Bioidentical estrogen, or bi-est, can have short-term side effects such as breast tenderness, spotting, cramping and bloating, according to BodyLogicMD. Additionally, the FDA warns that there may be potential long-term side effects that have not been studied as of 2015.
Bioidentical estrogen is not as safe as it is advertised, according to the FDA. Because there is little scientific evidence that determines the safety of bioidentical hormones, the FDA does not approve such therapies. The FDA warns of unknown long-term side effects of bioidentical hormones, which could have the same effects as regular hormone therapy. These potential side effects include an increased risk of developing blood clots, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and gall bladder disease.
Dr. Rob D'Aquila states that taking any hormones, whether bioidentical or synthetic, has risks. Taking in hormones from outside the body results in the body stopping or slowing down its own production of hormones. The body becomes dependent on these hormones, and as a result, the body's own glands shut down. This becomes a problem when a patient stops taking hormones because it is difficult to get the body to produce its own hormones again. Another problem that occurs with hormone therapy is that hormone receptors become less sensitive, causing the patient to need to increase the dosage amounts over time.
However, Dr. Rob D'Aquila stresses that while some people need hormone therapy, they need to make lifestyle changes in addition to the therapy to avoid long term risks. They also need to consider the potential side effects and discuss the treatment with a qualified health care professional.