Hot flushes, night sweats, foggy thinking, memory lapses, irritability, dry skin, broken sleep, low libido, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, recurrent urinary tract infections, bone thinning and headaches are some of the symptoms that women suffer from if they are estrogen deficient.

Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone. It is actually a group of hormones, Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), Estriol (E3), as well as many metabolites. Estrogens are produced mainly in the ovaries and to a lesser extent from body fats (mainly estrone). Estrone is the strongest estrogen; it is thought to have links with cancer. Estradiol is produced in large amounts before menopause and its levels tend to fall markedly after menopause. Estriol is the weakest estrogen. It is produced in large amounts in the placenta during pregnancy. Estriol has been used successfully to manage hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness (which cause painful intercourse, urinary infections and incontinence).

Estrogens are essential for the development and functioning of the female reproductive system as well as the appearance of the female secondary sexual characteristics. Estrogen helps to build up the uterine lining during the first phase of the menstrual cycle in preparation for implantation. Estrogen has a beneficial effect on mood, emotion, heart and memory. Estrogen supplementation maintains bone density and healthy vaginal lining.

Estrogen deficiency causes hot flushes, night sweats, disrupted sleep, low mood, memory troubles, unclear thinking, an inability to find the right words or mixing words up and lack of concentration. Disruption of sexual relationships caused by low libido and painful intercourse are also some of the effects of low estrogen.

Increasing numbers of women are working and functioning with higher demands on their lives (partly due to extended life expectancies) sometimes long after reaching menopause. This situation has led to a greater demand of estrogen supplementation. Some of the symptoms of estrogen deficiency during the premenopausal years or during menopause can greatly reduce quality of life and their ability to maintain healthy, functioning relationships.

Synthetic estrogens have been used for many years to treat estrogen deficiency symptoms. Some of the raw ingredients for synthetic estrogens are sourced from horse's urine. Despite some industry claims that they are ‘the same’ these synthetic products have a different structure to estrogen hormones produced in the body and subsequently some different actions and side effects on the body.

Conversely, bioidentical estrogen is similar in structure (biologically identical) to the estrogens our body produces. It is not the same as the synthetic estrogens that are widely prescribed. Bioidentical estrogens can be supplemented in different forms (Estrone, Estradiol and Estriol) and different routes (orally, vaginally or transdermally via creams or patches). The routes of administering estrogens can have a substantial impact on both their effects as well as on their side effects. The use of transdermal bioidentical estrogen (estrogen creams) has proven to be much safer than oral forms as it does not cause an increase in the risk of strokes, heart diseases, venous thromboembolism, weight gain, or gall bladder diseases. A Biest cream (Estradiol and Estriol) is one of the most popular combination creams used to treat estrogen deficiency symptoms.

The bioidentical estrogen cream is also used at lower doses than oral forms as it avoids being initially processed by the liver, decreasing the liver load.

Bioidentical progesterone is recommended to be supplemented alongside estrogen (whether or not the patient has an intact uterus) as it balances the effects of estrogen.

In New Zealand, bioidentical estrogen is a prescription only product however many practitioners are not aware of it.

Please feel free to contact us should you require any additional information about bioidentical estrogen and where to obtain it in New Zealand, by phone 0800 HORMONE (NZ) or email