Ethical problems with bioidentical hormone therapy

Int J Impot Res. 2008 Jan-Feb;20(1):45-52. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901622. Epub 2007 Dec 13.


The term 'bioidentical' hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is widely misunderstood by the patient population and misrepresented in patient literature. Within the clinical community, BHRT is currently being prescribed by some as an 'innovative therapy' with no published evidence in peer-reviewed journals that it is better than the current standard of care; in at least one case, BHRT is being used as a study agent in unregulated and unethical research involving very high doses of estrogen and progesterone. Additionally, professional ethics problems abound within the prescribing population, since those claiming expertise and training in BHRT vary widely in competencies, may cross practice boundaries, and may have overt conflicts of interest if they are selling or promoting their own for-profit recipes of BHRT on commercial forums. Ultimately, BHRT presents clinical, research and professional ethics problems that are discussed in depth.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ethics, Clinical*
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / classification*
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menopause / drug effects*