Depo-Estradiol Side Effects & Dangers

Depo-Estradiol is a synthetic form of estrogen. According to, doctors prescribe estradiol injection to treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, burning and irritation. Estradiol can also treat a lack of estrogen that is caused by ovarian failure, or hypogonadism. The medication is administered as an intramuscular injection, or injection into muscle. Women should be aware of the side effects associated with Depo-Estradiol.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Women taking Depo-Estradiol may experience gastrointestinal discomfort. According to Medline Plus, symptoms may include nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. These side effects may lessen over time as the body adjusts to the medication. Women who experience severe vomiting should see a physician because this symptom can lead to dehydration, which may be dangerous.

Breast Changes

According to, breast tenderness and breast lumps can occur while taking Depo-Estradiol. Women with a history of breast cancer should speak to their physicians before taking Depo-Estradiol. Women should have a breast examination before starting this medication and throughout the course of treatment. Women should continue to perform self breast examinations and undergo mammography as recommended by their physicians.

Vaginal Discomfort

Patients taking Depo-Estradiol may experience vaginal discomfort. Symptoms can include vaginal pain, dryness or discomfort, reports Medline Plus. If this side effect becomes bothersome, women should consult their gynecologists. Several medications are available to treat vaginal dryness and discomfort.

Headache and Dizziness indicates that woman taking Depo-Estradiol may experience headache and dizziness. Some women may experience a more severe type of headache known as a migraine. Patients should use extreme caution while driving or completing tasks that may be dangerous until they know how Depo-Estradiol may affect them. A physician may recommend the use of an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for headache pain and discomfort. Migraines may require treatment with prescription medication.

Menstrual Irregularity

According to, changes in a woman’s menstrual period and breakthrough bleeding can occur while taking Depo-Estradiol. These side effects may be temporary until the body has time to adjust to Depo-Estradiol. Women should report any change in vaginal bleeding to a physician.

About this Author

Laura Candelaria is a family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing and nutritional science. Her experience includes neonatal and pediatric intensive-care, women’s oncology, gynecology, obstetrics, lactation, nutrition, and infertility. She has been published in “Nursing Spectrum,” “Newsday,” and LIVESTRONG Health.