What is Estring?
Estring is a flexible vaginal ring that contains the active ingredient estradiol. It is used locally as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also called hormone therapy, to relieve vaginal symptoms in menopausal women. Estring vaginal ring is only available on prescription.
What is Estring used for?
In the period leading up to menopause, women’s bodies produce less and less oestrogen hormones. In some women, this can cause atrophic vaginitis, a thinning of a woman’s vaginal tissues. Atrophic vaginitis can cause vaginal discomfort, including:
- Vaginal dryness;
- Irritation or itching in the vagina;
- Pain during sex;
- Increased susceptibility to vaginal infections.
Estring vaginal ring releases a low dose of estradiol locally into the vaginal tissues to restore hormonal balance, and is used to provide relief from vaginal menopausal symptoms.
How to use Estring
Insert the vaginal ring into the vagina according to the instructions in the package leaflet. The flexible silicon ring is worn in the vagina continuously for 90 days where it releases a lose dose of hormones locally into the vaginal tissues. Remove the ring and replace as necessary every three months, unless the doctor advises otherwise. In principle, the ring can be worn during sex with no problems. If the ring feels uncomfortable during sex, it can be temporarily removed.
Estring vaginal ring is usually used as follows:
- Adult women: insert one ring into the vagina and replace with a new one every three months.
Do not use the vaginal ring for more than two years without consulting a doctor. Read the package leaflet before use.
Although the estradiol from Estring is absorbed into the bloodstream locally and only in very low amounts, you may experience side effects such as:
- Vaginal irritation;
- Feeling of pressure in the vagina, or on the bladder or rectum;
- Urinary tract infection.
It is also important to be aware that women using HRT have an increased risk of breast cancer or thrombosis compared with women who don’t use HRT. Read the warnings in the package leaflet before using this product.
When not to use Estring
Estring is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this vaginal ring if:
- You are allergic to estradiol or any other of its ingredients;
- You have a known or past history of breast cancer or other oestrogen-related cancer;
- You have vaginal bleeding of unknown cause or an overgrowth of the lining of the womb (endometrial hyperplasia);
- You have ever had angina pectoris, thrombosis or a heart attack;
- You have a liver or blood disorder.
Consult a doctor before using Estring vaginal rings if you have a health condition that is not listed above or are taking medication.
The following advice applies to women who are still in the fertile age bracket: do not use Estring vaginal rings if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Vaginal rings do not provide contraception. If necessary, you should use a contraceptive of some kind to avoid getting pregnant.
Estring does not interact with alcohol or affect your ability to drive.