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Some estrogens used to treat dysfunctional uterine bleeding are taken as pills. And some can be given through a vein (intravenous).
How It Works
High levels of estrogen trigger the rapid
growth of the uterine lining (endometrium). This stops sudden, heavy
bleeding from the uterine surface.
Why It Is Used
estrogen is used to reduce sudden, heavy uterine
bleeding. Usually, 24 hours of
intravenous (IV) or oral (pills or tablets) estrogen
therapy is followed with 7 to 10 days of oral estrogen plus
perimenopause, when the body makes less estrogen, some
women take estrogen along with progestin to regulate the menstrual cycle and
dysfunctional uterine bleeding. For more information,
see birth control pills, patch, or ring.
How Well It Works
Estrogen therapy effectively
controls sudden, heavy uterine bleeding that is not caused by disease,
pregnancy complication, cancer, or another serious medical condition
(dysfunctional uterine bleeding).1
Recurrence. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding may return when treatment
with estrogen and progestin is stopped.
Frequent side effects caused by estrogen
- Fluid retention.
- Weight gain.
- Spotting or darkening of the
skin, particularly on the face.
Rare side effects include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Short-term estrogen therapy is
followed by 7 to 10 days of estrogen-plus-progestin treatment to stimulate
healthy growth of the endometrium. When treatment stops, withdrawal bleeding,
much like menstrual bleeding, can occur.
Estrogen therapy is
generally not recommended if you have:
If you have very heavy bleeding, the benefits of short-term
estrogen therapy may outweigh the possible risks.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Lobo RA (2007). Abnormal uterine bleeding: Ovulatory
and anovulatory dysfunctional uterine bleeding, management of acute and chronic
excessive bleeding. In VL Katz et al., eds., Comprehensive Gynecology, 5th ed., pp. 915-931. Philadelphia: Mosby