What is Oestrogel?
Oestrogel is a form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It is used to relieve symptoms in women going through menopause. The gel contains the active ingredient estradiol, which is a naturally occurring form of the female sex hormone oestrogen. The active ingredient is absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. This helps relieve menopausal symptoms. Oestrogel is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Oestrogel used for?
Oestrogel provides relief from menopausal symptoms, such as:
- Hot flushes;
- Night sweats;
- Vaginal dryness or irritation;
- Dry eyes and/or mouth;
- Mood swings or depression;
- Sleeping difficulties;
- Loss of libido (sex drive);
- Osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density).
As Oestrogel is applied topically to the skin, it is an excellent option for women who do not want to take oral medication. The gel contains only oestrogen (in the form of estradiol). Women who have not had a hysterectomy should also be prescribed a progestogen medicine to take with this medicine to protect the uterus from side effects.
How to use Oestrogel
Oestrogel should be applied each day to an area of skin on the buttocks, abdomen or inner thighs. The doctor will tell you exactly how much gel you should use. The gel should NOT be applied on or near the breasts, face or to irritated or damaged skin. Try to use the gel at the same time each day after showering or bathing. Wash your hands after applying the gel. Avoid contact with your eyes. Some women may need to use the gel on a continuous basis. Other women will have a one-week break from using the gel every month. The doctor will recommend the right dosage regimen for you based on your symptoms.
Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, the usual regimen in adult women is:
- one dose applied to the skin once daily for as long as the doctor prescribes.
Always follow the prescription exactly - never use more or less than the doctor recommends. Read the package leaflet before use.
Treatment with Oestrogel may cause side effects. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine:
- Breast tenderness;
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, stomach ache or diarrhoea;
- Breakthrough bleeding (spotting).
Most side effects will disappear with continued use. Consult a doctor if these or other side effects are persistent. Read the package leaflet before use. The package leaflet also provides information on rare yet severe side effects such as thrombosis and cancer. It is important to be aware that all women using HRT have a slightly increased risk of being diagnosed with these diseases compared with women who don’t use HRT.
When not to use Oestrogel
Oestrogel is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this gel if:
- You are allergic to estradiol or any other ingredient in this medicine;
- You have a known or past history of thrombosis, liver disease, 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 a serious kidney or blood disease.
Consult a doctor on the use of Oestrogel if you have a health condition that is not listed above or are currently on medication.
Women who are still capable of becoming pregnant should not use Oestrogel if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Warning: Oestrogel does not protect against pregnancy! If possible pregnancy is to be avoided then some method of birth control should be used.
Oestrogel does not affect your ability to drive safely or interact with alcohol.