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question about estrace cream

Posted by cindy_pond (My Page) on
Thu, May 28, 09 at 11:00

Is estrace cream a bio-identical hormone? Is it safe when used alone without progesterone? My gynecologist prescribed
this to me for atrophic vaginitis and said that she had never seen any harsh side effects other then some slight burning as very little of the hormone enters the blood stream...does anyone have experience with this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: question about estrace cream

Cindy,,
Yes my Doctor told me the same thing when I was prescribed Estrace Cream. Without this medicne I think I would have killed myself by now. I liked the idea of not having to take HRT orally but yet still replenish the hormones I was lacking in my Vagina. I'm surprised to see this message on the forum. About a year and a half ago I wrote in about it and not too many women even knew what I was talking about. Vaginal Atrophy seems to be a subject not too many talk about. I went to three doctors over a years time before I figured out what was wrong with me.

Cindy


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RE: question about estrace cream

cindy,
oh I feel so much better that I'm not the only one who is suffering like this. Isn't it amazing what just a little estrogen will do..I used it one time and not only is the sex better but so are the horrible hot flashes.
thank you for for responding. I needed the uplift
Cindy


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RE: question about estrace cream

Thanks Cindy. I use Estroven for the hot flashes "regular strength" and Estrace Cream for Vaginal Atrophy. The Estroven seems to manage my hot flashes during the day (I have a little fan on my desk at work when I need a little bit of air) At night I sleep with the ceiling fan on. I try any way I can to stay away from taking prescription HRT. About the sex, you're so right about that, even my husband notices a big difference (it seems to help with the libido too). My doctor said I would probably have to use Estrace Cream for the rest of my life. That's ok with me.

What dosage are you taking? I use about 2gm every other night or so. I can make a tube last for almost 2 months now. (saves on money and the risk of using it).

Cindy


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RE: question about estrace cream

Hi Cindy,
My doctor prescribed 4 grams twice in one week initially...and then 2-4 grams weekly thereafter. But I only used 4 grams initially and will try to use 2 grams weekly and will increase to 4 if that doesn't do the trick.
I am surprised at how one single dose helped with my hot flashes which were very intense all night long...I have a little fan by my bed and also sleep with the ceiling fan on all night. I never thought menopause would be like this...but maybe its the whole idea of aging and what it represents that adds insult to injury. One thing I can say is that its a transition which takes its toll physically and mentally.


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RE: question about estrace cream

Cindy,

The great thing about this medicine is that because it's cream you can regulate what you need. Some weeks you may need more and some weeks you may need less. 1 to 1 1/2 gram every other day works great for me but sometimes I even go every two days, and sometimes I use 2 or 3 grams depending on how I'm feeling. Are you taking anything else for hot flashes? I thought the estrace cream helped mine at first too but when I experimented and took away the Estroven I found it was really the estroven helping me with the flashes. Just wondering.

Cindy


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RE: question about estrace cream

I was taking estroven and anything else I could get my hands on with NO relief...it's only since the estrace cream do I feel "normal". I was having intense hot flashes all night mostly..it would start the same way a contraction would start.. building slowly until I was sizzling and then ease up... that would go on all night long every hour. So thank god for estrace cream..so far so good.


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RE: question about estrace cream

You know Cindy there may be something to it. All I know is that my hot flashes and vaginal dryness are manageable now with the cream and estroven and I finally feel normal again. I'm not going to do anything to mess it up.

Thanks for writing back to me Cindy. As you can see no one but me has responded to your question there just doesn't seem to be a lot of gals out there that know about Estrace Cream or else this topic has already been talked about to death he he he. Or a lot of them are on HRT orally and that helps the dryness and they don't need the cream. Either way it's good to know I am not the lone user.

Cindy


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RE: question about estrace cream

Is the Estrace cream messy? Does it get in the way of intimacy?


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RE: question about estrace cream

carol,
I usually use 2 grams per week..actually, less than that because the atrophy and hot flashes are gone at this point.
I wait a couple of days before any sexual contact. So for me, it doesn't get in the way of intimacy at all. I think if I used the 4 grams per week that the doctor prescribed, I might have some leakage. If you use lets say, monostat cream as an example, it's much less messy than that.


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RE: question about estrace cream

Does anyone notice any other side effects with Estrace cream, like weight gain, etc.?


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RE: question about estrace cream

susie..unfortunately I have noticed that after the third week of my using it, I felt a little thick around the middle...when I got on the scale I was surprised to see that I had gained 5 pounds...so I stopped using the cream and only plan on using it if my symptoms return...which I'm sure they will eventually. I just don't see the need to use something continuously if I'm not suffering. I only had to use the cream three times and have wonderful results..no painful sex and not one hot flash...weight gain and tender breasts were my only side effect...I'll be 53 next month and haven't had a period now for 6 months...keep your fingers crossed that it won't come back!!!


