Standard HRT vs BHRT
Is HRT the same as BioID?
No – HRT is a standard combination of oestrogen and a synthetic progesterone-like compound which is not identical to the body’s own hormones. It comes as a standard dose and because no blood tests are taken to assess the levels of your hormones pre-treatment it is a ‘one size fits all’ cost effective way to treat symptoms of the menopause.
BioID uses a blood test to assess your hormone levels pre-treatment therefore prescribes you the correct hormone replacement and correct doses you need to relieve your symptoms. BioID hormones are chemically identical to the ones in your body and so do not give any unwanted side effects or risks as standard HRT does.
Can you switch from standard HRT to BioID?
Yes – in most cases we can transition straight away without any problems.
Do I need to stop taking my standard HRT before my consultation?
No – continue taking your prescribed HRT as normal and we will then advise how to transition at your consultation
If I decide to start bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, how long will I be on it for?
The duration of treatment is highly individual and dependent on your personal situation. Your treatment plan will be tailored to your needs in consultation with your doctor. BioID is safe to take life-long unlike HRT which is only advisable for 5 years
Will bioidentical hormone replacement therapy help my particular symptoms?
Bioidentical hormones are frequently effective in resolving and reducing symptoms caused by hormonal imbalances.
During your first consultation, there will be a thorough evaluation of your history, symptoms and lifestyle, and we will carry out a blood test. When the results are available, your doctor will be able to assess the full picture. If this shows that you have a hormonal imbalance and that bio-identical hormone therapy is an appropriate treatment for you, a bespoke prescription will be formulated to meet your specific needs.
Where do the bioidentical hormones come from?
Bioidentical hormones are derived from diosgenin, which is sourced from Mexican yams and then converted into human hormones. They need to be prescribed by a doctor and bespoke prescriptions are designed for each individual patient. The treatments are then compounded under strict guidelines by our specialist pharmacy. Bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) is usually administered in the form of gels, lozenges or capsules.
What are the possible side effects of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Potential side effects with BioID treatment are generally very rare. If you do experience side effects, they are usually linked to the dosage which is why your follow blood is important to monitor levels.
Rare side effects from oestrogen-based therapy may include bloating, headache, breast tenderness and irregular bleeding or spotting.
Progesterone-based therapy may cause spotting, missed periods, breast tenderness, drowsiness, headaches, nausea, and breakthrough bleeding.
Testosterone is rarely associated with side effects such as acne, oily skin, change in libido, hirsutism, clitoral engorgement, change in voice, and an increase in red blood cells. The side effects to DHEA treatment are similar to those of testosterone including acne and in rare cases, unwanted hair growth.
If I have an issue with my BioID hormones or am experiencing symptoms, who do I contact?
Please be advised that there are no emergencies with BHRT treatment, however if you do experience any unwanted side effects, we have a help line available to contact or you can email us if your issue is less urgent.
How are bioidentical hormones licensed?
BHRT is an unlicensed treatment. This means it does not have a product licence from Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It has been prescribed to you by a clinician as a “Special” as there is no licensed suitable alternative available and it is has been judged to be in your best interest. Our medication is tailor made to your requirements by our pharmacy at the specific dose and formulation requested by the clinician.
Unlicensed medications are commonly used within a variety of healthcare settings. Unlicensed medications can be prescribed, on the basis of patient assessment, if it is concluded that they met the medical needs of the patient and there is no alternative licensed option available.
Storage and Taking BHRT
How do I take my BioID hormones?
The instructions for taking BioID will vary depending on the formulation of the hormones you have been prescribed. During the consultation, your prescriber will discuss with you the differences between the types of medication.
Bioidentical hormones may be combined with a base gel for skin application, depending on the type of gel these can be applied directly to the face, limbs or genital area. Simply press the pump all the way to achieve the full dose, and apply the gel to the skin of the wrist which should be clean and dry. Rub the gel in with your wrists for at least a minute to ensure full absorption before replacing the cap on the tube.
Alternatively, bioidentical hormones may be administered in the form of an oral lozenge which can be cut into quarters to suit your recommended dose. After removing it from the tray, place the lozenge between upper lip and gum and allow it to dissolve or underneath the tongue. Do not suck, chew or directly swallow the lozenge.
Some bioidentical hormones can also be compounded into capsules for oral administration. Please take the capsule with a glass of water and avoid sucking or chewing the medication.
How do I store my gel?
Gels should be stored at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and humidity. Our gels can maintain stability in temperatures of up to 45 Degrees Celsius so you don’t have to put them in the fridge or a cooler bag, however, you should keep them out of direct sunlight.
How do I store my lozenges?
Lozenges should be stored at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and humidity. If you are travelling to a hot country it is best to purchase a medication cooler bag (most online and high street chemists stock these) to store your medication in. The lozenges will also maintain stability in the fridge.
Why do I need a blood test?
BioID is tailored to your exact needs, in order for us to be able to prescribe the correct hormones and doses we must check the levels of your existing hormones in your body. Without a blood test it is impossible to know what deficiencies and imbalances you may have.
How do I book my blood test?
You will be able to arrange for a phlebotomist to visit you to take a venous blood draw.
What will my blood test show?
• Full blood count and biochemistry (including liver function, kidney function, a full cholesterol, calcium levels, iron levels and lipid profile)
• Advanced thyroid check
• Adrenal hormone function (including cortisol and DHEA)
• Sex hormone assessment (progesterone, oestrogen, testosterone, FSH, LH, SHBG)
• Vitamin level assessment (Vit D, Vit B12, Folate)
How often will I need to have follow up blood tests?
2 months after taking your BioID hormones you will have a follow up blood test, where a registered phlebotomist will remotely take your blood. This follow up test is important to show our doctors that your treatment is working and that you are becoming rebalanced. After the 2 month follow up, repeat tests are advised yearly and we will remind you when these are due.
Are you registered with the General Medical Council (GMC)?
All the doctors and prescribers at the BioID are registered either with the GMC or NMC.
Are all the doctors trained in bioidentical hormone therapy?
Yes all the doctors and prescribers have been trained in prescribing Bioidentical Hormone Therapy and are continuously participating in further education.
Is BioID registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)?
Yes the BioID has been registered by the Care Quality Commission under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
Can I have BioID if I have a Mirena coil fitted?
Ideally it is best to have your coil removed to get the maximum benefit of the BioID treatment however you can keep it in when you start your BioID treatment and evaluate your progression.
Are there any medicines I could be taking or medical conditions I may have that would stop be being suitable for BioID?
Generally no, hormones are naturally occurring chemical messengers that already exist in your body. Our hormones are biochemically identical to the ones that exist inside your body. The only contraindications are previous history or current oestrogen positive breast cancer and prostate cancer in men.
Can BioID improve my fertility?
There are many cases where hormonal adjustments can improve fertility.
Will my private medical insurance cover my BioID treatment?
You will need to check with your health insurer to determine your level of cover.