Monday, October 4, 2010

Which Estradiol Gel?

Well who knew there were so many choices?

Dr. Goldstein prescribed Estradiol gel to me in April.  As I've said before, the gel at first was very irritating. Over time I got used to it more, but it still irritated me sometimes.  At this point my gel was 0.03% estradiol and 0.1% testosterone in a cellulose base.  I started reading on other blogs and on my vaginismus yahoo group that some people have Estradiol gel with an Emu oil base.  I called Dr. G. to find out more about this. His office called their pharmacy and the pharmacist explained that many people find the emu oil to be more soothing, but not necessarily for the right reasons.  It turns out that the emu oil absorbs more of the estrogen and testosterone, making less of it actually absorb into your skin, making it less irritating because it's the hormones that are irritating in the first place.  So I didn't want to go with emu oil because I want as many hormones as possible getting into my body.  They did have one other suggestion - to use the same ratio of estrogen and testosterone in a different base - I wish I could tell you exactly what the base is, but on the bottle all it says is "ACID MA# 100".  I have no idea what that means exactly, but the word "acid" sure is scary.  However, I do like this version better.  It is less irritating and thicker.  I still get irritated sometimes, but it's less than with the cellulose-based Estradiol.

So there's the rundown on Estradiol options.   Please let me know if you have any questions.  When I go see Dr. G. on October 21, I'll find out exactly what that "acid" base is.


Claire said...

Thank you for keeping us updated about the estrogen/testosterone compound. I've been on the same one since January, and it is the first thing, after years of attempting different therapies, to work. I can now have pain-free sex for the first time in 10 years (I'm 31yrs old).

For the past couple of years, I've had constant yeast problems: I feel much better after taking a diflucan, but if I ever get it cultured, the test is negative. Just last week my outer vulva was red and swollen, with some dark red patches. It really felt like an infection--not the typical nerve burning. Instead of taking a culture from within the vulva, my obgyn cultured the red area outside. She called today to tell me it was yeast. This is the first positive culture I've had in a long time. She thinks yeast is growing on the external area of my skin, whereas my boric acid suppositories keep the internal vulva yeast-free. She also thinks I may be super sensitive to even a small amount of yeast--maybe even allergic.

I think the hormone cream--although a very helpful product--is making the vestibule more conducive to yeast, by keeping it moist. I realize I have to be better about my sugar intake, etc.

Anyway, let me know how your appointment with Dr. G goes. Best wishes, Claire

the girl with pain "down there" said...

That is very interesting. I had never thought about the get making the environment more conducive to yeast, but it does makes sense because it does make it more moist. Also the fact that you now have a yeast problem on the vulva as opposed to inside the vagina. Perhaps there's some kind of cream you can use on the vulva to help with that?

Claire said...

My regular obgyn wanted to put me on an anti-fungal cream, but I've had terrible reactions to over the counter monistat, etc. I just persuaded her to call in an anti-fungal prescription to the chemist who makes my hormone cream for Dr. Goldstein. So he willl make an anti-fungal cream that is compounded in a neutral base--i.e. with no chemicals. I'll let you know how it works!

Husband said...

How long have you been on the estrogen/testosterone compound? My wife has been on it for a little over 3 months. Her story is about the same as yours it has been 10 years and she is 32. She has noticed some differences but hasn't reached the pain free level yet.

K said...

I'm not on topical hormones anymore. I intend to go back on when I get older & start entering menopause. Nobody stand in my way!

I didn't have any side effects on estrogen gel with the testosterone in it, so, I liked it.
But I was only on it for a few months. It helped a little. Not enough but a little while I used it.

I've heard of some women who use emu oil directly in their vestibule without any hormones in it. It's supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties but you'd have to talk to somebody else about that, I don't know a lot about it. I saw it at a store locally though.

Claire said...

I've been on the estrogen/testosterone hormone compound for I believe about 9 months (I don't remember my exact start date). I'm doing it in conjunction with physical therapy, and it seems to be a winning combo for me. I had done PT for years in the past, and I had also been on an estrogen-only compound, but neither of those alone allowed me to have pain-free intercourse. 12 months ago I had a round of Botox injections into the vestibule, which provided some benefit--but not significant relief. I hope your wife continues to improve!

Anonymous said...

Claire - did you ever find out what is ACID MA# 100?
I use the Est. gel but the alchohol is drying and hurting so bad on the open lesions that I am going to have to go to the local compounding pharm. and figure out another base - all info. I give to him will help. thanks - my email address is

Anonymous said...


is this combination, of 0.1% testosterone, has made you more hairy (facial hair?) im really worried about the high amount of this hormone..