Relieving Dryness and Pain: Which Vaginal Estrogen is Best for You?

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Estring, Premarin cream or Vagifem: which is better? Without estrogen replacement, one third of women experience symptoms of atrophic vaginitis including dryness, irritation, itching and pain during sex. All vaginal estrogens have been shown to relieve these symptoms and improve quality of life for these women. In addition, vaginal estrogen therapy has been shown to have a favorable effect on libido/sex drive, urinary tract infections and incontinence. So if they all work, which one is best for you?

There are three main choices of estrogens used in the vagina. First know that creams, tablets and estradiol rings inserted in the vagina all appear to be equally effective for the symptoms of atrophic vaginitis. All of them also generally carry the same risks, namely thickened uterine lining, which has to be watched.

The Players:

All of the vaginal preparations work for the symptoms mentioned above. The differences here are ease of use, cost, what method of delivery you prefer just remember that creams are associated with more breast tenderness than the other choices.

Which do you prefer?

Dr O.

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