The Crazy History of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Biodentical Hormone Replacement Therapy in Denver

The Crazy History of Hormone Replacement Therapy

The Crazy History of Hormone Replacement Therapy

The crazy history of hormone replacement therapy goes back thousands of years. The first recorded use occurred in Ancient China. Older female members of the Chinese ruling class would take dried young women’s urine to offset problems linked with menopause. The idea behind this was that young women’s urine had the different waste products of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Throughout history, older women would drink younger women’s urine to help with many of the problems linked with aging.

The Crazy History of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Research and development of manufactured and equine (horse) hormones began in the late 1930s. It was even the basis for most scientific references to modern hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The current medical practice (based on this research) is to give hormones that aren’t the same as the ones found in the human body. Before pellet therapy, BHRT was a painful injection. Injections were the only way to avoid the stomach, which would break down the hormones too much.

Why Did Drug Companies Choose Synthetics over Bio-Identicals?

Bio-identical hormones were the first effective treatment available as early as the 1930s. However, pharmaceutical companies were unable to patent these compounds. This meant it took more work to make money from them, and they instead focused on improving these synthetic versions.

The first synthetic estrogen supplements came from horse urine. Billions of advertising dollars helped make estrogen-only replacement therapy (ERT) popular until the 1970s. At this time, researchers found a connection between ERT and endometrial cancer. This caused doctors to stop giving ERT until scientists noticed that endometrial cancer did not occur nearly as often in women whose ovaries produced a proper balance of estrogen and progesterone. This caused researchers to develop a synthetic form of progesterone called progestin. Progestin balance out manufactured estrogen levels.

To add to the confusion between man-made and bio-identical hormone therapy, the term “progesterone” was used interchangeably with “progestin” in medical, nursing, and pharmacological studies. This meant that doctors often assumed them to be the same thing even though their effects on the human body were very different.

The “Micronization” of Hormones

The shrinking of bio-identical steroids In the late 1980s meant that women could take progesterone orally. Estradiol, estriol, and testosterone could also be given with patches placed on the skin.

Micronized’ human’ progesterone eventually became available in Europe in the late 1980s and was approved by the FDA in 1998. It has been available from U.S. compounding pharmacists for years. The active component is bio-identical to naturally produced progesterone. Micronization of BHRT allows it to be released slowly into the body by several routes without painful shots. Doctors rarely learn about this type of therapy in medical, nursing, or pharmacy schools. This means they must invest extra time and money into learning about these techniques independently. Often, this is after their patients specifically ask for it.

Despite studies that show the benefits of HRT, many women don’t take any form of HRT and, because of this, experience a  decline in quality of life due to early symptoms of menopause. To make matters worse, female baby boomers are entering menopause faster. Many won’t experience total remission of their symptoms with more expected artificial equine HRT options. Using non-bio-identical hormones, women are trading their early menopause symptoms for side effects from their prescriptions. They are still not getting rid of them.

The history of BHRT shows that it is a safe and effective way to improve your hormone balance. If you may need Bio-identical hormone therapy, find out by taking a simple test! Men click here, and women click here. To schedule a FREE consultation with a certified Biote provider, visit Integrative Health & Rehabilitation.