Skip to main content

What Every Woman Should Know About Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

As a seasoned practitioner in primary care and holistic medicine, Leslie S. Gaskill, MD, understands the importance of making informed decisions about your health. 

Although the internet offers a wealth of information about medical conditions and treatments, it doesn’t consider the unique factors involved in your personal health history, so trusting it can lead to missed diagnoses or misdiagnoses. 

There’s no replacement for a one-on-one consultation with an expert like Dr. Gaskill, but if you’re searching for information on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, our following guide highlights Dr. Gaskill’s approved advice.

Conventional vs. bioidentical hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) are two treatments that can rebalance your hormones during menopause. Here's a breakdown of these therapies, their differences, and key considerations for patients.

Hormone replacement therapy

HRT has been the go-to treatment for alleviating menopause symptoms for many years. It supplements with hormones your body is no longer producing in adequate amounts. HRT typically includes estrogen and/or progesterone and comes in various forms, such as tablets, skin patches, gels, or implants.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy

BHRT, like HRT, aims to relieve your menopause symptoms and other hormonal imbalances, but the hormones used in BHRT are chemically identical to those your body produces because they come from plant estrogens that can be custom-made to match your hormonal needs.

The main differences between HRT and BHRT are:

Source of hormones

Traditional HRT uses synthetic hormones or those derived from the urine of pregnant horses, while BHRT uses hormones derived from plant sources that are biochemically identical to human hormones.


BHRT can be custom-compounded to suit your hormone levels, while HRT typically comes in standard doses.

Regulation and testing

Conventional HRT medicines are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and undergo rigorous testing. In contrast, many BHRT compounds aren’t subject to the same level of regulation, leading to potential inconsistencies in dosage and quality.

About bioidentical hormone replacement therapy

The BHRT topic has garnered much attention and debate online among women and within the medical community. Dr. Gaskill believes that if you understand the fundamentals of this therapy, its pros and cons, and who it's suitable for, you can make an educated decision about whether it's right for you.

Know why to consider BHRT

BHRT replenishes your body with either estrogen alone or estrogen and progesterone in combination to address the most common menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, vaginal discomfort, mood swings, weight gain, and insomnia. 

BHRT could also help you prevent bone loss and reduce fractures, common in postmenopausal women.

Know the pros and cons of bioidentical hormones

Dr. Gaskill often recommends BHRT because it’s safe and effective for most women. So first, let’s discuss the BHRT pros.

Bioidentical hormones are most similar to natural hormones, so they may lead to better compatibility with your body and fewer side effects. 

They can alleviate menopausal symptoms, improve mood and energy levels, and potentially decrease the risk of certain health issues like osteoporosis.

BHRT may reduce your risk for diabetes, cataracts, and tooth loss.

Your skin benefits from BHRT because the treatment increases hydration, thickens skin, boosts elasticity, and reduces wrinkles. 

If you’ve undergone breast cancer treatment, studies show you can take BHRT safely, as it doesn’t increase your likelihood of breast cancer recurrence. 

Now, for the BHRT cons.

Despite their benefits, bioidentical hormones aren’t risk-free. In fact, they may have similar risks to conventional HRT, such as an increased likelihood of blood clots, stroke, and gallbladder disease. 

You may also notice side effects when taking BHRT, such as:

Although most women find relief from these symptoms with BHRT, some don’t respond positively. Dr. Gaskill can guide you toward other treatments if BHRT causes these symptoms.

Know the types and forms of BHRT

Like HRT, BHRT comes in several forms, including pills, patches, gels, creams, and injections. The best form depends on your health, the symptoms you're trying to manage, and your lifestyle, so Dr. Gaskill discusses these factors with you to find the most suitable option.

Know who’s a good BHRT candidate

BHRT might benefit you if you’re experiencing menopausal symptoms that negatively affect your quality of life, but it's not for everyone. 

Women with a history of breast cancer, heart disease, or liver disease, or those who are pregnant should avoid BHRT.

Learn more about BHRT. Contact our office in Peachtree Corners or Johns Creek, Georgia, by requesting an appointment online or calling 770-495-9995.

You Might Also Enjoy...


Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States. It can be very debilitating. It is imperative to seek help as soon as possible.