Estrogen Replacement: Horse Urine vs Yams

Women have a lot of choices these days when it comes to estrogen replacement.  There are many products on the market and oftentimes more choices lead to more confusion.  Estrogen delivery systems include oral pills, transdermal patches, gels, rings and injections. Some estrogen products are made from the urine of pregnant horses and others are made from yams or soy.

According to a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine…“conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) have a higher risk of thrombosis than estradiol among postmenopausal women.”  Basically, what this means is that oral estrogen products made from the urine of pregnant horses increases the risk of blood clots compared to oral estrogen products made from yams or soy.

Premarin is an example of an oral estrogen pill made from horse urine that dates back to the 1940s.  The study showed that current use of any CEE was associated with twice the risk for blood clots.  Heart attack risk was also higher.  The study also found that these products can be a lot more expensive.  According to OB/GYN Andrew Kaunitz, “For menopausal women choosing to use oral estrogen formulations, estradiol appears a wise choice from a price as well as safety perspective.”

So, if you find you are using an oral estrogen product made from the urine of pregnant horses, I encourage you to speak with your health care provider to discuss safer alternatives.

 

 

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