Premarin - PREgnant MARe urINe, or PMU for short is made up of estrogen obtained from the urine of pregnant mares. Prempro, Premphase and Prempac are the only estrogen replacement therapy drugs derived from animals. Premarin has been prescribed to reduce symptoms of menopause and women who have had hysterectomies and nearly eliminate the risk of osteoporosis and reduce the chance of heart disease in women over 50.
Recent studies show that the side effects far outweigh the benefits. It has been discovered through a 5.2 year study that women taking these products are at an increased risk for breast cancer(26%), coronary heart disease(29%), stroke(41%) and doubled the rate of pulmonary embolism.
There are alternatives to taking premarin. Herbs such as Dong Quai and Black Cohosh plant are available, as well as plant based therapies such as; Alora, Cenestin, Climara, Estrace, Estraderm, Estratab, Estring, Fem Patch, Menest, Ogen, Ortho-Est, Vivelle and Vivelle Dot. These alternatives provide the same types of relief as premarin without the side effects.
Another reason for not using premarin is the support you are giving to the PMU Farms. Most farms keep mares only for the collection process. These mares are collected for 150-160 days and kept tied indoors. The mares are rarely if ever turned out and in turn suffer from; stocking up, soreness, hoofwall seperation, and respiratory distress. The collection process involves the mares being hooked to a urine collection device. Theses devices are not hygienic and sometimes causes severe infections and painful lesions. Near the end of their 11 month gestation, the mares are turned out into small paddocks to foal. The mares are then rebred within two weeks to be returned to the production line. To insure that the estrogen concentration is high, the mares are deprived of water. Designated times and amounts of water are given and may be the cause of an apparent increase in liver and kidney disorders among PMU mares.
The future of the foals is uncertain as well. Some farms do breed quality draft and quarter horses and do care about the quality of life and welfare of the mares. The offspring of these mares have a chance of finding a career as a show horse or raised to be placed on line at about 20-24 months, but most go to slaughter. Most farms use a mixed breed of horses purchased at a local auction and their unregistered foals future is almost 100% certain death.
Choosing a hormone replacement therapy drug is a decision almost every woman will make at some point in life. There are many natural and synthetic alternatives to the exploiting and abusing of pregnant mares. Please consult you doctor for options and details on the best one for you.