Hormone Replacement Therapy comes in a variety of forms, but one of the most widely available forms is a pill. (Estrogen pills have come a long way since the days of Premarin!) Available in different strengths and brand names, estradiol pills are convenient for many women who do not want to deal with creams, sprays, or gels. If you take estradiol pills, here are some tips for successful use, and a few things to think about.
The effects of estradiol pills only last about 8-12 hours, possibly creating the feeling of “ups and downs.” We want your level of estrogen to be pretty balanced throughout the day, so we recommend that women take this medication twice a day and split up their daily dose into two. Younger women, ladies going through stressful times, or those with stressful jobs may burn through their estrogen even faster, creating a need for their dose to be broken up into three. If you find that your estrogen feels like it’s wearing off throughout the day, it probably is.
We want to remind women that estradiol pills, although oftentimes effective, are not as efficient as transdermal choices like the patch or spray. The reason for this is because once swallowed, the pills have to be partially broken down by enzymes in the stomach, then pushed through the liver where they are structurally changed. This process can also be slowed by cold water or other medications taken around the same time. Transdermal medications absorbed through the skin do not have the same issues, so they are absorbed into the body more efficiently and evenly.
If you have questions about your estradiol pills or your hormone replacement options, we are happy to help. We can go over all the choices and find the one that best suits your needs.