You Need Estrogen to Make Your Kitty Purr

Estrogen….the essence of a woman.  It is the hormone responsible for many things that make a woman a woman such as breast development. Men also produce estrogen, but in very small amounts.  (To see what can happen to a man that takes extra estrogen shots, rent the move “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.)

One of the purposes of estrogen in women is making your sex organs ready, willing, (and more importantly) able, to have enjoyable sex.

A good example of what estrogen can do for you

If you are in your 20’s and 30’s, you don’t need any extra estrogen as your ovaries and adrenal glands are normally hard at work producing enough female hormones to keep you feeling well….and with healthy sex organs that can keep up with your healthy sex drive.

Lack of estrogen in women can:

  • increase your cholesterol causing arteries in your heart to become clogged leading to heart attacks
  • decreases bone strength causing osteoporosis
  • cause “hot flashes” or incredibly annoying times thought the days where you feel as if you will spontaneously combust
  • cause sleep disturbance
  • cause mood swings including bitchiness, homicidal tendencies, and crying at Hallmark commercials
  • cause vaginal dryness, and a tendency to repeat the phrase “honey… not tonight”.

If you are peri or post menopausal, or if you have had a hysterectomy that includes an oopherectomy (removal of the ovaries), or if you take medications for ER positive breast cancer, then your estrogen has been sucked dry….and I mean dry.

Not so many years ago, if you went to your doctor with any of these symptoms, your doctor would have written a prescription for a hormone replacement therapy pill, or HRT pill.  Most likely it would have been Premanin.  Premarin is produced from pregnant mare’s urine (hence PREgnant-MAre’s-urINe)  I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to believe that ingesting the pee from a horse can be good for your body.  For a long time it was all there was. (before this pill, women would have to take injections of hormones, so when Premarin was released, every woman wanted it!)

Over the past 10 years or so, physicians have become more knowledgeable about the subject, and bioidentical hormones are now available and widely used.

According to Dr Christiane Northrup, author of “The Wisdom of Menopause”,

……the difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormones. This is so confusing to people, so let me run it—run it up the flag pole for you again. “Bioidentical” to me is not a marketing term, despite what you might have heard. It simply refers to a molecule that matches exactly what’s found in the female human body, so that that molecule folds the way your own body’s hormone would fold so that it fits on an estrogen receptor exactly right. The synthetic hormones—now by the way, I don’t care where it’s made. All hormones, pretty much, are made in a couple of labs, sold in bulk to the pharmaceutical industry, some go to compounding pharmacies, some go to regular pharmaceutical people and all of them are then packaged in different ways. The natural bioidentical hormones cannot be patented, which is why they haven’t been available till recently.What has been patented in conventional pharmacies are the  delivery systems. So we have all the patches are bioidentical.

Estrogen may also be known as its components: estradiol, estriol, or estrone.  When you see one of these names in the preparation your are using, it means it is an estrogen product.

The other female hormone is progesterone. The main function of progesterone is for fertility and aiding in pregnancy, but progesterone is the building block for other hormones in the body’s general system having to do with health.  Bioidentical progesterone is also widely used and is produced from wild yams and soy.

Based on your symptoms and your hormone levels, your doctor can determine which hormone and how much will get you on the road to feeling better.  Some time a combination of estrogen and progesterone works well.  The hormones can be mixed based on dosage that is individually made for you based on your blood levels.  This is usually in the form of a patch or cream that is rubbed into your skin and gets absorbed into your body.

In Suzanne Sommers book “Breakthough” she describes her own hormone regimen.  She basically takes estrogen for 3 weeks and then adds progesterone for the last 2 weeks to simulate what your body does naturally in your 20’s. (a brief word on Suzanne Sommers……I know…thigh-master….Chrissy on Three’s Company etc etc….but she beat breast cancer without chemo…and she looks amazing. Her book “Breakthrough” isn’t a collection of her opinions, but a collection of interviews with the top “anti-aging” doctors around the world.  It was very fascinating reading…. OK?)

