Vagifem vs Estrace Vaginal Cream?

Posted , 10 users are following.

Any input would be so helpful!

Long story short, I've been told by 2 gyno's I have AV.

My question is which one is better, if there's a difference, and has the lowest absorption into the blood stream. I have an unreasonable fear of medication bc of my current health issues and I'm reading conflicting info.

The first doc gave me Vagifem 10 mcg vaginal inserts, per her directions, 2x a week.

Second doc gave me Estrace Vaginal Cream, her instructions are 1 applicator 4 grams, 2x a day for 2 weeks, then 2x times a week after. That seems like a lot to me.

I'm literally making myself sick agonizing over which one is the least likely to seep into the blood stream. I know they both will but I want the least amount possible. The pharmacist isn't much help..

I'm so ready for this menopause crap to be over, I feel like I've already checked out of living a normal life. My anxiety is off the charts and no one to talk to about it, I don't currently know anyone personally going through this.

Bit of background, I had a hysterectomy 16 yrs ago, but kept my ovaries. Started having issues in July with yeast infections, was finally told it was AV and I needed vaginal estrogen. Currently having headaches, dizziness, and awful sadness, crying for no reason and dryness. Went through hot flashes and night sweats a few yrs ago, so those aren't an issue. Other medical issues, heart valve problems, high blood pressure and cholesterol, hence my fear of causing more problems with estrogen getting into my system.

Any info or advice would be much appreciated!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Gigi

    First of all you are not alone....we are all here for each other sharing what may work for each other.  My GYN  to start had me use Estrace cream with applicator once everyday for 14 days then I started Vagifem 10 mcg 2 x weekly.  I had a lot of discomfort so I was relieved when the meds started to work feeling normal again.  Unfortunately with AV the only thing that really works is with the low dose of estrogen as that is what our vaginal area is needing.  There is a new treatment that you will hear about called Mona Lisa Touch.  It is not covered by insurance unfortunately ( hopefully in the future ) and is expensive.  It seems that it works great for some and not for others....also some have to still use the Vagifem along with the treatments....which for me defeats the purpose.  My understanding from my doctor is that I may be using Vagifem for ever.  I too don't like to take meds either but I am so grateful that the Vagifem lets me have quality of life as before.....it felt like I had a constant UTI.

    We are here for you Gigi! 🌷

    Best,

    Wendy

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    • Posted

      Wendy,

      Thank you for answering! I was so upset that my first gyno didn't take the time to discuss my concerns and just sent me on my way, no follow up visit, nothing. So I started using Replens just to get some relief and coconut oil. That helped a ton, only used the replens twice but I know that won't actually take care of repairing the tissues. Although it's been a week and a half I feel almost normal in the dryness area. I went to a second gyno for a second opinion, she concurred the first dx but wants me to use the cream instead. I would like to know which one is more likey to absorb more into the blood stream. I think worrying about this is what's causing the anxiety to go crazy. I've read the Vagifem is minimal and the Estrace absorbs more. But then another article says different. I'm totally torn about which one to try.. my new gyno wants me back in a month for another exam to see how things are going, so that was reassuring.

      I'm just worried about my heart and blood pressure using either of these.

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    • Posted

      Wendy,

      I am exactly feeling like that : as if UTI all the time. I had urine culture when I had absolute worst symptoms, and there was no UTI, so atrophy it is. Constant burning, and pretty much miserable. I was prescribed Estrace cream, but at this point ( after a year) I pretty much do not feel relief from it, although I must admit I was not regular ( strictly 2 times a week). NOw, I was prescribed Vagifem. Shall I start them? Are thy riskier that Estrace cream? I do not know what to do.  I am 56 year old.

      So, did you UTI-like symptoms pretty much disappear? Please let me know, I am desperate. Best, Lana

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Lana

      Yes....I had the discomfort of feeling like I had another UTI which I did get a couple times prior then would go to the doctor when feeling like I had another UTI only to find out that I did not .......which was so discouraging and upsetting as I was sooo uncomfortable.  Went to my GYN and he prescribed the Estrace for the 2 weeks then as mentioned started the Vagifem 2x week......it does take a few weeks to finally feel normal again....such a blessing as I have quality of life back and pray I will be able to stay on the vagifem!! Vagifem is low dose 10mg and is suppose to stay local.  I am 66.  

      I hope this helps we are all here for each other.

      best

      Wendy

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Wendy. I am starting Vagifem tonight.  Doctor prescribed twice a week for 3 weeks, and then one week pause, and the again the same. I pretty much cannot take antibiotics ( I had C Diff Infection from a broad spectrum antibiotic. 2 years ago). So when it feels like UTI, although it is probably not, I start taking D Mannose powder for several days, which helps.

