Menopause is a time of many changes, but one of the most distressing symptoms is the vaginal dryness that many women experience. This blog is an attempt to explore the pros, cons, and precautions of using vaginal estrogen for those who are interested in learning more or who need some relief.
While you go through this life-changing transition, we want you to be able to make educated choices regarding your health and wellness. Therefore, in this informative blog, we delve into vaginal estrogen, a possible remedy that frequently comes up in consultations with medical professionals.
Is vaginal estrogen safe?
When menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness and irritation occur, vaginal estrogen is often prescribed as a safe choice. It is a kind of targeted hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that the National Health Service (NHS) describes as having a low estrogen dose and very little systemic absorption.
Further research is being conducted to understand the safety of vaginal estrogen better, although some at-risk women have used it successfully without any problems. It is advised that women who have been using vaginal estrogen for more than a year consult their doctor about the possibility of having their endometrial tissue tested.
How to choose the right estrogen cream for treating vaginal dryness?
To choose the right estrogen cream for treating vaginal dryness, consider the following factors:
Explore various brands of vaginal estrogens, such as Vagifem, Gina, Ovestin, and Vagirux, and consult your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable option for your needs.
Vaginal estrogen is available in different forms, including tablets, pessaries, creams, gels, and rings. Choose the form recommended by your healthcare provider that aligns with your comfort and ease of use.
The dosage of estrogen cream varies among brands and individual needs. Your healthcare provider will assess and prescribe the appropriate dosage for you.
Typically, estrogen creams are applied using a special applicator inserted into the vagina. For the correct application, follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or on the product packaging.
Common side effects may include headache, abdominal or vaginal pain, and bleeding, but these often improve within the first few months of use. Discuss any concerns about side effects with your healthcare provider.
Duration of use
Vaginal estrogen may take up to 3 months to achieve full effectiveness and is usually prescribed for a specific duration. Adhere to your healthcare provider’s recommendations for the length of treatment.
Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before initiating any hormone replacement therapy, as they can offer personalized advice based on your medical history and current symptoms.
How to use Estrogen Cream for vaginal dryness
Follow these guidelines to ensure that estrogen cream is used correctly to manage vaginal dryness:
- Wash your hands and make sure your hands are clean before and after applying. Take the time to read the product instructions and any other details given by your doctor.
- Fill it up with the recommended amount of cream using the specialized applicator that comes with it.
- Apply it more while lying on your back with your knees bent.
- Pull the plunger to release the cream after gently inserting the applicator into the vagina.
- Remove any residue by rinsing the applicator thoroughly in warm, soapy water.
- For the full duration, follow the recommended usage instructions precisely as directed unless your doctor tells you to; do not stop taking the medication.
- When using estrogen cream to get rid of vaginal dryness, it is important always to follow your healthcare provider’s specific instructions.
Dosage of estrogen cream for vaginal dryness
Estrogen cream dosage recommendations for treating vaginal dryness differ by brand and by patient needs. Applying 0.5-2.0 g of vaginal estrogen cream once daily for 21 days, followed by a 7-day break without treatment, repeating a 28-day cycle is usually recommended. Another option could be to take half a gram twice a week.
The body of the applicator for Estriol 1mg/g cream is marked with a ring. The correct medication dosage should be filled up to the ring mark in the applicator. When using vaginal cream containing estradiol, the recommended dosage is one to three times weekly, tapered down to once daily for the first one to three weeks.
Your healthcare provider will decide the amount of cream to use and how often to insert it. Considering your specific needs and medical history, it is best to talk to a doctor to determine how much estrogen cream is right for you.
Can I use vaginal estrogen cream with other medicines and herbal supplements?
Ask your doctor before taking vaginal estrogen cream alongside any other drugs or natural remedies. According to the NHS, it is highly improbable that vaginal estrogen will affect the effectiveness of other drugs and vice versa.
Still, tell your doctor about any vitamins, nutritional supplements, prescriptions, and over-the-counter drugs you intend to take. The doctor can use this data to determine whether the patient needs a dose adjustment or close monitoring for adverse effects.
Other drugs may interact with menopause herbal remedies like evening primrose oil, soya, red clover, black cohosh, ginseng, and St. John’s wort. As a result, you should talk to a medical professional or pharmacist before using them.
Is vaginal estrogen cream safe during pregnancy?
Pregnant women should not use vaginal estrogen cream because it could be harmful to the unborn child. Premarin Vaginal Cream is not recommended for use during pregnancy, as stated in the Pfizer Medical Information.
Because of the long history of birth defects linked to the estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES), which is no longer used for hormone replacement, the Mayo Clinic advises against taking estrogens while pregnant.
It is very important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplement or medication while pregnant. It is a good idea to talk to a doctor to ensure your pregnancy and the growing baby are safe.
Who may not be able to use vaginal estrogen cream?
Vaginal estrogen cream may not be the best choice for some individuals. Doctors recommend to consult a healthcare professional before use if you have any of the following conditions apply:
- Use of vaginal estrogen cream while pregnant is dangerous for both mother and child.
- It is not known whether using estrogen cream will be safe for those who have had breast cancer. Irritation, discharge, bleeding, or sensitivity to the breasts are some of the possible side effects; therefore, seek professional advice before you start using estrogen cream.
- If you have a history of unusual or allergic reactions to estrogen medications, it is important to consult your healthcare provider before using vaginal estrogen cream.
- Vaginal estrogen cream is not appropriate for use by children because studies evaluating its safety and efficacy in this age group have not been conducted.
- Vaginal estrogen cream may increase the risk of specific side effects in women over the age of 65.
- Before using vaginal estrogen cream, you must consult with your healthcare practitioner. Based on your present health status and medical history, they can provide you with tailored recommendations.
When should I see a doctor?
When using vaginal estrogen cream, consult your doctor if you encounter abnormal vaginal bleeding, unusual allergic reactions, or any other medical issues related to estrogen product use. If the cream comes into contact with your eyes, rinse them immediately. You should address concerns about the use, dosage, or application method with your healthcare provider. It is crucial to follow up as advised and discuss any unexpected symptoms or concerns that may arise during the use of vaginal estrogen cream.
Other FAQs about estrogen cream
No, vaginal dryness has alternatives other than estrogen cream, such as long-acting moisturizers like replens, applied up to three times weekly, water-soluble lubricants like Astroglide or K-Y gels for intercourse, and DHEA hormone therapy such as Prasterone for moderate to severe vaginal atrophy. Systemic estrogen options like pills, patches, gel, or a higher-dose ring may be suggested by your doctor if dryness is associated with menopausal symptoms.
Yes, Vaginal estrogen cream may impact fertility in specific cases. The use is restricted to the treatment of atrophic vaginitis in postmenopausal women. Considerations for potential effects on fertility include the prevention of endometrial thinning by estrogen, although systemic administration may not reach sufficient concentrations to thicken the endometrium.
Yes, a doctor’s prescription is required because it contains the hormone estrogen. A healthcare provider should consider an individual’s specific needs and medical history when deciding on the appropriate dosage and frequency of use.
Yes, Estrogen cream is generally considered safe for women with a history of breast cancer as long as they are not taking hormone therapy. A study found that vaginal estrogen was safe and effective in treating genitourinary syndrome of menopause in women with breast cancer.