Ovestin 1mg cream is used to treat vaginal dryness and irritation caused by menopause. You use an applicator to apply the cream into your vagina. The cream contains estriol, which is a type of oestrogen. On your doctor’s advice, you can use Ovestin for as long as it provides relief for your symptoms. It can take just a matter of days for improvements to show.
30 days / 1 x 15 g tube(s) - £22.50
What is Ovestin 1mg cream?
Ovestin 1mg cream is a cream you apply to your vagina to relieve dryness or irritation (vaginal atrophy). This dryness can be caused by changing hormone levels during or after the menopause. Ovestin 1mg cream provides your body with the hormones you need to relieve your symptoms. It contains a medicine called estriol, which is a type of the hormone oestrogen.
Ovestin is the brand name, and the generic medicine is called estriol. Estriol is part of a group of medicines called Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
How does Ovestin 1mg cream work?
Ovestin 1mg cream works by giving your body the hormone (oestrogen) it is missing. You use an applicator to insert oestrogen into your vagina, so the hormone is released in your body where it is needed. This relieves the symptoms of dryness and irritation.
Once you have started using Ovestin, you should have regular check-ups with your doctor to discuss whether it is right to continue with the treatment.
Ovestin 1mg cream comes with a plastic applicator to insert the cream into your vagina.
Your doctor will start you on the lowest dose that relieves your symptoms. This is usually 1 applicator up to the ring per day for 2 to 3 weeks and then 1 applicator up to the ring twice per week. One ring is 0.5 mg estriol in 0.5 g of cream. A good time to use the applicator is before going to bed.
- Fill the applicator with Ovestin cream to the ring mark
- Remove the cap from the tube, turn it upside down and use the sharp point to open the tube
- Screw the end of the applicator onto the tube
- Fill the applicator with cream by squeezing the tube
- Lie down and put the applicator into your vagina as far as it will go
- Push the plunger all the way
- To clean the applicator pull the plunger out of the barrel
- Wash the barrel and the plunger in warm, soapy water
- Rinse well with clean water
If you forget to use Ovestin as scheduled, apply the missed applicator when you remember. If you are more than 12 hours late, skip the missed dose and wait until your next applicator is due.
Talk to your doctor if you swallow some cream by accident or apply too much cream at once. There is no need to worry, though. You may feel sick or experience some vaginal bleeding.
Examples of other vaginal oestrogen treatments include:
Vaginal oestrogens work directly in the vagina, and very little is absorbed into the rest of the body. This means they are often safer, but also means they do not help with other menopause symptoms like hot flushes and mood changes.
Other types of HRT that work throughout the body are taken as tablets or applied to the skin as patches or gels. When used in this way, most women will need to use a combined HRT, which contains oestrogen and progesterone. Women who have had their womb removed can use oestrogen on its own.
Combined HRT treatments include:
- Elleste Duet Conti
- Estradot and Utrogestan
- Evorel Conti
Other ways to treat vaginal dryness
You can use a vaginal moisturiser such as Vagisan. These do not include hormones and can help to relieve vaginal soreness and discomfort during sex. You do not need a prescription from a doctor for a vaginal moisturiser but make sure you buy one intended for internal use.
If you notice that vaginal dryness is mainly a problem during sex, try extended foreplay and a water-based lubricant. Do not use creams such as petroleum jelly as these can cause infection.
As with all medications, it is possible to experience side effects when using Ovestin 1mg cream. These vary from person to person and in severity but commonly reported side effects include:
- itching around the area during the first few applications of the cream
- an increase in discharge or bleeding from the vagina
- problems with your gallbladder or skin
- symptoms similar to those of flu
- feeling or being sick
- tender or swollen breasts
If you are experiencing these side effects you may need to take a break from treatment. Talk to your doctor.
You should see your doctor right away if you have:
- increased blood pressure
- signs of a blood clot such as sudden breathlessness, sharp chest pain and/or swelling, redness and throbbing pain in a leg
Tell your doctor about your medical history and if you take any medication or herbal supplements (like St John’s wort). They need to know about anything you are taking, but this is especially important for medications for epilepsy and infections and specific medications such as corticosteroids, succinylcholine, theophyllines or troleandomycin.
There are health conditions that mean you should not use Ovestin 1m cream. These include breast cancer and cancer of the womb lining, unexplained vaginal bleeding, blood clots and liver disease.
If you have experienced premature menopause, you should talk to your doctor about using Ovestin as the risks from HRT may be different for you.
Your doctor can give you the best advice regarding the advantages and risks of using Ovestin 1mg cream. You cannot use Ovestin 1mg cream without a prescription from the doctor.
Does Ovestin cream cause weight gain?
Some women report a link between HRT and weight gain. There is no evidence to prove this, but changes in hormones can impact your weight. Exercising and eating well can help keep you at a healthy weight. There is more information on the side effects and contraindications of using Ovestin 1mg cream in the patient information leaflet.
Dr Kathryn Basford
Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.Meet our doctors
Article created: 27 Sep 2021
Last reviewed: 27 Sep 2021
Estriol 0.1% vaginal cream Drugs.com [accessed 8th September 2021]
Hormone Replacement Therapy Types NHS September 2019 [accessed 8th September 2021]
How to apply Ovestin cream Barts Health [accessed 8th September 2021]
Ovestin 1 mg cream Patient Information Leaflet (PiL) EMC [accessed 8th September 2021]