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What is Vagifem (estradiol)?

Vagifem is an estrogen medication that helps women with symptoms of menopause. Every woman experiences menopause in middle age (typically between the ages of 45 and 55). A woman is fully in menopause when she has not had a period for a full 12 months, signifying the end of menstruation and the ability to conceive. Women in menopause produce less estrogen, causing symptoms like vaginal dryness. Vagifem contains a form of estrogen called estradiol that can act as a hormone replacement therapy and lessen menopausal symptoms.

Vagifem comes in dosages of 10mcg that are inserted into the vagina with a pre-loaded, single-use applicator. Your doctor will let you know how to properly use Vagifem to get the most benefit.

  • Tear off one applicator
  • Make sure that the pre-loaded tablet is in place, otherwise, carefully put it back in the applicator for insertion
  • Hold the applicator so that you can plunge it down
  • Find a comfortable position to insert Vagifem
  • Guide the applicator through the vaginal opening until half the applicator is in the vagina
  • Press the plunger down
  • Remove the applicator and dispose of it properly

Once the tablet is inserted into the vagina, the medication will dissolve slowly over several hours. You can insert Vagifem any time of day, but it is recommended to use it at the same time each day.

Cautions

Do not use Vagifem if you have or have experienced the following conditions:

  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • A bleeding disorder
  • Blood clots
  • Certain cancers
  • A stroke or heart attack
  • Liver problems

It is important to take estrogen along with another hormone called progestin to prevent the chances of heart attacks, stroke, breast cancer, or blood clots. Taking estrogen alone can increase the risk of breast cancer and cancer of the uterus.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Vagifem include:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Nipple discharge
  • Weight changes
  • Dizziness
  • Breast swelling
  • Breast tenderness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Acne
  • Skin changes
  • Depression
  • Thinning hair

Serious side effects include:

  • Breast lumps
  • Mood changes
  • Memory loss
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding
  • Dark urine
  • Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
  • Increased thirst or urination
  • Increased vaginal irritation or discharge

 

FAQs

Is Vagifem safe to use long-term?

Every woman is different, but it can increase the risk of cancer over time. Vagifem is typically prescribed for up to 12 months, but some may only use it for a few weeks. Talk to your doctor to find out what is safe for you.

How long does it take for Vagifem to start working?

Studies show that women may begin to feel the effect of Vagifem 8 to 12 weeks after beginning treatment. If your menopausal symptoms persist after 12 weeks, contact your doctor.

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