Hormones, estrogen, progesterone, HRT products
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Typical Hormone Products

The following can be prescribed as hormone replacement therapy for menopause and postmenopause:

Estrogens: Oral, Patches, Vaginal Creams, Other
Progestogens: Oral Progestins, Natural Progesterone, Combination products


The asterisk(*) shown by the product denotes the natural, or bio-identical, forms of estrogen. These hormones are formulated in a lab from certain ingredients (usually from plant sources) to match the chemical structure and effect of estradiol, estrone, or estriol (the 3 primary estrogens) that occur naturally in the human body (endogenous). None of the products made up primarily of estrone are completely bio-identical to the human hormone estrone.


Brand Type of Estrogen
Estrace* estradiol
Estradiol, generic* estradiol
Estratab esterified estrogens (mostly estrone)
Menest esterified estrogens (mostly estrone)
Ogen, Ortho-Est estropipate (a form of estrone)
Premarin conjugated equine (horse) estrogens (CEE), mostly estrone
Tri-Est or Bi-Est* estriol, estradiol and estrone (or estriol and estradiol only)

ESTROGENS: Patches & creams

ESTROGEN: patches
ESTROGEN: vaginal creams
Alora* estradiol Estrace* estradiol
Climara* estradiol Estradiol, generic* estradiol
Estraderm* estradiol Estriol, generic* estriol
FemPatch* estradiol Ogen estopipate estrone
Vivelle* estradiol Premarin conjugated equine estrogens (CEE)

OTHER forms of estrogen:

Estinyl (ethinyl estradiol)—primarily used in birth control pills
Estring* (estradiol vaginal ring insert used for 3 months)
Raloxifene (Evista)—the first "designer" estrogen (tamoxifen derivative)
Skin gels and creams made by compounding pharmacies:
• Tri-Est* (80% estriol, 10% estrone, 10% estradiol)
• Bi-Est* (80% estriol and 20% estradiol)
EstroGel* or OestroGel* (17beta-estradiol) transdermal preparation —Available in Canada, Europe and the U.S.

NOTE: Compounding pharmacies can customize combinations of natural estrogens in one capsule or in a cream base, as well as other forms. To find a compounding pharmacy in your area, see our listing.


While progesterone and all progestins are created in the lab from plant materials, only natural progesterone is bio-identical to the human hormone progesterone. All other progestins, known as synthetic progestins, have altered molecules, which makes them patentable. Norethindrone acetate is more androgenic—having male hormone properties—than medroxyprogesterone acetate, and is widely used in birth control pills.

We invite you to read a comprehensive presentation by Dr. Jane Murray about natural progesterone. And to learn the difference between synthetic progestins and natural progesterone, please click here.


Amen medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA)
Aygestin norethindrone acetate (NETA)
Cycrin MPA
Megace megesterol acetate
Norlutate NETA
Provera MPA


Crinone micronized progesterone vaginal gel (to date, approved for fertility treatment, not menopause)
Progesterone oral micronized (must be compounded)
Progesterone micronized in cream, gel, suppository;
progesterone can also be given by injection
Prometrium oral micronized capsules suspended in peanut oil


PremPro CEE + MPA (tablet taken every day)
PremPhase CEE + MPA (tablet taken cyclically)
Estratest esterified estrogens + methyltestosterone
Estratest HS esterified estrogens + methyltestosterone
Premarin + methyltestosterone CEE + methylT
CombiPatch Estrogen + Norethindrone acetate (NETA)
Ortho-Prefest 17(beta)-estradiol* + Norgestimate, a progestin, (tablet)

NOTE: Compounding pharmacies can customize combinations of natural estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, etc., in one capsule or in a cream, as well as other forms. To find a compounding pharmacy in your area, see our listing.









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Updated 09/29/2010