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Which Type of Estrogen Hormone Therapy Is Right for You?

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Estrogen Treatment: Topical Creams, Gels, and Sprays

  • What are they? Estrogen gels (like Estroge and Divigell), creams (like Estrasorb), and sprays (like Evamist) offer another way of getting estrogen into your system. As with patches, this type of estrogen treatment is absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream. The specifics on how to apply these creams vary, although they're usually used once a day. Estrogel is applied on one arm, from the wrist to the shoulder. Estrasorb is applied to the legs. Evamist is applied to the arm.
  • Pros. Because estrogen creams are absorbed through the skin and go directly into the bloodstream, they're safer for people who have liver problems than oral estrogen.
  • Cons. Estrogen gels, creams, and sprays have not been well-studied. While they could be safer than oral estrogen, experts aren't sure. So assume that they pose the same slight risk of serious conditions, like cancer and stroke.

    One potential problem with using this type of estrogen treatment is that the gel, cream or spray can rub or wash off before it's been fully absorbed. Make sure you let the topical dry before you put on clothes. Always apply it after you bathe or shower.

    Because the estrogen is absorbed right through the skin, don't let other people in your family touch these creams or gels. If they do, they could get dosed with estrogen themselves. For the same reason, make sure your hands are clean and dry after applying the medication.

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