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Estrogen Replacement Therapy

The female reproductive system includes the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The ovaries are almond-shaped glands located on either side of the uterus. Each month, the ovaries are stimulated to release a mature egg. They also produce the sex hormone estrogen, which controls a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle as well as other functions.

During menopause, a decrease in estrogen may alter the normal balance required for proper function. Vaginal atrophy is an example of a condition in older woman that results from lower estrogen levels. The walls of the vagina become thin and eventually lose their elasticity. The vaginal lining may become inflamed or even crack and bleed.

Some other menopausal symptoms include fatigue, moodiness, hot flashes, night sweats, and bone loss.

Estrogen replacement therapy drugs consist of a synthetic form of estrogen called estradiol. These drugs may be taken orally, subcutaneously, or in this case through a vaginal applicator. The pill dissolves into the lining of the vagina and once inside the cells, estradiol binds to estrogen receptors within the nucleus to initiate physical changes. Overall, this form of estrogen replacement therapy restores vaginal thickness and elasticity, thereby reducing many of the problems associated with vaginal atrophy.

Side effects of any hormone supplement can include increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots.

It is recommended to consult your doctor so they can determine the drug therapy most appropriate for you.