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Menopause & EstroGel
When a woman experiences menopause, several changes occur in the body that may require medications. EstroGel, also known as estradiol gel, may be prescribed to treat the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. But what are the symptoms of menopause?
Menopause marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles. Once a woman has gone a full 12 months without a period, she is officially in menopause. Every woman will experience this natural body process, but they should be aware of the physical and mental symptoms that accompany this change. Symptoms of menopause vary from woman to woman, but common symptoms can include:
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Sleep problems
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Loss of breast fullness
- Thinning hair and dry skin 
The Function of EstroGel
Symptoms of menopause are all related to the amount of estrogen in the body. As menopause begins, the ovaries make less estrogen, causing menopausal symptoms. Estrogen is essential to many processes of the body, including a woman’s sex drive and how the body uses calcium and maintains cholesterol levels in the blood.
Supplementing the body with estrogen is one treatment method for menopausal symptoms. This is where EstroGel comes in. EstroGel’s main ingredient is estrogen and may help women treat hot flashes and vaginal dryness. This topical medication is applied to the skin where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. When the body receives more estrogen, symptoms may become less severe.
If you solely use estrogen products, you may be at risk of severe side effects like breast or ovarian cancer, so your doctor may also prescribe progestin along with EstroGel.  Using both of these hormones together helps balance out estrogen levels. A combination of the hormones is necessary if a woman still has their womb. High levels of estrogen can lead to health complications and increase cancer risks.
How Long Does EstroGel Take to Work?
Taking hormone replacement drugs like EstroGel can significantly improve a woman’s quality of life. EstroGel is typically applied once a day to a clean, unbroken area of the skin. Your doctor will tell you where to apply EstroGel, but common areas include the upper arm, shoulder, or inner thigh.
Like all medications, it is essential to take EstroGel as prescribed to ensure you receive the wanted effects. Researchers have found that women will notice the initial benefits of estrogen therapy a few weeks after beginning treatment, but it may take up to three months to feel the full effects. If you are beginning EstroGel, you may feel some initial symptoms like breast tenderness, nausea, and leg cramps. These side effects should go away on their own within six to eight weeks. If your side effects become bothersome, you may want to contact your doctor to possibly change your prescription dosage.
Tips on Taking EstroGel
Once EstroGel is applied to a dry area of the skin, it is important to wait five minutes for the application site to dry before dressing. You may also want to cover the application site with clothing to ensure that other people do not come into contact with the medication. Extra estrogen is not beneficial and potentially dangerous to people who do not need hormone replacement therapy. You may want to wait one or two hours before allowing other people to touch your skin. Other helpful tips include:
- Wait two hours before swimming to allow the drug to be absorbed through the skin
- Avoid getting EstroGel in your eyes
- EstroGel is flammable, so avoid using it near a flame and let it dry before smoking or going near an open flame
If you apply EstroGel to your skin and notice an allergic reaction, you should contact your doctor. Allergic symptoms can include rash, itching, and swelling of the face, tongue, and throat. Severe side effects of EstroGel are not common, but it is important to remain aware of potential problems. Visit My Drug Center to save money on your EstroGel prescription.
DISCLAIMER: The information in the article is not meant to be used for treatment or diagnosis. It is designed for general awareness and for information purposes only. Always consult a medical professional for your specific healthcare needs.