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Estriol and Pregnancy - Understanding Estriols Safety!

Did you know that a baby is bathed in estriol for 9 months when it is in utero? This hormone plays a key role in child development, but also in postpartum health. It's gentle nature means it causes no ill effects to male or female babies, but after childbirth, fluctuating hormones can wreak havoc on women, in what has been dubbed the 'fourth trimester'.

The Role of Estriol in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women make high levels of estriol, an estrogen hormone. This hormone helps their uterus grow and stay healthy. It also prepares as their body for childbirth and breastfeeding. The developing baby’s adrenal glands make a hormone (a type of chemical) called dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). The baby’s liver changes this hormone into another chemical called 16a-hydroxy-DHEAS (1). This chemical travels to the placenta, where it changes into estriol. It then enters the pregnant person’s bloodstream, causing estriol levels to rise.

During pregnancy, estriol:

  • Helps your uterus grow as the fetus gets bigger.
  • Makes your body more sensitive to other pregnancy hormones.
  • Prepares your body for labor and delivery and breastfeeding.

How Safe is Estriol?

Estriol has been studied for over 60 years now, and actually, everyone does make estriol (men and women) in varying levels. Many studies show that estriol offers a wealth of potential health benefits—without the dangers that sometimes accompany higher-potency estrogens and synthetic or horse-derived hormones. Studies suggest that estriol helps relieve menopausal symptoms while benefitting bone and urinary tract health.

What Else is Estriol Used For?

Estriol is often spoken of in snide tones (we're looking at you facebook trolls) as being 'weak'. But, weak and gentle are not the same thing, and estriol really should be called the gentlest of the estrogens, because what it lacks in sheer force, it makes up in unique structure.

In fact, as studies (2) found, estriol has some superpowers of its own that estradiol and estrone cannot compete with:

  • Estriol has been found to be protective against disease in various clinical models.
  • Estriol has been found to be protective in brain health, specifically in neuronal development.
  • Estriol has been found to be beneficial to skin membranes.
  • Estriol has been found to heal the vagina and the vulva without affecting the endometrium.
  • Estriol has been found to be both protective against, and a useful treatment in progressive diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
  • Transdermal estrogens have been found to be the safest method of administering estrogens in menopause.
  • Estriol has been found to be one of the most effective treatments for vaginal atrophy.

Estriol might be gentle, but as the old saying goes, 'Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.'

Can Estriol Help PostPartum Tearing?

After delivery a women enters the fourth "trimester", it's a time when hormone levels fluctuate wildly. Estriol and Progesterone have been very high during pregnancy and both will drop significantly after delivery. The small amount of estriol in Silky Peach is fine to use to help with the healing process after delivery as it will be nowhere near as high as estriol levels during pregnancy. The other thing to watch for during the fourth "trimester" is the impact of the sudden loss of progesterone. Progesterone has many positive effects on mood and sleep and without it, the loss can cause feelings of depression and reduce sleep still further. If feelings of depression and dissociation from the baby occur, talk to your doctor about using some topical bioidentical progesterone in the short term to help with these symptoms.

Estriol & Men

Estriol is the "weakest" of the estrogens and does not have the growth (proliferative) effects that the stronger estrogen estradiol has. In fact it can have a protective effect in many situations. When used in the very small amounts in the Silky Peach cream, a very high proportion will be absorbed very quickly into the skin. The skin of the scrotum also gets more wrinkly over time, just like the perineum, and so any estriol that does transfer will help with hydration of the scrotum. FYI - estriol will NOT act like estradiol and give him man boobs. If you use the cream last thing at night, then there is plenty of time for it to be absorbed - in fact, it takes about 20 minutes, so even if you decide to get frisky... just wait twenty minutes and you are still good to go!

The Science

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3640235/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/estriol