Standard of Care Hormones

This is a term used to describe the traditional HRT approach. The Standard of Care is most often made up of look-alike hormone molecules that are chemically derived and synthesized in a laboratory. They may also be called bio-identical, however they are synthetic chemical compounds that are meant to mimic the activity of hormones produced in the body. They may be called “natural” but they differ in structure from naturally occurring hormones.

The FDA has approved several substances chemically derived and synthesized in a laboratory.  These types of Estradiol and progesterone molecules are the substances known as the Standard of Care (SOC), and are used by many doctors. You may have heard of brand names like Premarin, Provera, Prempro, Premphase, Prempac, and Premelle.

However, these hormones can also be foreign to the human body. For example, Premarin is made out of a “natural” mixture of estrogens made by a pregnant mare. However it contains types of estrogen that are never found naturally in the human body. These estrogen types are more potent and more persistent than human 17-beta estradiol and have been found to have some very undesirable effects on women.

These SOC drugs are patented molecules. The synthetic molecules of SOC must be architected to be unique in the world in order to be patented. Legally, it is impossible to patent a natural substance for which a molecular construct already exists in nature – like water, or human hormones.