Are estrogen creams safe when breastfeeding?

Estrogen creams used to be prescribed only to postmenopausal women with vaginal atrophy. However, in recent years, doctors have started handing out estrogen creams to breastfeeding moms with vaginal dryness not responding to other vaginal lubricants and moisturizers.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to estrogen creams and breastfeeding. Some people believe that they are not safe when you’re breastfeeding, while others believe that they are completely safe. In reality, there is no concreted answer to this.

Estrogen cream is absorbed through vaginal tissue and a very small amount of estrogen from your bloodstream will end up in your breast milk. The more often you use estrogen cream, the more estrogen will be found in your milk. The dose makes the poison.   

Let’s take a deep dive:

What are estrogen creams?

Estrogen creams are a type of topical cream that is used to improve vaginal dryness and atrophy. The active ingredient in the cream is estradiol (or estrogen).

Some benefits of using estrogen creams include relief from vaginal dryness and irritation. It can also help with urinary urgency and irritation.

Estrogen creams used to be only prescribed to post-menopausal women. However, in recent years, doctors have started prescribing them to premenopausal women with persistent vaginal dryness. Sometimes it’s even prescribed to breastfeeding moms.

Are estrogen creams safe when breastfeeding?

If you are a breastfeeding mother and are considering using estrogen cream, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with doing so. These creams are rated as L3-limited data-probably compatible. This means that there is limited data on how safe they are when breastfeeding, but they are likely to be safe.

One potential downside of using estrogen cream while breastfeeding is that it might decrease your milk supply. It is important to weigh the benefits and risks of using an estrogen cream before making a decision. If you decide not to use an estrogen cream while breastfeeding, there are other treatments available for relieving the symptoms of vaginal dryness.

Replens vaginal moisturizer improves vaginal dryness up to 3 days when used regularly:

Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer - 8 ct, Pack of 3Check it out on Amazon

How much estrogen is secreted into breast milk?

We are not sure how much estrogen is absorbed by your vaginal tissue when you apply estrogen creams but we know a small amount is.

Of the amount of estrogen that is absorbed into your blood stream, up to 10% can be passed on to your baby through your breast milk.

The amount of estrogen that transfers to your baby is thought to be less than 1% of your total estrogen dose, so it is unlikely to cause any harm. However, it is important to speak with your doctor before using an estrogen cream if you are breastfeeding.

Can you use topical estrogen cream while breastfeeding?

There is some concern that using topical estrogen cream while breastfeeding could be harmful to the baby. However, there is limited data on this topic, and the cream is rated as L3-limited data. It is thought to be less than 1% of your dose. Because it is difficult to measure how much reaches the breast milk, it is best to avoid using estrogen cream while breastfeeding.

Using an estrogen cream once in a while during breastfeeding is very unlikely to cause any harm to your baby. However, I don’t recommend you use estrogen creams regularly if you are breastfeeding as there is ample evidence that your vaginal tissue will absorb some estrogen and a small percentage of estrogen in your blood stream will transfer to your breast milk.

What are the side effects of using estrogen cream while breastfeeding?

When you’re breastfeeding and using estrogen cream, there are a few things to keep in mind. The amount that passes through to your baby is thought to be less than 1% of your dose, but it’s still important to be cautious. Estrogens decrease milk supply and may reduce lactation output, so it’s best to avoid using them if you can.

There are other options available for treating vaginal dryness and improving sexual function.

Aloe Cadabra Personal Lubricant is a water-based organic lube that is safe during breastfeeding:

Aloe Cadabra Natural Personal Lube, Organic Best Lubricant Oral Gel for Her, Him & Couples, Unscented, 2.5 oz (Pack of 2)Check it out on Amazon

To wrap up

There is evidence that estrogen cream use while breastfeeding will result in a very small amount of estrogen being transferred to your baby through your breast milk. I would avoid estrogen creams during breastfeeding if at all possible. However, sometimes it might be medically necessary. It is always best to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication while breastfeeding.

 

 

Sharon James

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