Bioidentical hormones are often synthesized from plants, and processed to make them resemble, or become inherently identical to the hormones within our bodies. Bioidentical hormone preparations are often compounded by pharmacists, with respect to the quantity recommended by the doctor.
We have a conflict of interest here with the pharmaceutical industry, because they are unable to patent human hormones that are molecularly identical to actual substances in the body. Therefore everything that you hear about bioidentical hormones must be viewed with a skeptical eye, because of the pharmaceutical companies massive influence over the health industry.
These hormones are mainly used by females, to alleviate the signs and symptoms of menopause. A scientific study compared the usage of bioidentical progesterone cream to placebo, and learned that women using the cream experienced a massive decrease in symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats. The cream had no effect on bone mineral density though.
Bioidentical hormones are generally prescribed as a healthier replacement for regular hormone replacement therapy, which has been proven to have serious adverse effects. Many people have voiced their criticism about this kind of treatment because it has not been analyzed extensively enough in clinical studies.
However, some scientific studies have demonstrated that these hormones are indeed unhealthy and also bring less risk of adverse effects than the synthetic versions. This includes significantly less risk of blood clots as well as cancer, the two primary issues relating to conventional hormone replacement therapy.
It's imperative that you realize that these types of hormones have not been studied as extensively as the standard, artificial ones. This is very understandable because the main sources of research funds are the drug companies, and they have absolutely no interest in studying a substance that can not be patented or marked for massive price tags.
Unfortunately, because scientific studies are missing, it is not easy to find details about the side effects of bioidentical hormones in the literature, but it appears obvious how the side effects tend to be less sever than with regular hormone replacement therapy.
I'm not really thrilled about individuals playing around with the hormones in their bodies, because this might have unpredictable consequences. If the symptoms of menopause are leading to big problems in that case bioidentical hormones can be a safe alternative to standard treatment.
I would personally also suggest using as little of them as possible, for as brief a time as possible. Menopause is really a natural occurrence that happens with getting older, and even though treatment methods are possible, they do not mean they're always the right thing to do.
Make sure that if you are undergoing any kind of hormonal treatment, to do it under supervision by a physician who has knowledge of these matters, hormones are nothing to play around with.