Mary Garrett asked for more information on bio-identical hormones and suggested that we campaign, demonstrate, or write letters to keep our right to them. Right on, Mary!!! Menopausal women should be descending en masse on FDA offices to let them know just how dangerous it is to rile up a somebody who can laser you with a hot-flash glance. I say that not entirely in jest. It’s not funny when the agency we trust to protect our health doesn’t have the courage to stand up to dangerous drug manufacturers.
For more information about bio-identical hormones and for contact links to your congressional representatives, go to HOME (Hands Off My Estrogens!). You can also call your congressperson and raise holy hell. You can write letters to congress. You can contact your local newspaper and women’s organizations. If your church is socially active, you can let them know how women’s health needs are being compromised.
To get bio-identical hormones, simply ask your health care provider for a prescription. In the US, your own city quite likely has one or two pharmacies that compound prescriptions. (For a listing of compounding pharmacies, check Project Aware.) You can also get them through Women’s International Pharmacy, which will mail your prescription in a few days.
No two women have the same hormonal needs, so one woman may be prescribed a mix of estrone, estriol and estrace, while another might be prescribed a mix of estriol, estrace, and estradiol. Whatever the mix, all those hormone ALREADY exist in the woman’s body, but the levels of some decline with aging.
Estrone has been most often implicated in breast cancer, so physicians keep it as low as possible in their prescriptions, and balance it with estriol, estrace, and/or estradiol. Being biologically identical to the hormones a woman is already producing, the balance remains true. That’s not true of conjugated synthetic hormones. They convert in the body to estrone.
Estriol, on the other hand, has been implicated in the ABSENCE of breast cancer. Nevertheless, the FDA has ordered doctors to stop prescribing it and pharmacies to stop including it in compounds. Their rationale is that estriol is “a new and unapproved drug,” which must surely come as a surprise to all the healthy young women whose bodies are creating it every second. While the FDA is making estriol their first target, nobody will be surprised when they move on to bio-identical estrace, estradiol and estrone.
The motivating factor is the fact that bio-identical hormones can’t be patented like synthetics hormones. The FDA has even ordered pharmacies to stop using the terms “bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.” They say those are “false claims.”
The FDA is largely funded by the pharmaceutical giants who market conjugated hormones, so they are almost forced to make those absurd statements. Women, however, are the ones whose health will suffer if we sit by and let them remove our right to choose between synthetic and bio-identical hormones.