Hormones and sex

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in estrogen, HRT | 0 comments

About a year ago I wrote several posts cautioning women that use of topical hormone gels or sprays could place both pets and children at risk for early puberty, swelling of vulvas, enlarged mammary glands and even small penises. But what about your partner during sexual intimacy? Does a similar danger exist?

Evidently it does, at least according to data from a very very small study that was published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine about four years ago. In fact, postmenopausal women who used vaginal estradiol cream (e.g. Estrace) and then had intercourse placed their male partners at risk for a significant increase in estradiol levels in their blood. Moreover, vaginal estradiol cream evidently affected 80% of the men who had intercourse with women using vaginal hormones. On the flip side? Intercourse resulted in lower levels of estradiol in women using the cream. Notably, these changes were minimal but the researchers noted that over time and with long-term exposure, men might start to develop changes associated with feminine hormones such as those seen in small children and pets.

If you are going to use topical or vaginal hormones, be smart about them. Topical hormones should be applied to areas that are not exposed to children or that may be licked by pets, such as the inner thigh. After a certain time period, vaginal estradiol cream can be used one to three times weekly in some women; speak to your practitioner about your treatment and if you can cut back on certain days in order to protect your male partner. An ounce of prevention can protect those you love and may even enhance your sex life!

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