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E is for Estrogen

When we talk about hormones, it’s easy to think of estrogen as a single type, but actually, there are three different types of estrogen, each with unique features. Silky Peach uses estriol and, for good reason; to better understand this, let’s take a look at estrone, estradiol, and estriol.


Estrone sits at the middle of the pack, strength-wise, and it is prominent during our teen years, until proper cycling begins. Estrone is produced by our fat tissues and can be converted into estradiol, which is the strongest form of estrogen in our bodies. It can also be converted into metabolites, high levels of which can contribute to reproductive cancers, particularly breast cancer. Elevated estrone levels can cause breast tenderness or pain, nausea, headache, mood swings, sugar cravings, hypertension, and leg cramps! Yowza. The goal is to have estrone at a lower ratio compared to estradiol and estriol. For post-menopausal women with stores of fat tissue, estrone can be released for several years post menopause. This can elevate levels of estrone in relation to estradiol and estriol.


Estradiol is by far the most powerful of the three estrogens. Like most things in life – there is good and there is bad. First of all, estradiol has so many benefits for the body we will list just a few biggies here: bone density, in the cardiovascular system helping raise HDL (high-density lipoproteins), the beneficial cholesterol, and memory and recall. Estradiol likes to grow things…like the uterine lining and breast tissue. If levels of estradiol get too high, they can exacerbate or promote uterine fibroids and fibrocystic breasts. Elevated levels of estradiol can cause weight gain, moodiness, PMS, and heavy periods.


Estriol is the most gentle of the estrogens. Estriol circulates in low levels in menstruating females. It becomes much higher during pregnancy. Estriol is especially helpful for skin integrity and mucous membranes. It is helpful in hormone replacement to balance estradiol side effects. Estriol can also be used in BHRT for women that cannot tolerate the strong potency of estradiol.

Why Choose Estriol?

Now you have an overview of the three estrogens, let’s look at some of the more specific reasons we chose to use estriol.

  1. Whilst gentle, estriol can still stimulate the receptors effectively to provide estrogen stimulation to the body.
  2. Estriol actually gets to the receptors FASTER than estradiol or estrone and so can block the effect of the more powerful estradiol and estrone.
  3. Estriol is very beneficial for skin integrity and mucous membranes, making it the most effective choice for vaginal atrophy.

The Other Benefits of Estriol

Vaginal Atrophy: After menopause, the ovaries cease to produce estrogen. Without estrogen, the vaginal cells are immature vaginal cells. This can result in tenderness and bleeding with intercourse because the tissues are so fragile. You can use a small amount of estriol, which is helpful for the vaginal tissues, but it does not get into the bloodstream.

Face and Neckline: Estriol is amazing for skin integrity. Estriol has a better impact on the skin than estradiol. Estriol helps to promote collagen growth in the skin, and estriol also helps the cells in the skin retain moisture keeping them plump. Estriol can be used for wrinkles and the skin of the face, neck, and upper chest. Applying a low amount to the skin can help build the collagen and plump up the cells to reduce wrinkles.

Libido and vaginal sensitivity: Applying estriol to the vaginal tissues can sometimes help with sensitivity and libido. There is an enormous number of nerve endings in the vaginal area around the clitoris. The lack of estrogen in menopause or perimenopause can cause the cells to shrink, causing less stimulation during intimacy. Many menopausal women have a hard time achieving an orgasm, or find that it “takes forever’ to have an orgasm. And when they do, it just is not as intense as it used to be. Estriol can help mature the vaginal cells so that the stimulation and sensitivity is more intense. By maturing the vaginal cells, it helps with blood flow to the area when aroused. Estriol is ideally applied 2-4 times a week to help with vaginal tissues.

Urinary stress incontinence: Estriol is great for improving the skin tone. Urinary stress incontinence is a common issue with post-menopausal women. There are many reasons for urinary incontinence. It can result from the bladder falling, or the uterus pressing on the bladder, or that the urethra is soft and lax. The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the outer world. Think of the urethra like the elastic waistband of your underwear. If the elastic is loose, your underwear will sag! If the urethra is lax, it cannot hold urine in the bladder as well. Coughing, laughing, or exercise can cause a little leakage. If the urethra is loose, there is often increased urgency to use the bathroom. Estriol can tighten and strengthen the urethra to improve urinary incontinence.

If you’re not convinced, feel free to check out our blog on why estriol is effective post menopause, or our blog on bioidentical hormone replacement. Or, just email us. We’re always here to answer any questions you might have!

One final note, estriol is not for everyone. Some women just cannot tolerate estradiol and sometimes estriol. No matter how small the amount, some women still have unwanted symptoms. This could be a genetic intolerance, or it could be that a little progesterone is needed to balance out the estrogen.