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

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

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Carolinas Medical Center, P.O. Box 32861, Charlotte, NC 28232, USA. bhurst@carolinas.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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

STUDY DESIGN:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSION:

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.

PMID:
18251358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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