The risks of HRT are controversial. Most of the studies were done with synthetic hormones, not bioidenticals.   Synthetic hormones (premarin) do not work “in tune” with your body and therefore, produce more problems. Some risks associated with HRT are cervical cancer and breast cancer as well as blood clots.  However again, these studies are mixed and more studies are needed testing with the bioidenticals.

kitty before estrogen

My only problem was  the kitty….she was old and shriveled and dried up–think of going from a plump juicy grape to a 5 year old raisin that’s been left out of the box. and I barely recognized her.  My history of bilateral mastectomy, and chemotherapy for stage III breast cancer fried my ovaries and my hormones. Then 3 years after that, I had a hysterectomy with an oopherectomy (everything including ovaries removed) because of a benign tumor.  This left my body missing every part that made me a female of the species!  I was officially an android.

I really thought I just had to “deal with it” and there was nothing I could do…but I was wrong.

Women with a history of breast cancer…specifically estrogen receptor positive breast cancer (those that are on Tamoxifen or Fermara etc) should not have anything to do with estrogen because of the increased risk of stirring up those cancer cells that react to estrogen.   However, using estrogen directly on the vaginal tissue is extremely safe.

One study which was published in a medical journal (Climacteric 2003; 6:45-52) followed 1,472 breast cancer patients who routinely used vaginal estrogen and were found to have a LOWER recurrence rate than women who did not use vaginal estrogen.

The vaginal wall tissue is like a sponge when it comes to soaking up estrogen preparations.  This has a direct effect on the vaginal wall tissue and actually brings it back to life.  It changes the appearance, the plumpness, the color, and the ability to lubricate.  It really was amazing to see and experience the change! Remember that scene in E.T where E.T touches the dried up dead plant and it turns into a beautiful colorful living flower?  you get the idea….

kitty after 6 weeks of estrogen

I have the cream prepared in a compounding pharmacy because then I can get the estrogen made without all the chemical preservatives that the drug companies use in their preparations. (I don’t use parabens or petroleum products because of evidence that they cause breast cancer)  The cream is inserted into the vagina several times a week for 6 weeks, then a couple of times a week to maintain.

Be aware that not all compounding pharmacies know what they are doing. It is important that you find a compounding pharmacy from your doctor that has lots of experience with these types of preparations. 

There are many things you can do to improve your menopausal symptoms without taking hormones. They are:

  • exercise–production of endorphins relieves mood swings, controls weight gain, and helps insomnia
  • try acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs.  See a licensed acupuncturist for therapy. They might have you try Maca, ginseng, or dong quai
  • try taking Kelp capsules or seaweed preparations to help “dryness” in the body
  • eat soy products–soy is metabolized into something that the body responds  like estrogen. This is why soy rich diets decrease heart disease in women. Try soy milk, edamame, or tofu ( oh,,,stop wrinkling your nose)
  • get enough iodine—since table salt is not used as much, women may be deficient which can cause thyroid issues and dryness
  • take Omega-3 pills and foods high in omega -3 fats (nuts, salmon…) as deficiency makes the body dry and “old”
  • have regular sex or at least  a regular orgasm.  The old saying is very true with your sex organs: if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Please click here for the entire transcript interview on Oprah with Dr Northrup where she answers many questions about hormones and women’s health.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: bioidentical hormones, cancer prevention, estrogen safety, health, healthy living, hormones

