Compare Provera vs. estradiol / norethindrone

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

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Regulates your menstrual cycle and supplements estrogen treatments for menopause.

Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) works well to regulate your menstrual cycle and stop irregular bleeding. It also protects the uterus from estrogen's harmful effects.

Relieves menopause symptoms and lowers your risk of osteoporosis.

Activella (estradiol / norethindrone) helps relieve menopausal symptoms and prevent bone loss. There can be many side effects, so it's important to talk to your doctor about the benefits and potential hassles of this drug before using it.

Upsides
  • Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) can be used to treat multiple hormone problems in women.
  • After menopause, taking estrogen raises your risk of uterine cancer. However, taking progesterone, like in Provera (Medroxyprogesterone), along with estrogen gives you the positive effects of estrogen, but also prevents it from damaging your uterus.
  • Women taking an estrogen/progestin combination medications have a lower risk of uterine cancer.
  • Replaces estrogen in your entire body and relieves multiple symptoms of menopause.
  • Lowers your risk of fractures by keeping your bones healthy.
  • Improves mood, energy, and mental alertness for some people.
  • Generic available, so cost is usually lower.
Downsides
  • You can't take Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) if you've had a hysterectomy (your uterus removed). You also can't take it if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, have unusual vaginal bleeding, or have a history of blood clots, certain kinds of cancer, stroke, heart attack, liver problems, or bleeding problems.
  • More potential side effects since Activella (estradiol / norethindrone) exposes your whole body to two hormones.
  • Raises your risk of developing a stroke and blood clots.
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
  • Should only use if you still have a uterus.
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Used for
  • Amenorrhea
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Prevention of uterine cancer in women taking estrogen
  • Endometriosis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Breast cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Pelvic congestion syndrome
  • Birth control (male)
  • Hirsutism
  • Loss of appetite
  • Osteoporosis
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness and inflammation
  • Prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Breast pain
    21%
  • Headache
    17%
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Upper airway infection
    10%
  • Post-menopausal bleeding
    10%
  • Sinus infection
    7%
  • Ovarian cyst
    7%
  • Back pain
    3%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Breast cancer
    • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
    • Family history of ovarian cancer
  • Increased risk of blood clots and stroke
    • Personal or family history of blood clots
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • Hypertension
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Depression
    • History of depression
  • Liver problems
    • History of liver problems
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Endometrial cancer
    • Using estrogen for more than 1 year
  • Breast cancer
    • Personal or family history of breast cancer
    • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Increased risk of blood clots and stroke
    • Personal or family history of blood clots
    • High blood pressure
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • High cholesterol
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Dementia
    • Age 65 or older
  • Pancreas swelling (pancreatitis)
    • History of high triglycerides
See more detailed risks and warnings