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What are some side effects of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy?

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Quick Answer

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapies have the same side effects as conventional hormone replacement therapy, including an increased risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular problems, reports Drugs.com. Mood changes and vaginal bleeding are also potential side effects of hormone replacement therapy, reports WebMD.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cautioned that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has the ability to produce the same side effects of the hormones they replicate, explains Drugs.com. Bloating, headaches, nausea, and breast swelling and tenderness are possible side effects of hormone replacement therapy, according to WebMD. Additionally, the FDA warns that women taking hormone replacement therapy may be at risk for additional unknown side effects. Research has also demonstrated that women taking hormone replacement therapy are more likely to experience stroke and blood clots. However, research has demonstrated mixed results on the effects of hormone replacement therapy.

The FDA has not approved bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and warns that formulas containing bioidentical hormones might not be pure or provide consistent doses, notes Drugs.com. Additionally, because hormone levels constantly fluctuate, bioidentical hormone replacement products formulated by testing hormone levels in saliva may not provide an appropriate dosage required by a person. Medical professionals and government health organizations typically recommend low dosages of hormone replacement therapy used only for a short time to reduce the risk of side effects.

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