Find out the truth behind common myths about bioidentical hormones.
1: All estrogens are the same.
False. This is the most important question in relation to estrogen. The type of estrogen given to the body determines how the body will react and respond. The body makes three principle estrogens: estradiol, estrone and estriol. All three are present in the body of women before (and after) menopause. Estradiol is the workhorse of the estrogens. Estriol is now being looked at as a potential anti-inflammatory estrogen with benefits to illnesses like multiple sclerosis [Source: Sicotte]. Higher ratios of estriol have been linked to lower levels of breast cancer [Source: Lemon]. Each of these forms of estrogen are made in the body. They do have slight variations with some of the forms of estrogen used in Western medicine. Premarin is a form of estrogen collected from the urine of horses. This collection of estrogens is similar but not necessarily identical to the ratio the body makes. Experts argue that this exception to what the body makes is what creates the problems seen with traditional hormone replacement. Greater attention is now being paid to study and utilize hormones made identical to those of the body, referred to as bioidentical hormone replacement.