What Is Estradiol Vaginal Cream Used For?

Estradiol vaginal cream is used for treating dryness, itching, and burning in and around the vagina, usually in postmenopausal women. While certain medications can be prescribed off-label for conditions other than the approved uses, there are currently no universally accepted off-label estradiol vaginal cream uses. The estrogen medication is not approved for use in children.

An Overview of Estradiol Vaginal Cream Uses

Estradiol vaginal cream (Estrace® Vaginal Cream) is a prescription hormone replacement therapy medication. It contains estradiol, the primary estrogen hormone in premenopausal women. Estradiol vaginal cream is approved to treat vaginal inflammation caused by thinning of the vaginal tissues, usually the result of low estrogen levels after menopause. It does not contain any progesterone hormones.

Using Estradiol Vaginal Cream for Vaginal Symptoms

Menopause is a normal change in a woman's life when she stops having her period. That's why some people call menopause "the change of life." A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a period for 12 months in a row and there are no other causes for this change. Menopause symptoms can affect the entire body, including the vagina. Vaginal menopause symptoms are usually related to thinning of the vaginal tissues and may include:
  • Vaginal burning or other pain
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal itching.
These symptoms occur due to low estradiol levels after menopause. Because estradiol vaginal cream helps replace some of the estradiol lost during menopause, it not only helps relieve the vaginal symptoms but also can reduce thinning of the vaginal tissues.
For menopause treatment, estradiol vaginal cream should be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest period necessary. Estradiol vaginal cream is ideal for women whose main menopause symptoms are vaginal in nature, since using the cream (instead of taking the hormones by mouth) exposes the body to a lower dose of the hormones. However, it should be made clear that a significant amount of the estradiol in estradiol vaginal cream is absorbed into the bloodstream, and it is expected that many of the problems seen with oral hormone replacement also apply to vaginal hormone replacement as well (see Precautions and Warnings With Estradiol Vaginal Cream).
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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