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Estring Vaginal Ring

Generic Name: estradiol vaginal (ES tra DYE ole VA jin ul (LO kul))
Brand Names: Estring

What is Estring?

Estring vaginal rings contain estradiol. Estradiol (a form of estrogen) is a female sex hormone necessary for many processes in the body. Estring releases estrogen that is absorbed directly through the skin of the vaginal wall.

Estring is used after menopause to treat moderate to severe menopausal changes in and around the vaginal area such as as dryness, burning, and itching of the vaginal area, urgency or irritation with urination, and pain during sexual intercourse).

Estring is an off-white, soft, flexible ring with a center that contains 2 mg of estradiol. The ring releases estradiol into the vagina in a consistent, stable manner for 90 days. It should be removed after 90 days of continuous use. If continued therapy is required, the ring should be replaced.

Important Information

You should not use Estring if you have: undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, liver disease, a bleeding disorder, if you have major surgery, or if you have ever had a heart attack, a stroke, a blood clot, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.

Do not use a Estring vaginal ring if you are pregnant.

Estradiol may increase your risk of developing a condition that may lead to uterine cancer. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.

Using Estring can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. Estradiol should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia. Long-term use may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Estring if you are allergic to estradiol, or if you have:

  • unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;

  • liver disease;

  • a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;

  • an increased risk of having blood clots due to a heart problem or a hereditary blood disorder; or

  • a history of hormone-related cancer, or cancer of the breast, uterus/cervix, or vagina.

Do not use Estring if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

Using this medicine can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack. You are even more at risk if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, if you are overweight, or if you smoke.

Estring should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.

To make sure Estring is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Long-term use of estradiol may increase your risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries. Talk with your doctor about this risk.

Estradiol lowers the hormone needed to produce breast milk and can slow breast milk production. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

How should I use Estring?

Use Estring exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Wash your hands before and after inserting an Estring vaginal ring.

To use the Estring vaginal ring:

  • Squeeze the sides of the Estring vaginal ring together and insert it into the vagina as far as possible (into the upper 1/3 of the vagina). You should not be able to feel the ring once it is in position. If you can feel it, use a finger to push it further into the vagina. It is not possible for the ring to go too far in or become lost.

  • The Estring vaginal ring should remain in place for 90 days. It should then be removed and replaced by a new ring, if prescribed by your doctor. If at any time the ring falls out, rinse it with warm water and reinsert it. If it slides down into the lower part of the vagina, use a finger to reinsert it.

  • The Estring vaginal ring does not need to be removed during sexual intercourse. It should not be felt by either partner. If it is bothersome, it can be removed, rinsed with warm water, and reinserted following intercourse.

  • To remove the ring, loop a finger through the ring and gently pull it from the vagina.

Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis to determine whether you should continue this treatment. Self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis and have a mammogram every year while using Estring.

If you need major surgery with long-term bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using Estring.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the Estring vaginal ring in its protective pouch until you are ready to use it.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Remove the vaginal ring and insert a new one as soon as you remember. Do not use an extra vaginal ring to make up the missed wearing time.

If a vaginal ring falls out, rinse it with warm water and reinsert it. If it slides down into the lower part of the vagina, use your finger to push it in farther.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using Estring?

Avoid smoking. It can greatly increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack while using Estring.

Avoid using other vaginal products without your doctor's advice.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with estradiol and lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

Estring side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Estring: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Remove the vaginal ring and seek emergency medical attention if you have: fever with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, dizziness, fainting, and/or sunburn-like skin rash. These may be signs of a life-threatening disease called toxic shock syndrome.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;

  • signs of a blood clot - sudden vision loss, stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath, coughing up blood, pain or warmth in one or both legs;

  • swelling or tenderness in your stomach;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • memory problems, confusion, unusual behavior;

  • unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain;

  • a lump in your breast; or

  • high levels of calcium in your blood - nausea, vomiting, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, lack of energy.

Common Estring side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;

  • headache;

  • swelling in your hands or feet, weight gain;

  • breast pain; or

  • vaginal itching or discharge, changes in your menstrual periods, breakthrough bleeding.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Estring?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can interact with estradiol. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Estring.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Estring only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01.

Date modified: February 08, 2018
Last reviewed: January 05, 2018