EstroGel is a medication that is applied to the skin once daily to treat certain menopausal symptoms. Specifically, this prescription hormone replacement medication is approved to treat moderate to severe hot flashes or night sweats, as well as vaginal itching, burning, or dryness. Although most women tolerate the medication well, potential side effects of EstroGel can include headaches, infections, and breast pain.
What Is EstroGel?EstroGel® (estradiol gel) is a prescription hormone replacement medication. It comes as a gel that is applied to the skin once daily. EstroGel is approved for the following uses:
- Treating moderate to severe hot flashes or night sweats due to menopause
- Treating moderate to severe itching, burning, or dryness in or around the vagina due to menopause.
(Click EstroGel Uses for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
How Does It Work?EstroGel contains estradiol, an estrogen hormone. Estradiol is the predominant estrogen in women prior to menopause. EstroGel helps to relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing the estrogen that the ovaries no longer produce. It is readily absorbed through the skin.
When and How to Use EstroGelSome general considerations for when and how to use the medication include the following:
- It comes as a gel that is applied to the skin once daily.
- The EstroGel pump is specially designed to provide the exact same dose every time. You must prime the pump the first time you use it by pumping twice (for the 93 gram pumps) or once (for the 50 or 25 gram pumps).
- Apply EstroGel at the same time each day. If you shower, bathe, or use a sauna daily, apply the gel just after these activities. If you swim on a regular basis, try to separate your EstroGel dose and swimming by as much time as possible.
- Make sure your skin is dry before applying the gel. Apply one pump of the gel from your wrist to shoulder (of one arm), on both the inner and outer arm. You don't need to rub it in or massage the gel, but you should let the gel dry (for up to five minutes) before dressing.
- Never apply EstroGel to the breast.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after applying EstroGel.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.