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Estradiol gel / Divigel – common side effects

Estradiol gel is a topical medication containing estradiol, a form of estrogen hormone, commonly used in gender-affirming care for transgender women (assigned male at birth) or individuals with androgen-dependent conditions. It is applied to the skin and absorbed to supplement estrogen levels in the body. While estrogen therapy can be effective in feminising the body and alleviating gender dysphoria, it’s important to be aware of potential unwanted/adverse/side effects. Here are some of them

Side EffectDescription
Breast tenderness and enlargementEstrogen therapy, including Estrogel, can cause breast tenderness, soreness, and enlargement due to the promotion of breast tissue development.
NauseaSome individuals may experience nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort as a side effect of estrogen therapy, though this is usually mild and transient.
HeadachesHeadaches are a common side effect of estrogen therapy, including Estrogel use. These headaches may range from mild to moderate in severity.
Mood changesSome individuals may experience mood swings, emotional sensitivity, or changes in emotional well-being while taking estrogen therapy.
Fluid retentionEstrogen therapy can lead to fluid retention, causing swelling or bloating in the hands, feet, or other parts of the body.
Weight changesSome individuals may experience changes in body weight or distribution as a side effect of estrogen therapy.
Skin changesEstrogen therapy may cause changes in skin texture, including increased softness or oiliness, as well as changes in pigmentation.
Decreased libidoA decrease in libido (sex drive) can occur as a side effect of estrogen therapy due to changes in hormone levels.
FatigueFatigue or feelings of lethargy may occur as a side effect of estrogen therapy, particularly during the initial period of adjustment.
Decreased fertilityEstrogen therapy can suppress sperm production and fertility in individuals assigned male at birth. It’s essential to discuss fertility preservation options with a healthcare provider if fertility preservation is desired.
Thromboembolic eventsWhile less common, there is a risk of thromboembolic events (such as blood clots) associated with estrogen therapy, particularly in individuals with other risk factors for thrombosis.
Rare allergic reactionsAlthough rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Estrogel, including rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Immediate medical attention is necessary if any signs of an allergic reaction occur.



Updated on February 6, 2024

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