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ArticlesDr Peter FotinosHormone Replacement Therapy Women

The Dangers of Using Synthetic Vs. Bioidentical Progesterone

By December 1, 2015 No Comments

Senior Woman Resting After Exercising In Park

A very important distinction must be made between synthetic versions of the hormone progesterone and the bioidentical progesterone we use at Revita. Progestin, a synthetic progesterone, can significantly increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer and heart disease; bioidentical progesterone does not.

Progestin vs. Progesterone

Synthetic progesterone is not actually progesterone, but progestin. Progestin is structured differently than the hormone that naturally occurs in your body. It breaks down into metabolites, which are foreign to your body. These metabolites can damage tissue, leading to a laundry list of side effects. Synthetic hormones are akin to the average pharmaceutical drug, many of which seem to have a thousand potential adverse side effects for each benefit they offer. One of the worst potential side effects of progestin is an increased risk of breast cancer.*

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy with progesterone, however, actually decreases your risk of breast cancer. Bioidentical hormones match your body’s own hormones and behave in the same way as they do. Your body knows what to do with them, even as they break down into their metabolites.

Progesterone & Breast Cancer

Many women have heard that progesterone increases their risk of breast cancer. This is a misunderstanding. The Women’s Health Initiative* took a look at the effect of progestin and progesterone on breast cancer risk and found that only progestin increased risk. They found women taking progestin had a 2.8 relative risk ratio of increased breast cancer as compared to the general public. On the other hand, women who took progesterone had a -0.9 relative risk ratio as compared to the general population. That means that taking bioidentical progesterone decreased their risk of breast cancer.

This is essential information for women, especially those who have undergone a hysterectomy. A benefit of both progestin and progesterone therapy is a decreased risk of uterine cancer. However, because bioidentical progesterone therapy also has a role in decreasing breast cancer, even women without a uterus can benefit. All in all, bioidentical progesterone helps to protect women against:*

  • Breast cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

It does so without exposing women to the increased risk of breast cancer associated with progestin. Bioidentical hormones in general are superior to their synthetic counterparts because they are familiar to your body. They do not cause the list of side-effects common to synthetics. To learn more about the benefits of biodientical hormone therapy for you, contact a medical doctor who specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

*Academic References

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2000; 92: 328-333.

JAMA. 2000; 283(4): 485-491.

Fertility Sterility 1995; 63: 783-791.

International Journal Cancer. 1999. 81 (3); 339-344.

Maturitas 2003 December 10; 46 Supplement 1: 555-558

Climateric 2003 September: (6): 221-227.

JA Goldman. The Women’s Health Initiative 2004 – Review and Critique. MedGenMed. 2004; 6(3): 65