Estrogen cream is cream or lotion with estrogen added. Estrogen is a natural hormone produced by women until they reach menopause. Estrogen cream comes in different strengths and may contain different types of estrogen.
There are several of forms of estrogen cream on the market; some are prescription only, but a number are over the counter substances, and they may differ in preparation or types of estrogens they contain. It is rubbed onto the thigh, or inserted into the vagina with an applicator. Even so, it still gets into the bloodstream.
Estrogen cream should be stored at a temperature below 86 degrees F and kept away from light or moisture. Be sure to keep it out of the reach of kids or pets.
Here are some of the forms of estrogen cream:
Natural estrogen cream comes from soy or yam plants. Sometimes it is made especially for the chemistry of individual women and then it is called bioidentical estrogen cream.
Synthetic estrogen cream comes from the urine of pregnant horses. It can sometimes be more likely to cause side effects that may be stronger than natural estrogen.
Non- prescription Estrogen Cream
These are non regulated formulas of estrogen cream. This means that each brand or even each batch of it may differ dramatically and have different percentages of estrogen in it. They are not tested by the FDA.
Conjugated Estrogen Cream
Conjugated estrogen cream is a mix of different female estrogen hormones. They are considered to be another type of natural estrogen.
This type regulates a woman’s hormones, helps with low sex drive and with urinary tract problems.
How is Estrogen Cream Used?
Estrogen cream is normally prescribed by a doctor for women who are low in estrogen due to menopause, peri-menopause or other factors. Symptoms that may show that women need estrogen cream are vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood swings, or irregular periods.
A woman’s reproductive tissues, as well as the tissues in the urinary tract often get weak or even prolapsed when a woman reaches menopause and estrogen cream can help correct these problems. Even if a woman hasn’t reached menopause, it may still be given to treat problems like kraurosis vulvae, a condition that dries out the vaginal tissues.
Cons of Estrogen Cream
Estrogen cream is not prescribed as frequently as it was in the past as it has been shown to be risky for certain types of women and that it may cause cancer. Some doctors disagree and say that it is safe and that it is oral hormone replacement therapy that causes the problem.
Some people say that the natural versions of estrogen cream are safer and healthier than synthetic estrogen cream, but it is not certain if this is true or not. The bottom line is that the decision to use this cream is between a woman and her doctor and she must weigh the pros and cons of it before she decides to use it or not, as the benefits may or may not outweigh any possible risks.
One thing is for certain, any preparation of over the counter estrogen is unregulated so it has less controls since it is not always subject to controls such as inspection by the U.S. food and Drug Administration.
Since estrogen is absorbed so easily into the skin, other members of the family, especially males, should not touch estrogen cream. Plus, it is sometimes possible for men to absorb estrogen cream during sex, so women shouldn’t insert it right before having sexual intercourse.
Side Effects of Estrogen Cream May Include:
– Irritation of the vaginal tissues
– Light headedness
– Weight gain
– Breast tenderness
– Vaginal discharge
– Rash or itching
– Breathing problems
– Calf swelling or pain
Women should take precautions to wash their hands well after applying estrogen cream, as otherwise it is possible to transfer it to other family members or even pets and cause hormonal changes in them.
Research has shown that estrogen cream is readily absorbed into the blood and there are concerns that it could possibly cause breast cancer in some women. These tests were done in Dec. 1979 and published in the JAMA journal, as well as other tests done in 2006 and Jan. 2009 that were published in the Annals of Oncology.