Estrogen is a natural hormone produced primarily by the ovaries. After menopause, the ovaries produce lower levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. By the time natural menopause is complete - usually between ages 45 and 55 - hormone output decreases significantly. As early as the 1940s, women began using estrogens in high doses to counteract some of the short-term discomforts of menopause (hot flashes, vaginal drying and thinning, and urinary tract incontinence and infections).
Estrogen is a hormone that is a chemical messenger in the body. It is important for normal sexual development and is essential for the normal functioning of the female organs needed for childbearing such as the ovaries and uterus. Estrogen helps control a woman's menstrual cycle. It is important for the normal development of the breast. It also helps maintain healthy bones and the heart. All of these are estrogen target tissues-organs or tissues that estrogen can influence. During the childbearing years from puberty to menopause, organs called the ovaries produce estrogen. After menopause, when the ovaries no longer make estrogen, body fat is the primary source for estrogen made by the body. One of the important benefits of Natural Estrogen is its modulating effects on hormones. Natural Estrogen contains co-factors (such as enzymes) which balance or regulate your body's hormones. This helps your hormones to be synthesized and broken down evenly along their biochemical pathways, which produces potent therapeutic effects and protects against cancer and other diseases.
Natural estrogens extracted from wild yams or soybeans that are identical to those made by the human body are easily available by prescription in the form of creams, tablets and patches. These are estrone, estradiol and estriol, so there is no reason to take horse estrogen. Plants do not make human hormones, but some plants make compounds that have some hormonal effect. These, in their natural form, are called phytohormones ("plant-based" hormones). Although they are not the same as our hormones they may have some hormonal activity.
During each menstrual cycle, estrogen together with other ovarian hormones signals cells in the breast to divide and multiply. Estrogen also signals the cells of the uterus to divide. How does estrogen make and deliver this "message" to divide? Other hormones signal the ovaries to make estrogen, and then the ovaries secrete estrogen into the bloodstream. Estrogen travels through the blood, but only the cells in estrogen target tissues, like the breast and uterus, can recognize and use estrogen because they have estrogen receptors. Estrogen has a shape that allows it to fit into an estrogen receptor in the same way a key fits into a "lock." The estrogen and the estrogen receptor bind to form a unit that enters the nucleus of the cell. The estrogen-receptor unit binds to specific regulatory sites on the cell's DNA, and this begins a series of events that turns on estrogen-responsive genes. These specialized genes instruct the cell to make proteins that signal the cell to carry out important activities. Some of these signaling proteins can tell the cell to divide. Estrogen is present in the body in different forms. The estrogen receptor can bind with these different forms of estrogen -- much like when one lock can be opened by more than one key. Some forms of estrogen are stronger than others. Stronger forms are more likely to initiate cell division than weaker forms. In addition, some forms of estrogen stay in the body longer than others.