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RE: question about estrace cream

The Estrace Cream is messy (I wear a panty liner the next day). But for me it works much better than Vagifem. I have used the cream the night before sex and that night after sex, no side effects noticed. It actually helps with lubrication for both partners. I didn't notice any weight gain from taking it. I use Estrace Cream every other night or every 2nd night depending on how I'm feeling. After going through hell for a year with six months of it barely having sex at all, I wouldn't give it up for a million bucks now. Actually sex with my husband is even more enjoyable now then when it was before menopause. I wouldn't be able to say that if I wasn't using Estrace cream. I still have hot flashes though and was told in the begining by GYN Doc that it wouldn't help hot flashes so if Cindy is not experiencing hot flashes now after using estrace Cream, she is one lucky lady.

Cindy57


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RE: another question about estrace cream

Cindy57,
I stopped using the estrace as I said in my above post because of the weight gain and sore breasts..then this week, I had my first period in six months...ugh!!! I don't think its a coincidence, I think it has to do with the cream..because all the symptoms started with the use of the estrace...what do you think?...I still haven't had another hot flash yet and its been a week since I stopped using it.
and by the way...sex is better because of the cream!!!! It totally irradicated my atrophy (what a horrible word to relate to a vagina)


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RE: question about estrace cream

I would love more info on estrace cream. What systems are you using this for. I had an vulvectomy 10 years ago and recently started having more problems. biopsy have been negative but there is a burning and raw fealing around scar area. Estrace is prescribed and i just wanted to know if anyone else out there has this problem.


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RE: question about estrace cream

Is Estrace Cream better and easier to use for extreme vaginal dryness, or is Vagifem? I've been to two doctors--one prescribes Estrace in very minimal dosage--and the other Vagifem.


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Estrace Cream works much better. I and several of my friends have tried the Vagifem tablets and although less messy, they did nothing.


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RE: question about estrace cream

I've never posted here, but am surprised to read that you ladies adjust your Estrace dose to suit yourselves. My GYN told me to take 1 gram every day for 2 weeks to start (this was last October) and then, 1 gram twice a week. NO MORE than that! He said I have to be careful with the cream because of the risks and that if I slipped up and used more than a gram of cream, I could get bleeding and other problems over time. I did slip up once and did get bleeding which was upsetting to me, so now I'm very careful to measure out the gram of cream.

I do not have vaginal atrophy, but did have some vaginal tissue that had 'fallen' and was in the way of my vaginal opening. Sex with my husband (20 yrs married, GREAT sex life) was very painful. GYN said the tissue might always be there, but one day it wasn't anymore. I don't know why. Anyway, sex is better than ever. I've always had a high sex drive and cutting back on sex due to the blockage was upsetting to me. Now things are back to normal. I LOVE this Estrace and hope I can use it for the rest of my life. I do not take any oral hormones and hope I never do. So far, I have not had any hot flashes, just weight gain and dry vagina but the Estrace has helped with lubrication. In all, I'm very happy with the Estrace.


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RE: question about estrace cream

go for it ladies it is a god sent and works, you get wet, have great sex and the positive outweight the side effects, which I have had none...find a doctor that will prescribe for you,,, it has changed my life


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I have used premerin cream for a year because of vaginal dryness. The cream caused an odor that was embrassing.
My doctor just put me on Estrace. Does anyone have an odor with this cream? I love sex and oral sex is important. I am between a rock and a hard place because. I don't know when to use the cream and for severe dryness I have too.


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I was just prescribed this cream and not sure if and when I can have sex while using it?? What about oal sex?


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RE: question about estrace cream

I had one of my ovaries removed due to a cyst and my remaining ovary seems to be on strike, so I am having severe burning due to lack of estrogen ( well, that is what the dr said!). I was prescribed 1/2 gram once a week of estrace cream and I really do not think it is enough as all my burning symptoms, which are miserable, come right back. Is it ok to play with the dose a. It to see what works? I'm 38 and do not plan to live a miserable life so I am looking for advice and ideas. I appreciate any wisdom you can send my way!


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RE: question about estrace cream

It may not be atrophy and you may be using a serious med and you don't have to. I have been to several gyns since my hysterectomy and they all said atrophy, but it wasn't. The last gyn I went made a correct diagnosis of Lichen Sclerosis. A small pea size dab of Clobetasol twice a week, takes care the discomfort. If you have my problem you would probably know it, because you could never have sex again. After it advances you can diagnose yourself with a mirror. There is no cure for it.


