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 a twice weekly patch that effectively treats menopause and causes less blood clots or stroke than combination pills.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.39Estring
Reviews for Estring
63%
of people (All ages) say Estring is worth it
39%
say it works well
18%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Estring (estradiol vaginal ring)?
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Have you used Combipatch (estradiol / norethindrone patch)?
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Side effects
EstringCombipatch
  • Headache 13%
  • Leukorrhea 7%
  • Back Pain 6%
  • Genital Moniliasis 6%
  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 5%
  • Vaginitis 5%
  • Vaginal Discomfort/Pain 5%
  • Sinusitis 4%
  • Asymptomatic Genital Bacterial Growth 4%
  • Abdominal Pain 4%
More Estring side effects »
  • Breast pain 18%
  • Menstrual cramps 15%
  • Back pain 6%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Flu like symptoms 2%
  • Abnormal pap smear 3%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Stomach pain 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 a combination patch that works to balance hormone changes in your body during and after menopause. Estradiol (an estrogen) reduces hot flashes and night sweats. Norethindrone (a progestin) protects the uterus from damage.
Type of medication
EstringCombipatch
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
EstringCombipatch
  • Vaginal ring
  • Patch
Used for
EstringCombipatch
  • Vaginal Dryness And Inflammation
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
Detailed Estring (estradiol vaginal ring) risks & warnings »
  • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Smoking
Detailed Combipatch (estradiol / norethindrone patch) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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 weekly patch. Good for people who don't want to take daily pills.
  • Replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, vaginal dryness).
  • Less likely to cause blood clots or stroke than pills since patches contain a lower amount of hormones.
  • Good for women with an intact uterus.
  • You can bathe, shower, and swim while wearing the patch, as long as you don't rub the patch.
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.
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
  • The patch can't be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time.
  • 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 on your lower belly as directed by the manufacturer. Press the patch firmly in place for 10 seconds, especially around the edges. Don't place it at your waistline or on your breasts.
  • Replace the patch twice a week (every 3-4 days) on a different area of your skin to help prevent 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.
  • Combipatch (estradiol / norethindrone patch) is not intended to be used forever. Talk to your doctor regularly to see if you still need treatment.
Learn more
More about EstringSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Estring (estradiol vaginal ring)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CombipatchSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Combipatch (estradiol / norethindrone patch)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it