Estradiol Cream vs. Estradiol Patches: What’s the Difference and Which Should You Use?

3 minute read

By: Alloy Staff|Last updated: March 4, 2024|Medically reviewed by: Sharon Malone
Woman in the bathroom holding a tube of estradiol cream. AW510

The safest, most effective way to find relief from menopause symptoms is to restore your body’s natural estrogen as it begins to decline. Alloy’s estradiol patches and cream contain measured amounts of bio-identical, plant-derived hormones to bring your body back into balance and alleviate your worst menopause symptoms.

The onset of menopause brings a cascade of physiological changes and associated symptoms like hot flashes, sudden fluctuations in mood, irregular periods, joint pain, and even difficulty concentrating, known as brain fog. These symptoms happen because menopause disrupts the body’s hormone cycle, and the ovaries cease production of estrogen. Our FDA-approved treatments replenish these hormones to help you feel like yourself again. 

Choosing the right hormone replacement therapy can be daunting, so we’ve taken the mystery out of it for you with our comparison guide of estradiol patches and cream below. Depending on your needs, you can use the estradiol cream and patch together to tackle the various symptoms of menopause. 

If you’re unsure which option is best, Alloy is here to help. Our board-certified trained physicians can evaluate your symptoms, recommend one or more of our safe and effective estradiol products, and approve your prescription. From there, we’ll deliver your treatment to your door to ensure you get it on time every month. Get started with a online assessment today.

What is Estradiol Cream?

Vaginal estradiol cream is a low-dose topical treatment for application to the inner and outer tissues of the labia, vulva, and vagina. Because it contains just 0.01% of estradiol, it can be safely combined with other estradiol-based treatments, especially for anyone with menopause symptoms localized in the vagina or bladder, such as: 

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Painful sex

  • Burning or itching in the vulva

  • Recurring urinary issues

Though it contains only a tiny amount of estrogen, the cream effectively treats these symptoms because it’s applied directly to the affected areas. 

Woman's finger trying Estradiol Vaginal Cream.

What are Estradiol Patches?

Estradiol patches are waterproof, held in place by hypoallergenic adhesive, and deliver your treatment directly to the bloodstream through the skin. To use, firmly but gently press the patch against your abdomen and change it twice a week. 

These patches work best for women and AFAB individuals who smoke or prefer the simplicity of a twice-weekly patch over daily oral treatment. If you have a uterus, you’ll also need to take progesterone to protect the uterine lining. 

Woman lying on her side in underwear with Estradiol Patch placed on her abdomen. AW079

Which Menopause Symptoms Does Each Estradiol Product Address?

Alloy’s estradiol patch treats a wide range of the most disruptive menopause symptoms, including: 

  • Hot Flashes

  • Night Sweats

  • Vaginal Issues

  • Osteoporosis

  • Facial Acne

  • Brain Fog

  • Painful Sex

  • Bladder Issues

  • Joint pain

  • Depression/Anxiety

Our estradiol cream, on the other hand, provides direct relief for specific genitourinary symptoms, including:

  • Painful sex 

  • Bladder problems, 

  • Frequent UTIs 

  • Vaginal dryness 

  • Itching or burning in the vulva 

What are the Different Routes of Administration?

The estradiol patch delivers a specific amount of estrogen directly to your bloodstream through your skin. The formula is designed to absorb easily without irritating your skin, and the patch itself is transparent to make it less noticeable on all skin tones. 

Estradiol vaginal cream is a localized topical cream that you can apply anywhere you feel discomfort, including the inner and outer vulva. The tissues in the vagina, labia, vulva, and bladder then absorb the cream to alleviate menopause symptoms and improve your vaginal pH, tissue thickness, and elasticity. 

How to Get Estradiol Cream or Patches from Alloy

Our estradiol patches and vaginal cream are available via prescription only. You’ll work with one of our menopause-trained doctors to ensure estradiol is right for you and decide whether the patch or cream is better for alleviating your specific symptoms. 

After your prescription is confirmed, we’ll deliver it every three months to your door. This prescription mail service includes the cost of shipping and unlimited messaging with a menopause-trained physician. Take our online assessment and learn how menopause hormone treatment can help you!


“Estradiol (Vaginal Route) Description and Brand Names - Mayo Clinic.”,  Accessed 22 Aug. 2022.

“Estradiol (Transdermal Route) Description and Brand Names - Mayo Clinic.”, Accessed 23 Aug. 2022.

Hariri, Lana. “Estradiol - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf.” National Center for Biotechnology Information,  Accessed 23 Aug. 2022.

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