Vaginal dryness is a common symptom experienced by many women, especially during menopause for this condition, but concerns about the risks associated with systemic hormone therapy, such as blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer, have led many women to seek alternative therapies. One such alternative is compounded estriol cream, which is applied topically to the vagina and has been shown to have a better safety profile than estrogen which is taken by mouth.
Estriol is a type of estrogen that is produced by the body during pregnancy. It is also available as a medication for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, including vaginal dryness. When estriol cream is applied directly to the vagina, it is absorbed locally, which means it does not have to go through the liver, unlike estrogen which is taken orally. This is important because when estrogen is taken orally, it can be metabolized in the liver into other forms of estrogen that can have more significant risks associated with them.
Studies have shown that compounded estriol cream is effective in treating vaginal dryness. In a randomized controlled trial, women who used estriol cream reported a significant reduction in vaginal dryness and improved vaginal health compared to women who used a placebo cream. Another study found that women who used estriol cream had a significant improvement in sexual function compared to women who used a placebo cream.
In addition to its effectiveness, compounded estriol cream has a better safety profile than estrogen which is taken orally. Because it is applied topically, it is absorbed locally and does not enter the bloodstream to the same extent as estrogen that is taken orally. This means that there is less risk of systemic side effects, such as blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer. In fact, a systematic review of the literature found that topical estriol had no significant effect on the risk of breast cancer, whereas oral estrogen was associated with an increased risk.
In conclusion, compounded estriol cream is an effective and safe treatment option for vaginal dryness. Its localized application bypasses the liver, which reduces the risk of systemic side effects, and studies have shown it to be effective in improving vaginal health and sexual function. We work with physicians that can help you if you are experiencing vaginal dryness. Call our pharmacy and ask to speak to one of the knowledgeable compounding pharmacists to discuss your treatment options and determine the best course of action for your individual needs.