      Wish me luck, and thank you again,

      ​Lana

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    • Posted

      Hi Wendy,

      i was was diagnosed with AV a year ago and although I was given medication I didn’t use it as I also have a fear of medication, however, my symptoms have now got so bad I have started using Vagifem 10mg every day for two weeks and then twice weekly, so far this hasn’t made any difference and I am still suffering what feels like torture! It’s quite a relief to be able to read other people’s comments and issues regarding AV as I was starting to think I was the only person in this world going through it! My blood pressure and anxiety levels are sky high and sometimes I just sit and cry all day with pain. I will continue with the Vagifem in hope that it will eventually give me some relief and allow me to go back to living a normal life.

      Kind Regards,

      Sheila x

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    • Posted

      Sheila,

      ?I have been suffering for years from anxiety, and all kinds of fears. I am afraid of hormonal therapy, but also cannot stand the pain any longer. You have to give it chance, since topical estrogen really does not do harm, if used strictly as prescribed, or less. There is also estriol - that is the weakest estrogen form, but helps with VA and pain & burning. It is over the counter, but has to be ordered onlikne ( no one carries it). It is called EMERITA phytoestrogen. In Europe they carry it without prescription as well, but in the pharmacies. I bought a couple when I was in Europe few months ago (under different name). Emerita is US produced.

      Best to you all,

      ?Lana

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    • Posted

      Sheila, 

      I finally went with the Estrace Cream... 1 gram 1x daily for 14 days and a pea size amount on the labia concentrating on the urethra. Then 1 gram 2x a week and still using on the labia. Now I know everyone is different, but by the end of my 14 days, I was almost back to normal. I still had bad days but nothing like I was experiencing before! I am now doing pretty darn good considering where I was. No more raw sand paper feeling, inside or outside, color came back, everything plumped up like it was supposed to. I am however now going to pelvic floor physical therapy to help build back up the muscles now that the tissues are in good shape. 

      I tried the Vagifem twice... the first time it burned so bad I thought someone was using a blow torch, and the second time was just a week ago since I've got everything back to somewhat normal, and I had a weird reaction, within 2 hours of application, I got very nauseous, my head felt like it was going to float off my shoulders and the next morning I had leg cramps so bad I couldn't walk, those stayed with me for 3 days. So for me the Estrace Cream works best, and dare say seems to work faster than Vagifem from what I've read from others, I know it did for me. I'm far from out of the woods, but I'm making more progress than I thought I would! 

      Stick with it, or see if you can try the Estrace if the Vagifem isn't giving you results after a while of using it. I actually like the cream, for me it's soothing..

      Good Luck and keep us posted!

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    • Posted

      Hi Sheila

      I did the same as you.  I was diagnosed with AV and was given Vagifem but since at the time I had no symptoms I did not take the meds....big mistake.  Then started getting a couple UTI's then felt like I had UTI but did not and that is when real discomfort set in.  That is when my doctor started me on Estrace for two weeks then the Vagifem 2x week after the Estrace.  It does take a few weeks for the Estrogen to help the tissue so Hang in there.  I was able to get quality of life back without feeling like I had a UTI all the time...it was awful. The Vagifem for me is such a blessing.  I hope I will be able to continue its use.  Try to stay calm as stress does not help AV.  I have anxiety issues as well.  Please keep me posted.

      We are all here for each other

      Blessings,

      wendy

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    • Posted

      hi Gigi

      Yes I agree Estrace is really good.  I think that is why my GYN had me use the Estrace first for 2 weeks....then the Vagifem  2x week after for maintenance.

      Wendy

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    • Posted

      Hi Lana

      please keep us posted in how you are doing.  When I was having UTI issues I bought D Mannose as well I think I had the capsule form.

      I hope you are doing well!

      Wendy

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    • Posted

      Wendy,

      Disregard my previous message, I thought you could not get back to me, but I think it was resolved.

      I have been using D Mannose every 3-4 hours for the past three days. But, for the life of me, I do not think it is UTI, so how can D Mannose help, right? I took 2 Vagifems for 2 nights this week. It is kind of better, but I am so afraid of getting yeast infection from it? But, I believe most of women do not, right?

      I also have unopened Estrace. Sigh... do not know what to keep on using...

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    • Posted

      Hi Wendy!

      My doc gave me the option to use which ever one I wanted. As I said I had that strange reaction to the Vagifem. I really like the idea of using it at any time day or night but since that reaction I'm going to stick with the Estrace. It's a bit inconvenient first thing in the morning but it's most definitely working! I may give the Vagifem another try at some point, but I have to muster the courage to do it lol. Since I had a pretty good reaction to the Estrace my anxiety was behaving very well, until I started feeling funny and those leg cramps were awful.. I'm wondering if I could have had a reaction to whatever the coating is or any fillers..

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