How Do I Use Estrogen Cream?

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  • Written By: Jillian O Keeffe
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
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Estrogen is a hormone that can help ease certain vaginal problems like dryness or urinary issues, especially those associated with the menopause. The cream typically works best when the woman applies it inside the vagina, and the estrogen cream usually comes with an applicator. Alternately, the woman can apply it without an applicator but it is important to only apply the recommended dose.

Levels of the hormone in women who are still menstruating drop after menopause. As estrogen is a natural regulatory hormone, the change in its concentration in the body can result in a variety of bodily changes. Tissues inside the reproductive tract and urinary tract can become less strong, and the risk of problems like prolapses. Often, the vagina becomes drier than it was before, and this can make the area less able to defend against infection.

Doctors may therefore prescribe estrogen cream to women who experience problems after menopause. Women who are not in the menopause, but who suffer from similar problems, such as kraurosis vulvae, which causes vaginal dryness, may also benefit from estrogen cream treatment. Although estrogen tablets are available, these oral forms of the hormone can carry more risk than topical forms like estrogen cream, as the body is exposed to higher doses. Creams allow for the application of a lower dose directly to the affected area, where the hormone needs to be.

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Typically, an estrogen cream product comes with an applicator, as it has to be applied directly to the vagina, in a specific dosage. If the woman prefers to apply the cream by hand, she must check that she has the correct amount of cream applied. The applicator usually has markings on it which the woman can use to judge the dose, so the applicator is the more precise method.

The applicator attaches onto the end of the tube of cream. Then the appropriate amount is squeezed into the applicator, and the tube is disengaged. Some creams need to be inserted into the vagina, so if this is the case, then the woman can lie down, bend her legs up toward her chest, place the applicator inside the vagina, and squeeze the cream out. Other creams can be rubbed both onto the outer opening of the vagina and inside, so it is important to check the correct method for individual products. The doctor or product instructions will also specify how many times a day and for how many days the cream should be applied.

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Discuss this Article

anon333439
Post 5

Throwing psych meds at menopausal symptoms is terrible. It isn't a psychological problem; it is a physical one. Do some research online and make sure it is updated info. Much of the old info tries to scare you off estrogens and progesterone for alleviating the trials and tribulations of menopause. Sorry, too many (especially male) doctors brush off such female concerns (of course, they don't have to suffer with them and menopause can be 30 years of your life!) Look up Dr. Robert Carlson, who has some informative articles on the subject.

See a naturopath or a doctor well-versed in treating Menopause. I also find the reviews on the bio-identical products on Amazon are helpful.

Don't let doctors give you Premarin (horse urine! bad for you, cruel for the horses!) Progestin is synthetic and has bad side effects.

If you choose the hormone route, go bio-identical and please don't let a doctor try and convince you "it's all in your head."

manykitties2
Post 4

@Sara007 - If your doctor has prescribed you estrogen cream I would follow the directions he or she has given you. There are some side effects but I don't think they happen to a lot of women.

I think the worst thing you have to watch out for is an allergic reaction to the cream and abnormal bleeding.

For myself, I actually use an over the counter estrogen cream called Estriol that is bioidentical. It helps with my vaginal dryness and since I don't need to see a doctor for a new prescription when I run out it saves me quite a lot of money when I use it.

Sara007
Post 3

Does anyone know if there are estrogen cream side effects that I should watch out for?

My doctor recently informed me that I will need to start using estrogen cream and due to budget issues I am going to be using a generic estrogen cream to meet my needs.

I have been told that there are also some natural estrogen creams out there, and am wondering if I should do some more research into that before starting straight out with a prescription. Has anyone used a natural estrogen cream? Did it work well? I really want to take care of my vaginal dryness without any bad side effects.

jennythelib
Post 2

@ElizaBennett - I didn't know that about breastfeeding. Kids are still in the future for me, but it's good to know - I think that knowing the cause and that it will have an end will make the situation easier to deal with.

I used to work with one of those loud-mouth, frank older ladies who can be such a hoot. She was divorced with grown children and she maintained, shall we say, an active social life!

I remember her mentioning at the lunch table one day that she used estrogen cream for vaginal dryness. "Got to take care of the V, ladies," she said.

ElizaBennett
Post 1

I'm glad this article is letting more people know about vaginal estrogen cream. I think a lot of women tend to think that it's hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or nothing; they don't realize that it's possible to treat menopausal symptoms in other ways (antidepressants if there are mood issues, vaginal estrogen, etc.).

I'm a long way from menopause myself, but this is an option I'm definitely going to consider. I've had a bit of a foretaste while nursing my two children. Breastfeeding naturally suppresses your estrogen levels (this is also why many women do not resume their menstrual cycles for months or even years while nursing) and I experienced dryness and even some pain. I'm not eager to go throw that for years on end!

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