Term: oestrogen (Am Engl estrogen)
Origin: Anc Greek οίστρος/estros(=estrus meaning the periodic state of sexual activity of females of most mammals) + γένος/genos(=generation, produced by) à generating sexual behavior in females
Charles R. Stockard and George N. Papanicolaou first described estrogens' actions in guinea pigs in 1917. In the early 1920's embryologist Edgar Allen and biochemist Adelbert Doisy published three papers that established the existence of the ovarian hormone "oestrin" that could induce sexual maturity in immature animals. In 1927, studies showed that urine of pregnant women contained estrogenic substances, and in 1929, estrone, an oxidation product of estradiol, was isolated from this source. During the same time (1929), Dr. G W. Corner was studying the ovulatory cycle in primates leading to discovery of the second major hormone that interacts with estrogen to affect endometrial function, namely, progesterone.
In pallalel in the early 1920s, Bernard Zondek showed that willow tree flowers mimicked estrogen, confirming the existence of phytohormones (Hertz 1985).
Any of a group of hormones, such as estrone, estradiol and estriol, that stimulates the development and maintenance of the secondary female sex characteristics, the menstrual cycle and the preparation of uterus for the reception of a fertilized egg.