Highlighted Research Topics
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)
The National Institutes of Health halted the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study of synthetic hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women in July 2002.
The WHI study raised concerns that the risks of the hormone replacement therapy (specifically Premarin® and Prempro®) may outweigh the long-term benefits. Unfortunately, the subsequent media reports about the WHI study did not distinguish between the actual synthetic hormones used in the WHI and any other hormones such as bioidentical hormones that were NOT used in the WHI study and are completely different.
It is critically important that women and physicians understand that there are significant differences between the various hormone preparations currently being used.
***Please see the section on bioidentical (natural) progesterone vs synthetic progestins for information on these differences.
Hormone Research Topics
Progesterone Research Studies
Clinical studies have demonstrated an effectiveness of bioidentical progesterone for menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and mood swings. Historically, progesterone has long been used to support regular menstruation and treat infertility.
Adequate progesterone is also essential for fertility, cardiovascular health, nervous system function, and bone health, and protects against the development of cancer of the uterus in women using estrogen therapy.
- Progesterone and Breast Health
- Progesterone Safety
- Progesterone and Menstrual Health/PMS, Infertility, Pregnancy
- Progesterone and Bone Health
- Progesterone and Cardiovascular Health
- Progesterone and Menopausal Symptoms
- Progesterone and the Nervous System/Brain
- Progesterone and the Uterus
- Progesterone Formulations – Creams, Gels, Pills
- Bioidentical (Natural) Progesterone vs. Synthetic Progestins
Androgen Research Studies
Testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) are androgenic hormones produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands in women. Androgen levels fall with age and significantly decline in the 5 years following natural menopause due to the drop in ovarian production.
Androgens are being more commonly supplemented, primarily to support bone health, energy, muscle tone, and sexual functioning following menopause. Given the recent history of supplemented androgens in women (they have long been utilized for men), they are less understood in terms of long-term effects than either progesterone or the estrogens.
Bioidentical Estrogens (Estradiol, Estriol) Research Studies
These human-identical estrogens have historically been the estrogens of choice for hormone therapy in France and other European countries, and are becoming more widely used and studied in the United States.
Conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) had been the most commonly prescribed estrogens in the United States. However, the 2002 results of the Women’s Health Initiative Study, which elucidated some of the hazards of these non-human-identical hormones, caused physicians and researchers to focus more on the estrogens natural to women (estradiol, estrone, and estriol).
These bioidentical estrogens are available in oral, transdermal, percutaneous, and vaginal preparations.