Menopause

Updated 21 July 2014

Isn’t it safer to use natural hormones instead of HT?

It is important to note that hormones used in conventional HT are generally similar in structure to those naturally produced by women during their reproductive years.

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It is important to note that hormones used in conventional HRT are generally similar in structure to those naturally produced by women during their reproductive years. The oestrogen in the commonly utilised oral contraceptive pill, is, however, synthetic and is not usually utilised for HT.

The so-called natural hormones are phytoestrogens, which means oestrogen-like compounds found in plants. Isoflavones and lignans are the commonest forms of available phytoestrogens. They need to be digested and broken down to be converted into the active ingredient/s.

It is problematic that phytoestrogens are not subject to control by the Medicines Control Council and as they are not standardised, one cannot always be certain about the amount of oestrogenic activity. They may, for example, contain too little oestrogen to protect against osteoporosis.

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