There are some hormone replacement therapies (HRT) that you can buy over-the-counter, such as estrogen. Estradiol is a type of estrogen produced in the ovaries and also found in men and women.

It helps with bone formation, regulation of blood pressure and production of red blood cells. When you start noticing menopause symptoms for the first time, your body produces less estradiol, which is why you need to take it as a supplement.

What does estradiol do?

Estradiol is a type of estrogen that’s produced in your ovaries and also found in men and women. It helps with bone formation, regulation of blood pressure and production of red blood cells.

When you start noticing menopause symptoms for the first time, your body produces less estradiol, which is why you need to take it as a supplement.

It’s important to note that estradiol is just one type of estrogen that your body produces, and not all of the benefits of HRT are due to estradiol.

How does it benefit your body?

  • Bone health- Estradiol helps with bone formation. It’s known to help prevent bone loss, including in men with low testosterone.
  • Heart health- Estradiol has been in use since the 1950s to treat cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, coronary heart disease and heart failure.
  • Lower back pain- In some cases, estradiol is used to treat lower back pain caused by low estrogen levels.
  • Protection against osteoporosis- Estrogen is helpful for preventing osteoporosis and it’s especially effective when combined with progesterone.
  • Better sleep- Estradiol is associated with better sleep and a better quality of sleep as well.
  • Regulation of blood pressure- Estradiol is helpful for regulating blood pressure.
  • Mood and memory- Estradiol is associated with a better mood and better memory, too.
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Where can you buy estradiol over the counter?

You can buy some HRT over-the-counter, including estrogen estradiol.

You’ll find estradiol available in many pharmacies, health food stores and online, usually in the form of a patch, a gel or a skin or vaginal cream.

You can also order estradiol online with a prescription from your doctor, although this is a less common method of purchase.

If you buy an over-the-counter product, be sure to read the instructions carefully to find out how and when to use it and what other medications you shouldn’t combine it with.

Dosage of estradiol for menopause symptoms

Estradiol for menopause symptoms is not meant for long-term use, so you have to make sure to follow the instructions carefully. The general recommendation is to take 1 to 2 mg daily and use it for up to 10 years, depending on the type of product you use.

For severe menopause symptoms, your doctor might recommend to take a higher dose of estradiol for menopause symptoms. Keep in mind that the dosage will vary based on what product you’re using.

To treat vaginal atrophy, you can use a local vaginal product, like a cream or a gel.

For menopause-related night sweats or hot flashes, your doctor might also prescribe a low-dose estrogen patch or gel that you can apply to your skin.

How to buy and store estradiol

When buying estradiol over the counter, look for a product that contains only estradiol. There are other types of estrogen that women with a uterus can take. These types don’t help menopausal women at all.

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Although estradiol is available over-the-counter, you should use it only with a prescription from your doctor. This is because there are certain risks associated with menopausal hormone therapy (MTHT), including an increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer.

When you buy estradiol, make sure to store it in a cool, dry place. Don’t leave it in direct sunlight and keep it out of the reach of children.

Side effects of estradiol over the counter


The most common side effects are nausea, breast tenderness and spotting or irregular vaginal bleeding. These side effects usually go away after a week or two. You can take an antihistamine or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to reduce the side effects.

Other rare side effects that you can experience are headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, mood changes, dizziness and visual disturbances. If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor.

Long-term use of estradiol can cause an increase in the risk of developing blood clots and breast cancer.

Final words

Estradiol for menopause symptoms is not meant for long-term use, so you have to make sure to follow the instructions carefully. The general recommendation is to take 1 to 2 mg daily and use it for up to 10 years, depending on the type of product you use.

Estradiol has many benefits and is helpful for preventing osteoporosis and it’s especially effective when combined with progesterone. It’s important to remember that not all of the benefits of HRT are due to estradiol.

For the best result, talk to your doctor about your symptoms and which type of HRT is best for you.


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