Menopause is a natural occurrence that all women go through, some with more ease than others. If you experience itching, burning, and dryness in and around your vagina that makes sexual intercourse painful, you may have atrophic vaginitis, also called vaginal atrophy and urogenital atrophy. Going through “the change” means your body is going through many changes, including a decrease in your estrogen levels. This hormone takes you through childhood, puberty, and adulthood before it begins to slow down as you reach menopause. Unfortunately, for some women, this transition is unpleasant.
Your doctor may prescribe Estring, a local estrogen therapy, to treat symptoms of atrophic vaginitis. Estring is a soft, flexible vaginal ring that is clinically proven to relieve moderate-to-severe painful sex, burning, itching, dryness, and painful urination caused by postmenopausal changes. You or your doctor can insert the Estring ring to provide a steady amount of estrogen over a period of 90 days. The positioning of the Estring should not interfere with, or cause discomfort during, intercourse. Estring should be removed and replaced after 90 days if you and your doctor decide that you should continue treatment.
During menopause, as estrogen levels drop, your vagina can become inflamed due to thinning and shrinking of tissues and there may be a lack of sufficient vaginal fluid to make intercourse comfortable. Estring is beneficial for raising estrogen levels so these symptoms of menopause are tolerable, but it does not treat other symptoms such as mood swings or hot flashes. You and your doctor should thoroughly discuss what it is you are expecting from Estradiol Vaginal Ring treatment.
It may not be safe for you to use Estring if you have a history of any of the following conditions:
If there is even a slight chance that you may be pregnant or are breast feeding, do not use Estring. Make sure that your doctor is aware of all over the counter medicines and Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and vitamin or dietary supplements. This will determine if it is safe for you to use Estring.
Inform any medical staff that you are using Estring if you are scheduled for surgery that requires bed rest, or tell your doctor if you are planning on air travel that will limit physical movement as you may need to remove the Estradiol Vaginal Ring for a time and re-insert it at a later time after cleaning it thoroughly or use a new one if it is almost time.
Hormone therapy is only recommended as a short-term treatment until your symptoms of menopause have improved. If you still have a uterus, your doctor may recommend adding progesterone medication to reduce your risk of endometrial hyperplasia.
Seek immediate medical care if you experience chest pain, rapid breathing, redness, pain, or swelling on one/both legs.