Send to

Choose Destination
J Reprod Med. 2008 Jan;53(1):29-32.

Absorption of vaginal estrogen cream during sexual intercourse: a prospective, randomized, controlled trial.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carolinas Medical Center, P.O. Box 32861, Charlotte, NC 28232, USA.



To determine if intercourse changed serum estradiol levels in women using vaginal E2 cream or in their male partners.


Prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover, blinded study of 10 postmenopausal women and their male sexual partners. Subjects were randomized to estradiol or placebo cream and intercourse, then crossed over after 7-14 days. Seven to 14 days later, the woman used vaginal estradiol cream and abstained from intercourse. Serum E2 levels were obtained 10-12 hours after each exposure.


Serum E2 levels were higher in 8 of 10 men after intercourse with vaginal estradiol cream, and this resulted in a small but significant (p = 0.03) increase in the estradiol levels as compared to placebo. Paradoxically, intercourse resulted in markedly lower estradiol levels in women as compared to abstinence (p = 0.004).


Men absorb vaginal estradiol during intercourse, whereas intercourse reduces estradiol absorption in women. Although serum estradiol levels were only mildly elevated in men, it is possible that long-term exposure could cause feminizing changes. In women, estradiol levels were markedly reduced by intercourse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center