Estrogen is a hormone that can help ease certain vaginal problems like dryness or urinary issues, especially those associated with the menopause. The cream typically works best when the woman applies it inside the vagina, and the estrogen cream usually comes with an applicator. Alternately, the woman can apply it without an applicator but it is important to only apply the recommended dose.
Levels of the hormone in women who are still menstruating drop after menopause. As estrogen is a natural regulatory hormone, the change in its concentration in the body can result in a variety of bodily changes. Tissues inside the reproductive tract and urinary tract can become less strong, and the risk of problems like prolapses. Often, the vagina becomes drier than it was before, and this can make the area less able to defend against infection.
Doctors may therefore prescribe estrogen cream to women who experience problems after menopause. Women who are not in the menopause, but who suffer from similar problems, such as kraurosis vulvae, which causes vaginal dryness, may also benefit from estrogen cream treatment. Although estrogen tablets are available, these oral forms of the hormone can carry more risk than topical forms like estrogen cream, as the body is exposed to higher doses. Creams allow for the application of a lower dose directly to the affected area, where the hormone needs to be.
Typically, an estrogen cream product comes with an applicator, as it has to be applied directly to the vagina, in a specific dosage. If the woman prefers to apply the cream by hand, she must check that she has the correct amount of cream applied. The applicator usually has markings on it which the woman can use to judge the dose, so the applicator is the more precise method.
The applicator attaches onto the end of the tube of cream. Then the appropriate amount is squeezed into the applicator, and the tube is disengaged. Some creams need to be inserted into the vagina, so if this is the case, then the woman can lie down, bend her legs up toward her chest, place the applicator inside the vagina, and squeeze the cream out. Other creams can be rubbed both onto the outer opening of the vagina and inside, so it is important to check the correct method for individual products. The doctor or product instructions will also specify how many times a day and for how many days the cream should be applied.