Women who are using Estring and breastfeeding at the same time should be aware that the estrogen hormone in the medication passes through breast milk. However, only a small amount passes through, and it is not likely to cause significant problems in an infant that is breastfeeding. Estring can decrease the production and quality of breast milk, which is why it is not typically recommended for nursing women.
Can I Use Estring While Breastfeeding?
Estring® (estradiol vaginal ring) is a prescription hormone replacement medication used to treat vaginal and urinary menopause symptoms. The estrogen hormone in Estring is absorbed into the bloodstream and can negatively affect breastfeeding. Therefore, make sure to check with your healthcare provider before using the drug if you are breastfeeding.
Even though Estring is used vaginally at a relatively low dose, it can still cause the usual problems as other estrogen medications in women who are breastfeeding.
What Does the Research Say About Estring and Breastfeeding?
The estrogen hormone in Estring passes through breast milk in low amounts. These amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in nursing infants. Estradiol (the hormone in Estring) is identical to the hormone produced naturally in the human body.
Of greater significance is the fact that the estrogen hormone in Estring may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. It is for this reason that estrogen-containing medications (including Estring and many birth control pills) are not usually recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Estring and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about Estring and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about Estring and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Estring [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2007 December.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 28, 2008.
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