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Why is Transdermal Estrogen safer to use than Oral Estrogen: what you need to know

Let's dive into the benefits of transdermal estrogen and why it is considered a safer method for alleviating menopause symptoms compared to oral estrogen. Scientific research supports these claims, highlighting the advantages of transdermal estrogen over its oral counterpart.

  1. Safer Hormone Delivery: Transdermal estrogen provides a safer route of hormone delivery by bypassing the liver's "first pass" effect. When you take oral estrogen, it is metabolized in the liver, leading to an increased production of clotting factors, such as certain proteins, which may elevate the risk of blood clots. Transdermal estrogen, on the other hand, avoids this metabolic pathway, reducing the likelihood of these adverse effects.

Research supporting this includes a study published in the journal, Menopause in 2014, which found that transdermal estrogen had a significantly lower risk of blood clots compared to oral estrogen.

  1. Lower Cardiovascular Risks: Estrogen has a complex impact on cardiovascular health. Studies have suggested that transdermal estrogen has a more favorable effect on the cardiovascular system compared to oral estrogen. Transdermal estrogen may lead to better lipid profiles (lower LDL cholesterol, higher HDL cholesterol) and decreased blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2012 concluded that transdermal estrogen had a more favorable effect on cardiovascular risk markers, such as blood pressure and lipid levels, compared to oral estrogen.

  1. Individualized Hormone Delivery: Transdermal estrogen allows for an individualized hormone delivery system. By using patches, gels, or creams, transdermal estrogen provides the flexibility to adjust the dose according to an individual's specific needs. This personalized approach can help optimize symptom relief and minimize side effects.

  2. Consistent Hormone Levels: When a woman uses transdermal estrogen, the hormone is gradually absorbed through the skin and released into the bloodstream, providing more stable hormone levels throughout the day. In contrast, oral estrogen can cause hormone levels to fluctuate, potentially leading to symptoms like mood swings or hot flashes.

  3. Reduced Digestive Side Effects: Oral estrogen may cause digestive side effects like nausea, bloating, or indigestion due to its direct interaction with the gastrointestinal system. Transdermal estrogen bypasses the digestive system entirely, reducing the likelihood of such side effects.

To summarize the physiological effects, when you take oral estrogen, it is absorbed through the digestive system, metabolized in the liver, and then released into the bloodstream. This can lead to fluctuations in hormone levels, increased clotting factors, and potential digestive side effects.

With transdermal estrogen, the hormone is applied to the skin and absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This method bypasses the liver and its associated metabolic processes, resulting in more stable hormone levels, lower clotting factor production, and reduced digestive side effects.

Remember, it's always essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate hormone therapy for your specific needs. They can provide personalized guidance based on your medical history and individual factors. If you are interested in learning more, please book a free consultation here.



Follaine Health (Gaelic for Wellness) was born out of a desire to help real women with real health issues. 


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