Tags: , , , , ,

27 replies

  1. Hi, I’m 48 yrs old, and was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in 2012. According to my doctor, my ovary was “foot ball in size” and because cancer has run rampantly in my family, he “felt” that I should just get a complete hysterectomy. Besides, he says ” it’s not like you’re going to have anymore babies right”? So after butchering my body and leaving me with staples that were coming out just 2 days after my surgery, leaving me with a gaping oozing hole in my belly, I went back and he said “oh don’t worry it will heal” and you’ll need to get started on estrogen or else everything will shrivel and dry up. (Needless to say he had the bedside manner of a rock) 8 months and the pills did nothing. Ridiculous hot and cold flashes plagued me and Yes I was dry like the Mojave desert. To be completely honest, I became a down right Bitch towards everyone. So I found another Gyno and she placed me on a different type of pill. Over the course of 4 years she tried me on 3 different pills, the patch, and even the cream, “Estro Care” that I purchased at a health food store. Nothing worked. I was miserable, gaining more than 20 pounds (despite the fact that I changed my diet and exercised every day) and my belly became very distended while using the Estro Care. 2 yrs later I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer and had to have a Thyroidectomy. My Gyno finally put me on Depo Estrodiol 5 mg. 1 dose once a month, then six months later, up’d it to 1 1/2 dose and although no more hot and cold flashes and the bitchiness has gone away, I am now 40 lbs. over weight, my cholesterol and blood pressure are high, I’m growing Black facial hair, and now have been screened and told that I have developed osteoporosis in my hips. Not sure if that is because I get the shot in my hips every month. I’m a mess, and miserable again. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kelli:
      So sorry for all you’ve been through! As I’m sure you know, your hormones are a series of complex body chemicals that respond and react to EVERYTHING ELSE going on in your body. It sounds like you need the advice of a naturopath who specializes in hormone related issues as I doubt this is JUST a thyroid or JUST an ovarian issue. I would suggest finding one who is also an MD. Start with a search in your state. You can start with this search: but there are other search sites as well. Good luck, sending good energy, and please let me know what happens 🙂

  2. Hello, Savvy Sister – I can’t thank you enough for this post! I am almost 40 and have had 4 beautiful children. I recently suffered the loss of a baby who was 14 weeks. I am just now getting back into the groove and praying for twins! I know…some may think I am crazy! After we started again and my sex drive and desire came back, I now have struggled with barely there climax. It’s as though the desire builds and then it just meshes with all that is going on, as though is flatlines and I don’t “go over the edge.” lol Anyway, I was wondering if Estradiol can help with that? It has been prescribed to me in the past, but I never had any issues with climax before. Not sure if that makes sense or if you understand my question or even if this has happened to you?

  3. So what is the bio-identicals how do they work for you and where can I buy them?

    • Find a good naturopath or MD who practices in integrative medicine and go see them! You need testing so you can’t just buy them off the shelf as everyone needs something different

  4. Hello, I am a 45 yr old, who had a partial hysterectomy, six years ago. I had fibroids. Every since, I have not enjoyed sex to the fullest, can only orgasm from my toy, (not from him). I have hot and cold sweats, and I don’t get as moist as I use to. Still get a little bit. It is starting to hurt a little during sex. I’m crazy!!! One moment, I’m going out of my mind for “some”, then when he gets near me, poouff!!! I’m over it. What’s wrong with me?!?!? I have no energy, or enthusiasm for anything, anymore.

    • You’re not crazy! Obviously your hormones are “off”. If there is any way you can make an appointment with a naturopath to do testing for replacement therapy you would benefit greatly! Either the vaginal cream or bio-identiacl transdermal cream. Let me know if you need help finding a naturaopath. You may want to start including kelp (which comes in pill form) daily to help with moisture and maybe see if your image of yourself is reflecting in your partner….

      • Okay, great. Thank you so much. I’m going to the store to get the kelp. Something has to give. Thank you!!!

        • Please remember I’m just one person behind a computer. I am not your healthcare provider 🙂 There’s a lot more you can do and there be more going on. Good luck and let me know how it works out!

  5. Well, I had an oopherectomy and am a small woman, so I need hrt. Drug company estrogen is too strong and makes me fat and screws up my endrocrine system. After 3 days on Estrogel I can’t wear my shoes. Think 20 lb weight gain and horrible water retention. I can only tolerate compounded biest, all the other estrogens mess up my endocrine system. This could be because I am 62 and weigh 105 lbs.

  6. I am becoming concerned about the same issue. Last few months I have been unable to enjoy intimacy for very long and am feeling ridiculously dry. I would rather not even exist if this is what I have to look forward to.

    Have been taking bio identical progesterone for a few years. Worked great until few months ago.

    I am 55.


