Dr. Northrup says she thinks of "bioidentical" as a chemical term and prescribes them to her patients. "It's about biochemistry. It's not a marketing term," she says. "This is a hormone exactly matching what's in the human female body. So when you're going to optimize your hormones, that's what you use."
While you can get chemicals like natural progesterone in a regular pharmacy, Dr. Northrup says your doctor or nurse practitioner needs to know exactly which ones match your body. "It can be done with the regular mainstream pharmacy, and the regular pharmacies started to carry these because of the pressure from the compounding pharmacy," she says. "I, for years, recommended the compounding pharmacies because I couldn't get what I needed in a mainstream conventional pharmacy."
Suzanne says women should know that the hormones that work for you won't necessarily work for someone else. "I absolutely agree," Dr. Northrup says. "It's not the same size for everyone."