What is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy? Also known as BHRT, this type of therapy can help to regulate hormone levels—especially for women experiencing perimenopause or menopause. If you have hot flashes, brain fog, or other perimenopause symptoms, take a look at what you need to know about BHRT and your options. 

Are BHRT and HRT the Same?

Both BHRT and HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can help balance hormone levels. HRT uses estrogen or estrogen/progesterone to boost the perimenopausal woman's hormone levels. These hormones are naturally found in the female body and can help to ease perimenopause symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. HRT medications come from synthetic or animal-derived sources. 

BHRT can also help to alleviate some of the most common and irritating perimenopausal symptoms. But instead of animal/synthetic estrogen and progesterone, bioidenticals come from plant-based sources. Even though bioidenticals are often derived from natural sources, they don't come in their original plant form. Instead, BHRT includes pills, patches, creams, gels, or injections.

Why Try Bioidentical Hormone Replacement?

There isn't one reason to try BHRT. In general, patients choose this type of therapy to treat a number of hormone-influenced conditions. Along with perimenopause/menopause, these include insulin resistance, adrenal disorders, thyroid disorders, or fibromyalgia. 

Again, both BHRT and HRT can treat some perimenopausal symptoms—such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal changes/dryness, painful sexual intercourse, fatigue, sleep disruptions, weight gain, memory loss/brain fog, or mood changes.

Women often choose holistic hormone replacement over synthetic medications for the natural ingredients. It's also possible, in some cases, to use BHRT specifically tailored to your individual healthcare needs. This type of custom creation requires a hormonal level assessment.

Is BHRT Use Common?

Yes, BHRT use is common for the treatment of perimenopause symptoms. According to research published in the journal Menopause, between 28 and 68 percent of hormone therapy prescriptions (for perimenopause/menopause symptoms relief) in the United States are for BHRT. This equals between one and 2.5 million American women (ages 40 and older).

Where Can You Get Holistic Hormone Replacement Therapy?

You can get BHRT from your medical provider. Along with medical doctors, some nurse practitioners, naturopathic physicians, and doctors of osteopathic medicine may prescribe this type of therapy. Even though bioidentical hormones can come from natural sources such as plants, the use of BHRT requires professional medical guidance. Your doctor or other healthcare provider can help you choose the bioidentical hormones that best meet your perimenopausal needs.