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RE: question about estrace cream

Oh wow, thanks for scaring the hell out of me! No, I definitely do not have what you have and I am so sorry to hear what you must be going through. After doing some research it sounds like a horrible disease and my heart goes out to you.
I've been playing with my Estrace doses the last few days and seem to be doing much better with a bit higher dose, thankfully. Does anyone need progesterone cream towards the last half of their cycle? I'm trying to get this all correct. Thanks!


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It doesn't bother me anymore. The clobetasol takes care of the discomfort and I am single so no problem at all. If I go to the hospital and need a catheter, I might have a bit of a problem. LOL


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RE: question about estrace cream

Just started estrace last week and am having some burning. Not sure if it is a UTI or just my body getting used to the cream. Has anyone had any of this? My GYN prescribed to me for dryness. I'm post hyst 7 months and the dryness was killing my sexlife, so I'm really hoping this is the answer, but I'm afraid I might be having a reaction or maybe the symptoms are just coincidence. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.


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RE: question about estrace cream

In my case, I hadn't had sex for years and discovered when I tried it was a no go. So my gyno prescribed Estrace Cream, also in order to help perform a less uncomfortable pap smear. I have been using it for a few years and never had any burning. Perhaps your having sex again after awhile is causing a UTI or try drinking cranberry juice which is well known for preventing UTIs. I buy unsweetened "Just Cranberry" by R.W. Knudsen and add Stevia for sweetening. I haven't had a UTI for years now. As a side note, my pap smears are easier by far, but finding a patient man that I like is another story!!


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RE: question about estrace cream

Did using the estrace cream help with eliminating painful sex. Also how much do you use a week. I use 2 mg twice per week. By the way I hear you loud and clear about finding that elusive man!


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RE: question about estrace cream

Has anyone had side effect of spotting with estrace? Did it last long? Does a decrease in dosage help?


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I am 57 years old and started using the estrace cream this week since sex has been painful to the point my husband and I haven't had it in a few years. I feel it's taking a toll on our relationship so I started using it this week. I also take estrogen so I am hoping they both help. I am only using 1 gram is what the dr. prescribed but I think I am going to increase it to 1 1/2 grams twice a week. I have also gained weight and just started walking 3 miles a day and have lost 10 pounds.


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RE: question about estrace cream

Ok ladies...help me out here. I started taking estrace cream about 3 weeks ago and have noticed a definite improvement in comfort and even libido although I'm wondering if the libido is just that I have found someone I would really like to enjoy intimately after many long years. I'm taking it for vaginal atrophy and to help with moisture and I've noticed a change for the better. The only "partner" I have right now sleeps in my nightstand and I've noticed since using the cream 2x week that my ummmm toy is kind of white and creamy when I'm done. Is this from the estrace? Will it effect my new boyfriend as it is a hormone on his all important 1%. So, do you ladies notice your fluids are kind of creamy now after sex?


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RE: question about estrace cream

I don't notice any difference in fluids after sex but I definitely would advise inserting the cream AFTERWARD, only because I have read that the male can absorb the estrogen through his skin during intercourse. In particular I have heard of men complaining of nipple pain after being exposed to Estrogen cream!


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RE: question about estrace cream

So please tell me that this stuff will work. I am married and in my middle 40's and according to my OB at the end of menopause. Our sex life is pretty much non existent related to the pain I experience with sex now (so embarrassing for me to talk about but I feel like I have to because my marriage is in danger). Lubricants don't seem to work. Any suggestions?


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So please tell me that this stuff will work. I am married and in my middle 40's and according to my OB at the end of menopause. Our sex life is pretty much non existent related to the pain I experience with sex now (so embarrassing for me to talk about but I feel like I have to because my marriage is in danger). Lubricants don't seem to work. Any suggestions?


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I am 48 years old. I have always had a great sex life until one day about 6 months ago after intercourse I noticed blood on the sheets. I did not have any pain. This bleeding continued every time we had intercourse and then the horrible pain came. Of course I went to the gynocologist. He diagnosed me with strophic vaginitus. I had no idea what this was. I never had dryness issues or pain during intercourse until this bleeding began. He put me on estrace cream one gram for two weeks straight . Then 1 gram every other night. On my off nights I use luvena you can buy it over the counter. Both of these things have made me 100 percent better. More women need to immediately treat these symptoms. The results are amazing. The cream in no way affects your sex life. You can't taste it or have any white discharge. It simply disappears.


