Estrogen Cream Vs. Progesterone Cream

Updated November 21, 2016

For women going through menopause, either naturally or by having a hysterectomy, hormone replacement therapy may help provide the body with the oestrogen and/or progesterone hormone that it is missing. Oestrogen or progesterone creams are type of prescribed medication available for replacing the absent hormones.


Oestrogen creams and progesterone creams are a common form of hormone replacement therapy used in the past to treat menopause or menopausal symptoms, according to WebMD. Hormone replacement therapy using oestrogen may be used for women who have undergone a hysterectomy. The use of hormone treatment has come into question in recent years about potential negative medical side effects at the conclusion of a study by the Women's Health Initiative.


Oestrogen and progesterone creams each have different functions. According to WebMD, oestrogen therapy is often taken alone by women without a uterus to relieve menopause symptoms or to prevent osteoporosis. Progesterone is a combination hormone treatment of oestrogen and progesterone for women who still have their uterus to treat menopausal symptoms and prevent osteoporosis. Both hormone replacement therapies are available as a prescribed skin cream. Other options include an oral pill or tablet, skin patch, vaginal ring or skin gel.


Oestrogen and progesterone creams are one way for the hormone replacement therapy to enter the bloodstream directly. Using an oestrogen cream may help prevent perimenopausal symptoms, osteoporosis and colon cancer. Creams are applied daily to the legs, thighs or calves.


Having a hysterectomy usually means progesterone isn't needed for hormone replacement. For women nearing menopause, the ovaries starting reducing levels of both the oestrogen and progesterone hormones. As a result, menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and medical conditions such as osteoporosis can occur from the lack of oestrogen. Using an oestrogen cream can help reduce occurrence of those conditions. According to WebMD, progesterone can reduces the risk of endometrial cancer. Menopausal women may be able to use a combination of both hormones, depending on their medical situation and advice of their doctor.

Side Effects

Using a cream instead of a medication orally can possibly decrease the possibility of side effects since the hormone is absorbed directly into the blood stream. Some of the most common side effects that may occur with the use of any hormone replacement therapy include headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, weight gain, vaginal discharge and spotting or darkening of the skin.

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