Log in
Thyroid UK
93,557 members107,603 posts

natural vs synthetic sex hormones

This is not thyroid-related but at least hormone-related so I hope it's OK.

The so called Hertoghe doctors insist you should not use synthetic estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone, but always use natural hormones. They also say you need to take them for life, whereas most mainstream doctors believe you should not use them for more than five years (now, I am referring to estrogen and progesterone in peri-menopausal women).

I have been on natural estrogel (Estrogel) and progesterone (Utrogestan) for the past five years, with spotty success to say the least (diagnosed with adrenal fatigue in 2011). Now, my OB-Gyn suggests we try synthetic hormones instead. Since my testosterone levels are very low, she wants me on a synthetic estrogen-testosterone combination drug.

Are synthetic hormones as bad as Hertoghe doctors seem to think? Are there really any advantages to taking natural hormones that I have yet to discover?

8 Replies

This is a very interesting interview comparing natural v synthetic hormones:



Thanks a lot:-)


I have bioidentical hormones but not pre-made pills - none of them are natural, they are all made in a lab - ; they are made up especially for me in the ratio in need, Perhaps the levels just aren't right for you or you might need testosterone and DHEA as well. I wouldn't take horse pee (cruelty and health issues) except as a last resort, and I definitely wouldn't take progestins (lots of health issues). And the non bioidentical ones are all one-size-fits-all.

1 like

When you refer to "horse pee", do you mean Premarin...? I did not even know that was available outside the US (and I'm in Belgium). And I'd not be too keen on taking it either, for the reasons you mention.

You are right about testosterone; something doctors seem to overlook in women. I have read a lot about DHEA, have even had it prescribed to me, but Belgian pharmacies charge three times as much as internet pharmacies so, if I decide to go down that road, I'll definitely order online...

Since advice is so conflicting, I'd like to ask those of you who successfully tried DHEA how much you need...some say 25 mg daily, others 35, 50, or even 100, so it's really confusing...and I'm not always sure the doctors know, either...


NHS oestrogen which does not specifically state that it is bioidentical is horse pee (same as in any other country). I need 12.5mg of DHEA a day - you need a specialist to work it out for you personally, but you could try 25mg as a max unless you are very large. if you take too much and don't need it it can be androgenic or raise your cortisol too much (I have low cortisol, so it's not a problem for me).

1 like

Thanks! I recently managed to wean myself off Medrol for adrenal fatigue (after five years), and now take an OTC products which actually seems to be working pretty well. Each daily dose contains, among other things, 10 mg of DHEA. I think that is enough, which is why I'd hate to take more, only to end up finding myself overmedicated...


If you are able to exercise, this can increase testosterone and other hormones:



Yes, most definitely able to exercise. Thanks for the article.


You may also like...