Today let’s talk about the estrogen patche and some tips for successful use. This small patch (smaller than a band-aid usually) stays in place for a few days and then is changed twice a week delivering a constant supply of estrogen.
When it comes to estrogen patches, brand name is always best. We have found that generic versions of estrogen patches do not work well and should be avoided. Unlike other types of medication, patches have the medication evenly distributed throughout the entire patch. This means that you can essentially “cut and paste” the amount you want (always cut the patch length-wise). You can cut 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc to increase or decrease your dose. When you cut the patch length-wise, be careful keep the peeled-off portion in the middle. Don’t just cut off the corner. Pharmacists will tell you not to cut them because they may not work as well, but we have had our patients “cut and paste” since 1992 and with great results!
When you place the patch, rotate its placement; don’t use the same exact spot each time. Some women do not respond well to the patch. If the patches are red underneath, white while on your skin, bubbling, itching, or falling off, they are not working and we need to try something else. Also, if the patch is all wrinkled and soft and/or you are showing signs of low estrogen (hot flashes, night sweats, etc) that means you have used up all the estrogen on the patch and it needs to be changed earlier than ususal (for example, during stressful periods, women will burn through estrogen faster).
The estrogen patch has been around for many years, and it is a safe, easy alternative to creams or sprays. Cutting and pasting allows for fine tuning of your estrogen need.