Estrogen cream is a cream that contains estrogen and is used to treat some of the symptoms of menopause and low estrogen. Low-dose vaginal estrogen cream applied directly to the vagina, for example, can relieve the symptoms of vaginal dryness, painful sex or the urge to urinate more often than is needed.
While vaginal creams are popular for treating vaginal symptoms, estrogen cream has also been shown to be an effective treatment for hot flashes/hot flushes
Estrogens are hormones produced by the body that have a number of roles for both men and women. Estrogen generally refers to one of three chemically similar hormones, estriol, estrone and estradiol Although best known for its role in women's health, particularly sexual and reproductive health. Estrogen also contributes to bone health, cardiovascular health and cognitive health.
While estrogen is produced by both male and female bodies, women produce more of it than men. It is produced in the ovaries as well as in fat cells and by the adrenal glands. Levels of estrogen fluctuate during a woman's menstrual cycle as well as over their lifetime.
Estrogen is required for the proper functioning of women's reproductive organs including the ovaries, vagina, uterus and breasts. At puberty, it is the increased levels of sex hormones, primarily estrogen, that cause the breasts to develop as well as cause hair growth and a widening of the hips.
Estrogen then fluctuates at different points during the menstrual cycle, stimulating the growth of the egg follicle, maintaining vaginal health and lubrication, and causing mood swings. Estrogen levels will also fluctuate during and after pregnancy. For example, estrogen is important in stopping the flow of milk in the breasts after weaning. Estrogen is also used in many birth control pills.
As women age and reach menopause estrogen levels in the body decline. Due to menopause, women can suffer a number of effects owing to their declining levels of estrogen. These include vaginal dryness, hot flashes, reduced libido, painful intercourse, weight gain, anxiety and changes in mood.
One of the functions of estrogen is in bone formation, where it works alongside vitamin D, calcium and other hormones to regulate the breaking down and rebuilding of bones. For post-menopausal women the drop in estrogen levels can mean that more bone is broken down than is rebuilt, leading to osteoporosis.
In men, estrogen is involved with sperm count. One reason why overweight men are more likely to suffer from a low sperm count is that they have more fat tissue and therefore more estrogen.
Related: What does Estrogen Cream Do to the Body?
Estrogen is an important hormone that is associated with sexual development and the health of the reproductive system. As women age, levels of estrogen naturally decline. However low levels of estrogen may be a result of eating disorders, excessive exercise, drugs and medical treatments that affect the ovaries, genetic disorders, premature menopause, conditions affecting the pituitary glands or having the ovaries removed.
Some of the signs of low estrogen include:
If have looked at a symptom checker and think you are experiencing symptoms of low estrogen you should talk to your doctor as it may be that using an estrogen cream can help to relieve these symptoms and impove your quality of life. Contact your doctor or health care provider and ask them to run tests to determine if you estrogen is low.
It is important to always consult your doctors for medical advice, especially advice about side effects and drug interactions with anything you are currently taking. If you decide to start using an estrogen or estradiol cream you should tell your doctor immediately if you notice any serious side effects.
Hormone replacement may not be recommended for those at high risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, blood clots, heart attacks, strokes or liver disease. Because hormone therapy increases the risk of certain diseases there are other health care options for these individuals, your doctor or pharmacist will be able to give you more information.
Estrogen cream may be used to help with a number of symptoms and conditions associated with low estrogen.
Low dose estrogens vaginal cream is primarily used to increase the normal clear discharge from the vagina. In this way, estrogen cream vaginal application improves the health of the urethra and vulva and can deal with a number of uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
While low-dose vaginal estrogen cream will only have localised effects. Higher doses of vaginal estrogen will make their way into the bloodstream and have wider effects on overall health. In this way, estrogen cream can also be used to relieve hot flushes and help with sleep.
Because estrogen helps protect younger women's bodies from heart disease, there are some suggestions that estrogen cream could be used to prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of a heart attack. However, there have not been sufficient clinical trials to confirm this and further research advancements are needed before this can be considered fact.
As with any hormone therapy there are a number of risks and possible side effects associated with estrogen cream. These include:
You should call your doctor immediately if you experience an allergic reaction or any other adverse side effects.
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