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Progynova (estradiol) is an estrogen most widely used as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in post-menopausal women, though it can be used in any scenario in which a women is not producing sufficient amounts of estrogen. Though rare, it is sometimes used in both genders to help combat certain types of cancer.

Note that Progynova contains only estradiol, an estrogen. Women who have an intact uterus, regardless of menopause, should not take an estrogen supplement without also taking a progestogen. Women who have an intact uterus and take estrogen without a progestogen are at increased risk of uterine cancer and other complications. Women who have had a hysterectomy and men do not need to worry about a progestogen.

Progestogens (also called progestins) and estrogens can be taken together or individually. Women interested in these products can find them on our progesterone page.

What Progynova is Used For

In its primary use, as HRT, Progynova alleviates the numerous symptoms of menopause. It also sees a number of other uses, including many off-label. As a whole conditions it may be used in include:

  • Menopause symptoms
  • Vaginal atrophy when creams or other direct applications are unsuitable
  • Hypogonadism (low estrogen) from injury, removal, or other ovarian failure
  • Preventing osteoporosis when other medications are unsuitable
  • Palliative treatment of certain types of cancer
  • Controlling abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Promoting fertility
  • Preventing pregnancy
  • Developing female characteristics

Progynova, like any estrogen-containing medication, is not without its risks. For menopause treatment should stop for a while every six months to see if continued treatment is needed; HRT is not meant to last indefinitely. For other low-estrogen uses doctor instructions should be followed.

Use in cancer is tricky; many types of cancer "feed" on hormones like estrogen. Breast cancer is one of the risks associated with estrogen use. However, in some types of cancer estrogen can be beneficial. Patients should take estrogen only with explicit doctor approval if cancer is present; other cancer patients should avoid all estrogen supplementation, including Progynova.

Treating Menopause

In its most widespread use, as HRT, Progynova is easy to use:

  • Take 1 to 2 mg once per day for 3 weeks.
  • Take 1 week off.
  • Resume treatment for the next 3 weeks.

Progynova tablets are typically packaged with each tablet marked with a day of the week on the package. One week's worth will be placebo tablets, simply designed to help patients remember to take a tablet each day; it's easy to forget to resume treatment after 7 days of no tablets.

If a progestogen has also been prescribed it should be taken for at least 12 days of the 28-day cycle. A doctor will give instructions as to when a progestogen should be taken, and may give instructions as to when Progynova treatment should start, particularly if the patient is still having periods.

Again treatment should end, on average, every six months to see if it's still needed. In practice this may vary between three months to one year, depending on the patient. The majority of women do eventually adjust to menopause and will no longer experience disruptive side effects even without HRT.

Treating Low Estrogen

Patients are often prescribed Progynova when estrogen levels fall below the usual range, whether from ovarian removal, injury, a birth defect, disease, or some other reason. Treatment in these cases is often much longer than when Progynova is used for HRT, but side effects are also at increased risk.

In most cases:

  • Take 1 to 2 mg once per day.
  • Treatment can last years, and dosage may be adjusted several times.

Patients should follow doctor instructions carefully and keep all scheduled doctor visits. Doctors can monitor for developing side effects easier than the patient in many cases, and catching side effects early usually makes them considerably easier to treat.

Treating Cancer

With respect to cancer, Progynova is most commonly used in some types of breast and prostate cancer. Note that breast cancer in particular may thrive with a regular estrogen supply; this medication should only be used in cancer if explicitly instructed to use it by a doctor.

In most cases treatment is similar to:

  • Breast cancer patients often take 10 mg three times per day for at least three months.
  • Prostate cancer patients often take 1 to 2 mg three times per day until a doctor instructs otherwise.
  • Doctor instructs may vary considerably in other types of cancer.
  • Some forms of cancer thrive with estrogen; estrogen supplements should not be given in all cases.

Cancer patients should follow doctor instructions implicitly. Cancer is a complex subject and, while the above treatment guidelines are standard, it's not unusual for instructions to vary considerably from the above according to individual variables.

Preventing Osteoporosis

Estrogen supplements like Progynova are not the ideal treatment for osteoporosis, as they can cause other problems just as severe. Non-estrogen medications, such as raloxifene, are preferred. However, when these other medications are not suitable, Progynova may be used instead in women who are at high risk of osteoporosis.

There are no official guidelines regarding dosage and duration of treatment in using Progynova for this purpose. Speak with a doctor.

Other Uses

Other applications of Progynova are typically off-label, which simply means that regulatory agencies have not approved the medication for a use, but use is legal provided a doctor is involved. There are no set dosage and administration guidelines for off-label uses, and patients should follow doctor instructions.


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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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Estrace Reviews

  • 2017-03-01 14:46:06 EST
    This is great medicine, made by Bayer in Germany.
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