Oestrogens are a group of hormones manufactured in both males and females but more so in women. Produced predominantly in the ovaries and the adrenal glands, they affect many different cells in the body. Until the age of puberty, oestrogen levels are low in girls, they rise and fall through the normal menstrual cycle and their production tails off at menopause.

Artificial oestrogens are used in the oral contraceptive pill and in hormone replacement therapy . Artificial oestrogens are much more potent than natural oestrogens and carry side effect risks in those who are susceptible. These include minor symptoms such as headaches, water retention and mood swings but may also have an influence on more serious problems such as blood clotting, raising blood pressure and cancer.

The use of any oestrogen should be considered with a complementary practitioner who is knowledgeable in this area. Alternative options do exist in the form of oral and topical oestrogen compounds derived from certain plants that contain phyto-oestrols, such as hops, fennel, rhubarb and soya products.