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What are the risks of using an estradiol transdermal system?

The estradiol transdermal system consists of "patches" that contain estradiol, which is a form of the hormone estrogen. Taking medications that contain estrogen increases your risk for developing endometrial cancer, which is cancer of the uterus (or womb). This risk appears to be greatest in women who use estrogen for more than one year. If you use an estradiol transdermal system, your doctor may prescribe another type of medication known as a progestin. Studies show that using estrogen with or without progestin may increase your risk for the following:
  • heart attacks
  • strokes
  • blood clots in the lungs, legs or elsewhere
  • breast cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • gallbladder disease
Also, using estrogen with progestin may increase your risk of dementia, or loss of memory and other mental functions. Talk to your doctor and weigh the benefits of using an estradiol transdermal system against these known risks.

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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.