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Dr. Northrup:
Of course, if you take my book in to any doctor and say, "I'm interested in this," you can see their reaction to this. But often the formulary pharmacies will often have a listing of doctors. But remember, like Dr. Lauren Streicher on the show today, she uses really good hormones. They're all bioidenticals. She takes them herself. And she's conventionally trained. So you don't usually have to go too far outside the system, particularly in someone like you who's had a hysterectomy and your ovaries removed. We know you don't have the way to make the hormones in your body at this point.

Beverly:
I was offered Premarin, but I didn't want to take that.

Dr. Northrup:
There are many others that you can take from a conventional pharmacy that are bioidentical, so you don't need to worry. You're smart.

Beverly:
Okay.

Dr. Northrup:
All right? Thank you, Beverly.

Beverly:
Thank you so much.

Dr. Northrup:
If you have a question about your hormones or menopause, call us at 866-677-2496. That's 866-OPRAH-XM. Now we have Cindy from Rome, Georgia, joining us on Skype. Cindy, what's your question?

Cindy:
Hi.

Dr. Northrup:
Hi.

Cindy:
My question is, I had a vaginal hysterectomy at the age of 23. I'm now 61. Would I benefit from the hormones, the bioidentical hormones?

Dr. Northrup:
Well, first of all, did you have your ovaries removed, Cindy?

Cindy:
No.

Dr. Northrup:
Okay. Okay. And so how are you doing? How are you feeling? Because, you know, the ovaries will continue to produce hormones your whole life.

Cindy:
Not good.

Dr. Northrup:
You're not good. Okay.

Cindy:
No.

Dr. Northrup:
In that case, you might well benefit from giving it a trial run.

Cindy:
Okay.

Dr. Northrup:
All right? So give it a try. It really can't hurt if you do it for a small amount of time and just see what the difference is in how you feel. You saw today on the show how one woman felt—

Cindy:
Yes.

Dr. Northrup:
—after getting the right dosages. Of course I want to see what she's like in a year from now.

Cindy:
Right.

Dr. Northrup:
But you've got to start somewhere. And you know what, what this show is about is having women like you live their best possible life without putting up with feeling horrible when there's help. So give it a whirl. Absolutely.

Cindy:
I will. Thank you.

Dr. Northrup:
Great. Thank you.

Cindy:
Thank you.

Dr. Northrup:
All right. Now we have Damian from Hartville, Ohio, who is calling in.

Damian:
Hello, how are you?

Dr. Northrup:
I'm good, Damian.

Damian:
Great. Thank you for taking my call. This is a fascinating topic. My question is, how long have bioidenticals, how long have they been around? And the second part is how many studies have been done?

Dr. Northrup:
Great question. First of all, they've been around a long time. But you know what? They used to be injectable. So women were getting, in the '30s and so on, intramuscular bioidentical estrogen and intramuscular progesterone. And the thing is, compounding pharmacies have been around before the FDA was around. The FDA was founded in 1939, and it wasn't until the pharmaceutical industry became pretty large that you began to get the variety of drugs available in drugstores. Because the practice of medicine, for centuries, has been the doctor and the apothecary working together. So the bioidenticals have been around. However, the first oral estrogen that became available in 1949 was the one made from the urine and blood of pregnant horses. And so that's the one that sort of got the market share off the block because, you know, it's not practical for women to get their shots.

Damian:
Sure.

Dr. Northrup:
Okay? So anyway, those are the ones that began—the studies began to be done with, and so what happened was, hormone replacement became synonymous with—synonymous with equine estrogens. Conjugated equine estrogens made from hormones urine. All right? Now bioidentical progesterone, there was no oral form of that either for years. And then that became patented but not until the 1980s. And then that became available as a progesterone in oral, as in oral formulation. So there are studies on the bioidenticals. There are many. A lot of them in Europe, and there are some in the United States. Let me tell you what we don't have, however. We don't have a head-to-head study where we would have a woman on the bioidentical formulations, those that matched exactly what's made in her body.

Damian:
Okay.

Dr. Northrup:
Okay? I don't care if it's from a conventional pharmacy or compounding. It makes no difference. I just like the hormones found in your body. And then the ones that are different from what are found in your body, the ones that have been the most studied, which is just really historical. But all of those have gone in the same pot, you see.

Damian:
Yes.

Dr. Northrup:
So we need—we do need those big studies. I don't know if we're apt to get any because it's cost the pharmaceutical industry so much to do these other studies, like the Women's Health Initiative, which then showed an adverse effect and now the pendulum has swung over to the other side. But you can bet it will swing once more, and I—I'll bet especially after this show these studies will begin to be done. But there are more than you think. A lot of them in Europe. Does that answer your question?

Damian:
It does. Thank you so much.

Dr. Northrup:
Thank you, Damian. And now we've got Reena from Toronto, Canada, is on the phone.

Reena:
Hi, Dr. Northrup.

Dr. Northrup:
Hi.

Reena:
I just want to thank you so much for doing this. It's really a great resource. I'm a 36-year-old diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. Been on birth control when I was 26 to 32. Stopped to try and get pregnant. Instead, I got diagnosed. Then I went straight onto estrogen patches at the age 33 of and progesterone. I didn't feel any better. I gained weight. Low sex drive. Exhausted, but couldn't sleep. Now I'm back on The Pill. I feel a bit better. How can I work with my doctor to get the right customized levels of FDA-approved hormones for me?

Dr. Northrup:
That is, first of all, a great question. I'm so glad you brought up the topic of premature ovarian failure because this is—there's something in your body going on. This is autoimmune.

Reena:
Yes.

Dr. Northrup:
As you know.

Reena:
Yes.

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