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I am pushing 60 this month and mentally feel ten years younger. My sex life is so bad because of the vaginal dryness. My doctor prescribed Estrace today. I have read the post hear and I'm hoping I get my sex life back. I have a great patient and understanding man but I get so inpatient when I'm hurting so bad. The dr said to take 1/2 gram each night but he didn't tell me about changing it to fit my needs. I'm going to take it for two weeks and see what happens. I'm excited and scared because of the side effects it talks about. Has anyone had any real bad side affects?


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RE: question about estrace cream

I started Estrace today to improve "accomodation" problem, as my doctor delicately phrased it. She said Estrace is not linked to cancer increase because it is used vaginally. I came home and looked it up online but have found no conclusive answer. The postings above have been the best info I have found. And it sounds like Estrace works. Whether cancer is a risk, i still do not know.


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RE: question about estrace cream

I'm 55 and used it exactly as directed. Like so many here I suffer from vaginal "atrophy" (ugh, that word) and severe dryness which hamper normal life in oh so many ways. Not only are our bodies affected but our spirits are as well.

As I was recently watching a film where a couple (in their supposed 40's) spontaneously fell into bed, I felt such a profound sense of loss and RAGE. Now, for me, it's a question of pain, anxiety and frustration on both my and my partner's side.

So, even though I am an "all natural" type who is very cautious around medication, I went for the Estrace.

After using 4 grams every nite for 2 weeks, then 2 grams every night for 2 weeks, I must admit I was feeling quite a bit more "flexible" in that area which before had been dry, stiff, painful, and DID I SAY DRY????

But soon my breasts began to swell and I had this sensation of being premenstrual, like in the "old" days: tender breasts, crampy, irritable. But my libido had returned a bit and I was optimistic.

Then I noticed a spot of blood. Red.
Next day, pink on the paper after urination and wiping.
Same for 3 more days.

To the gyno for a sonnogram. Told my endometrial lining is "thicker than normal" and now must have (a painful and intrusive) endometrial biopsy to "rule out endometrial cancer."

Ladies, there must be another way....I'm petrified now. Have to have the biopsy in a week. Then wait for results. In the meantime have stopped the cream totally.

I'm sad, scared and wonder if anyone else has had this happen???????


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bosco - I have same issue, but i think we aleady talked about this in another post. My biopsy and d&c is on August 12. Hope everything came out all right for you.

Wish me luck!


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Bosco - I have had spotting for a while now, my gynecologist said it was normal, while using Estrace. Now it seems to have increased a bit, which is a concern, especially having premenstrual symptoms along with the extra spotting. Hoping to get an appointment soon, to see what is going on...


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RE: question about estrace cream

My gyno prescribed this for me on Friday of this past week. I took the 1/2 gram dosage like he prescribed, then low and behold, just today (Saturday) I started my period 6 days early. Do any of you still apply the cream while on your cycle or do you wait until it is over before starting the cream again? I am using it for vaginal dryness and pain. Thanks in advance for your help!


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My gyn just prescribed 2 grams/day of Estrace Vaginal cream, I'm 52 and post-menopausal. She said that my vaginal membranes are thinning (she could see that in the exam?) and that I need to treat that because it will only get worse. I, like many of you on this forum, have experienced painful dryness and lack of sex drive.

My concerns are: I see here that people have been prescribed anywhere from 0.5 grams to 4 grams a day, and some have tapered the dose over time while others haven't.

It seems like there is no consistency on the dosages, and with such potentially high risks, what are we to think about such variation in dosing?

I would like to read more about your experiences with this cream. I'm not sure I want to try it!


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RE: question about estrace cream

My gyn just prescribed 2 grams/day of Estrace Vaginal cream, I'm 52 and post-menopausal. She said that my vaginal membranes are thinning (she could see that in the exam?) and that I need to treat that because it will only get worse. I, like many of you on this forum, have experienced painful dryness and lack of sex drive.

My concerns are: I see here that people have been prescribed anywhere from 0.5 grams to 4 grams a day, and some have tapered the dose over time while others haven't.

It seems like there is no consistency on the dosages, and with such potentially high risks, what are we to think about such variation in dosing?

I would like to read more about your experiences with this cream. I'm not sure I want to try it!


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RE: question about estrace cream

I am 61, post menopausal. My MD prescribed .5g every other day up to 3x weekly. I was having chronic UTIs, and this is part of the therapy to improve the environment down under to be more resistant.

I also use Lovena on the night's in between for the pre-biotic boost. Great product. But also pricey.

But I LOVE the help with vaginal atrophy. Husband has gotten very frisky since he suggested that we adopt a 'taken in hand' relationship. Intercourse is now a daily ritual, one I now enjoy with enthusiasm.

