By: Kyle T. Panter, PharmD


When it comes to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) there are many options for women to choose from. Knowing which option is synthetic versus bio-identical can be confusing – even for physicians! The differences between synthetic and bio-identical are certainly noticeable to women. A recent review of medical literature revealed patients reported greater satisfaction with bio-identical hormone therapy versus synthetic options (DOI: 10.3810/pgm.2009.01.1949)

But what exactly differentiates bio-identical hormones from synthetics? It is a complicated question to answer, but believe it or not, it all boils down to shape. Hormones are chemical messengers secreted by glands which travel in the blood to their specific targets. These targets are specialized receptors which exist on the surface of cells throughout the body. Simply put, if you lost your house key could you use your car key to unlock your front door? Obviously not! That’s because your house key (hormone) was made specifically for your front door’s lock (receptor). If you change the shape of the key (car key), it doesn’t work. Synthetic hormones are not the same shape as the hormones our bodies naturally make (bio-identical). Because of this, synthetic hormones do not fit our hormone receptors in the same way which leads to unwanted side effects.

Innovative Pharmacy has specialized in compounding bio-identical hormones for over 22 years. Our pharmacists are knowledgeable and specially trained to help answer any questions you may have about your hormone journey. Contact us today to learn more!