    • Things are constantly changing with our bodies and it may be that you need your dosages and prescriptions re-evaluated. I would for sure go back to your medical practitioner and ask about estrogen vaginal cream. You can still use it even if you’re using Bio-Progesterone, but all practitioners are different. Check with yours. I’ve also had really good results with using organic coconut oil as a lube. Not only does it works great, it helps maintain the moisture for a day or two. (And my partner is silky smooth….)Good luck!

  7. hahahah I totally identify with kitty without estrogen! The hair is getting dry I feel like the cat looks sometimes. I really want to use it and not lose it! Got any advice about air up there?

  8. Thank you so much for responding so quickly, I will definitely let you know 🙂

  9. I am 39 years old and suffer from Endometriosis. I had a partial hysterectomy three years ago and now due to such severe cyst and lesions I had to undergo the removal of ovaries and tubes. Of course I’m now in menopause. I’m two weeks post op and I feel fine. I went for my follow up appointment with my GYN and he only spent 5 minutes with me and wanted to push Estrogen on me. I wasn’t sure what to do. He finally agreed that I could try to do it my way and try natural alternatives. I will have another follow up in 3 months. Can you advise what you would do in my case? I need all the information possible. After reading so much on line I am completely lost and confused. I also want to keep my kitty pretty! 🙂

    • I am so sorry for all you’ve been through. This is a tough situation for you because it’s really up to you to find the best info as only you know what your body needs. The problem with traditional medicine is that the doctors are driven by the pharmaceutical industry. they don’t know how to prescribe bio identical hormones and they feel very uncomfortable instructing you on natural remedies. For you situation, you could use the bioidentical hormone creams that are applied on your body to absorb into your system and produce overall beneficial estrogen effects. You could also take advantage of the vaginal cream….or use both. If your doctor is not willing (or has no idea how to) prescribe bio identicals, your only option is to find a naturopath in your area who could help with that. Here is a website where you can search for one.
      Don’t settle for any treatment that you don’t feel comfortable with. Good luck and please let me know how you make out!

  10. I thought to much estrogen caused “cause mood swings including bitchiness, homicidal tendencies, and crying at Hallmark commercials” not to little or lack of. I experince the above often… I am only 28.

  11. OMG! You crack me up. The title of this post alone has me in the fits of giggles…

  12. My oncologist at Duke, adamantly opposes any form of estrogen, even a small amount of cream on or near the vagina. And soy supplements are estrogenic but whole soy in small amounts are OK. All the research to date says that soy supplements are not a good idea for breast cancer survivors, or others for that matter. I believe they played a role in my breast cancer. As for Suzanne Somers “beating” her cancer, time will tell. Half of all recurrences happen after 5 years and she had the earliest stage which doesn’t often occur anyway.

    I highly recommend 100 Questions & Answers About Breast Cancer Sensuality, Sexuality, and Intimacy by Drs. Michael Krychman, MD, Susan Kellogg Spadt, PhD, DRNP, and Sandra Finestone, PsyD.

    I refer to them in my book, in a section on optimal well-being after cancer…

    • Thanks for your comment Pam!
      I agree there are many views on the use of estrogen, but the overwhelming evidence to date is that bio-identical estradiol is safe when used topically. Estradiol is not made from soy but from wild yam. The estradiol used in bio-identicals is not like the estrogen used in hormone replacement therapy (like Premarin)
      I agree that soy in it’s “broken” state, soy isolates, is unhealthy, and unfortunately that is the soy you find in all processed foods and energy bars. The new evidence (much done in Japan) is suggesting that organic,non-GMO, whole soy is safe for consumption in moderate quantities even for women who have had breast cancer. The problem with that is that over 90% of soy in this country is GMO or genetically modified, so it is very hard to find, and it is not always cheap.

      Thanks for the resources as I believe doing your research before you can make an “informed” decision!
      Stay well!

  13. Bio-identicals are the way to go. I had premature menopause at 42 and a laundry list of side effects. After one month on non rx hormones, and I look and feel 100x better! Great post and good info!

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