HOWEVER my MD warns not to use Estrace right before intercourse since husband's member can also absorb and it can cause breast swelling for him. Needless to say, oral sex is probably not a good idea right away either.

Easy enough to wait until after to apply. I don't find it terribly messy at all, and very much worth the difference it makes in my love life. Oh yeah, the pesky UTIs seem to be in check too! Almost forgot about them in my enthusiasm.


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RE: question about estrace cream

Did anyone else experience burning caused by the estrace cream? Does this ever go away? I want the estrace to work for me, but the burning it causes is very uncomfortable. I only use it externally.


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RE: question about estrace cream

Has anyone had face breakouts with Estrace use? I'm using 1 mg twice a week-it's really working for me but my face flares up the day after, subsides slightly and with next Estrace use flares up again. This is not normal for me.


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I was just given Estrace cream today by my Urologist/gyn specialist. A few yrs back used ditropan for bladder frequency, though stopped that about 2-3 yrs ago.
In mid Dec after antibiotics for sinus infection thought I had yeast-monistat, uti symptoms, slight itching and very bad burning -didn't help-was given antibiotics for uti and diflucan, still more problems.
Because my Gyn had retired in october saw a gyn who prescribed clobetosol for "Lichen sclerosis" then Urologist the next day-said I did not have that but vaginal atrophy. Long story short-vesicare for my bladder (have a cystocele & uterine prolapse) and still a week later burning vaginal pain-I start estrace tonight 1 gram every other night. He also told me to try A & D ointment for the vaginal burning.

The vaginal tissue I can see through my opening is not a pretty sight and is uncomfortable to say the least! I am 51, post menopause x 3 years over the hot flashes and all that crap-just toughed it out without taking anything. But the lack of sex drive and the burning pain I am experiencing is taking a toll. Sex life what's that? My husband definitely doesn't get it and at this point is lacking patience. I am so hoping this cream will be a miracle! Are there any good books on this subject? Guess I just need some words of encouragement.


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RE: question about estrace cream

I've been using Estrace cream for about two years to treat atrophic vaginitis, urine incontinence and sore scar tissue on the perineum (where it tore while giving birth). It has helped all of these conditions quite a bit. I used an Estrogen patch and progestin pill for a couple of years but I got concerned about the risks involved. My Estrace dose is half a gram three times a week. I also take Amberen. One or the other of these has completely controlled my hot flashes, not sure which one. But when I stopped using both of them for two weeks during a vacation, my hot flashes came roaring back, as did the incontinence! I wear a very light pad every day because I have a little trouble with leakage and control, not getting to the bathroom quick enough. The trouble with wearing any pad is that they all have a drying and friction effect, making soreness even worse. The Estrace helps me maintain a balance, only a little leakage and minimal soreness. I have found an over the counter product called Balmex, made specifically for ladies with soreness in the genital area caused by leakage. It works better than diaper rash cream, in my experience. The side effect that concerns me most is water weight gain. I am thinking of taking an Ëstrace break once a month (skip two doses, or a five day break) to simulate the effect of having a period. Maybe my body would then dump some of this excess water. I am going to try it this month, see how it goes, then talk it over with my OBGYN at my annual appointment next month. I'm not using any progestin product now. I am 57 and have been post menopausal for 7 years. My health otherwise is excellent. I do weight training and cardio workouts and I am at normal weight.


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RE: question about estrace cream

I see that no one has written on this site for awhile but thought I would give it a try. I'm 70 years old and have been using Estrace cream for over four years. My doctor put me on it when I had a bladder prolapse due to vaginal atrophy. I had bladder surgery for the prolapse and was told to continue with Estrace the rest of my life. I was told to use 2.5 grams twice a week. I found that to be too much after about three years and changed to once a week, I'm still finding that is too much (most of it comes out) and am getting ready to change to 1 gram once a week as I have read that is a maintenance dose. The only problems I have had beyond the messiness is a little burning or itching when it is applied but I have the same problem when using lubricants for sex so I think that is my sensitivity. The other thing I am noticing is it tends to make my hemorrhoids flair up after I use it. Overall it has been very good to stop the atrophy and make sex near painless.


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RE: question about estrace cream

I am 58 yrs old and for the past 3 months have had urinary tract infections which after the 5th antibiotic has finally been cleared up with macrodantin. The doctor has just prescribed estrace cream to be applied to the urethra area as well 2 times per week. Does anyone else have this issue. He said the tissue needs to be built back up as it has thinned out due to menopause and this will prevent urinary tract infections and frequency. This has not been a typical uti, no pain or burning just frequency.


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