Compare Estring vs. Combipatch

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Estring
(Estradiol Vaginal Ring)

Combipatch
(Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch)

Relieves vaginal dryness due to menopause. Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) is a vaginal ring that may be less of a hassle than estrogen pills, gels, patches, or vaginal creams, but comes with the same side effects.Treats low estrogen and relieves menopause symptoms. Combipatch (Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch) is effective at treating menopause symptoms, and it can be a good choice for women who need estrogen/progestin combo medications, but prefer to use a patch every twice a week instead of pills every day.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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4.4Estring
Reviews for Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring)
62%
of people say Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) is worth it
40%
say it works well
18%
say it's a big hassle

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Side effects
EstringCombipatch

The Estring FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Estring side effects »
  • Sore throat 8%
  • Papanicolaou smear suspicious 3%
More Combipatch side effects »
How it works
EstringCombipatch
Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) is a vaginal ring that replaces estrogen hormones in your vagina that your body loses during menopause. Estrogen helps rebuild and maintain vaginal tissue, relieving symptoms of vaginal dryness, soreness, irritation, and painful sex.Combipatch (Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch) is an estrogen/progestin combination patch that works to balance hormone changes in your body during and after menopause. Estradiol (an estrogen) reduces hot flashes and night sweats and prevents bone loss, but can also harm cells in the uterus after menopause. Norethindrone (a progestin) protects the uterus from damage.
Type of medication
EstringCombipatch
Hormone replacement
Estrogen derivative
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Estrogen
Progestin
Prescription only
Available as
EstringCombipatch
  • Vaginal ring
  • Patch
Used for (click to learn more)
EstringCombipatch
  • Vaginal dryness and inflammation
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
Risk factors for serious side effects
EstringCombipatch
  • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Duration of use
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Obesity
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High cholesterol
  • Age 50 or older
  • Women of childbearing age
  • High levels of triglycerides
Detailed Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) risks & warnings »
  • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Duration of use
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Obesity
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Women of childbearing age
  • High levels of triglycerides
  • Family history of ovarian cancer
Detailed Combipatch (Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
EstringCombipatch
XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

See the FDA package insert
XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
  • Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) relieves vaginal dryness and irritation to make sex more enjoyable.
  • You don’t have to remove Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) to treat a vaginal infection or have sex.
No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
EstringCombipatch
  • Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) relieves vaginal dryness and irritation to make sex more enjoyable.
  • Works locally in the vagina and doesn't expose the rest of your body to estrogen like pills do.
  • Good option for people who don't want to take oral pills.
  • Generally works well with fewer side effects.
  • Many women think Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) is easy to insert and comfortable to use.
  • In a 12-week study, Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) worked well to improve vaginal problems, reduced pain during urination, and sudden urges to urinate.
  • Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) slowly releases estrogen over the 90 days the ring is in place, so you only have to remove and insert a new one every three months.
  • Twice-a-week patch. Good for people who don't want to take daily pills.
  • Combipatch (Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, vaginal dryness).
  • Fewer side effects than pills since patches contain lower amounts of hormones.
  • Good for women with an intact uterus. The norethindrone (a progestin) protects against the risk of cancer in the uterus caused by estrogen treatment.
Downsides and risks
EstringCombipatch
  • Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) may not be the best estrogen product if you have a narrow vagina or frequent vaginal infections.
  • The ring can fall out without you noticing it.
  • Increases your risk of endometrial (uterine cancer).
  • If you have your uterus, you might need to use Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) with another hormone called progestin to lower your risk of uterine cancer.
  • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
  • More potential side effects than single-ingredient medications since it exposes your whole body to two hormones, estrogen and norethindrone (a progestin).
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
  • Patch can fall off.
  • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
EstringCombipatch
  • Insert the ring as deeply as possible into your vagina. You shouldn't feel the ring once it's inserted.
  • The ring is good for 90 days in your vagina. If it falls out before the 90 days are up, just clean it with warm water and reinsert.
  • You don’t have to remove Estring (Estradiol Vaginal Ring) to treat a vaginal infection or have sex.
  • It can take up to 2 to 3 weeks to feel the full benefits.
  • Most people don't have many side effects, but temporary nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness are possible.
  • Tell your doctor about any unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Remove the patch by tearing the package by hand and not with scissors. Never cut the patch.
  • Apply the sticky side of the patch to clean, dry, hairless skin below your waistline on areas as instructed by the manufacturer (never on your breast).
  • Replace the patch twice a week (every 3-4 days) on a different area of your skin to lower your risk of skin irritation.
  • Fold together the sticky sides of used patches before throwing them away to avoid exposing others to the medicine. Don't flush them down the toilet.
  • Shouldn't be used forever. Talk to your doctor regularly to see if you still need treatment.
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
  • Get emergency care if you notice unexplained swelling and pain in your limbs, shortness of breath, chest pain, severe headache, or changes in vision.
  • Tell your doctor about any unusual vaginal bleeding.
Learn more
More about EstringSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about CombipatchSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert