living, can cause everything from:

  • Fatigue

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Weight gain

  • Night sweats

  • Hot flashes

  • Low libido

  • Thinning hair

  • Dry skin

Making changes in diet and lifestyle, and taking bioidentical hormones in the dose that you need, can be very effective ways to restore hormonal balance.

Online consultation with Hormones and You

If you are having regular periods but suffering from period problems, or if you are suffering from low libido or PMS and are looking to get the right treatment using only natural bioidentical hormones, get in touch with us today.

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