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How do I use estradiol gel?

Estradiol gel comes in small packets (Divigel) or a pump (Elestrin, EstroGel). Each Divigel packet contains one dose. Break open a packet and apply the gel to either your left or right upper thigh. Make sure your skin is clean and dry. Alternate thighs to avoid skin irritation. Wash your hands after application. Follow all label instructions. When using Elestrin, which is estradiol gel in a pump, prime the pump (10 depressions) before the first use.

Discard any of the unused gel that is released during priming. Apply one pump of gel per day (0.87 grams/day) to the upper arm. Never apply to the breast or in or around the vagina. Allow the gel to dry for five minutes or more before dressing. Try to keep the area dry for as long as possible. Do not apply sunscreen to the area where the gel was applied for at least 25 minutes or where the gel was applied for seven or more consecutive days. Wash hands after application.

When using EstroGel, another kind of estradiol gel, one pump delivers 1.25 grams of estradiol. It should be applied at the same time each day over the entire area on the inside and outside of the arm from wrist to shoulder. The pump should be primed three times before using. Discard the unused gel after priming. Apply the gel to clean, dry, unbroken skin. Never apply directly to the breast. Allow the gel to dry for up to five minutes before dressing. Wash hands after applying the gel.                                                      

Talk to your doctor every three to six months to discuss whether you still need this drug. If you are a woman who has reached menopause and you have not had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), ask your doctor if you should be taking another type of medication called a progestin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.