Low estrogen treatments are medical treatments that are provided, most commonly for women who are experiencing low levels of estrogen in their body. However, estrogen treatment may also be provided for other individuals, such as transgender women or nonbinary individuals to increase the levels of estrogen in the body and produce physical changes in the body that are caused by the presence of female hormones. In those cases, the estrogen treatment is part of a feminizing hormone therapy plan.
Estrogen is a hormone that is present in both male and females that is critical for many bodily functions and the overall health of the body. Specifically, estrogen is a category of sex hormones that is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system, along with assisting with other fundamental bodily functions, such as regulating mood, improving bone structure, and improving heart health.
Estrogen treatment, also commonly referred to as hormone replacement treatments or hormone therapy, is a treatment most commonly utilized in the treatment of common menopausal symptoms, including issues related to vaginal discomfort and hot flashes. Low estrogen treatments are also commonly utilized to prevent bone loss and reduce fractures in women.
Examples of other common reasons why estrogen treatments are utilized include:
- The Treatment of Hot Flashes: As mentioned above, women who have moderate or severe hot flashes often receive estrogen therapy for the treatment and relief of hot flashes and night sweats;
- The Treatment of Vaginal Issues: Estrogen treatments have been shown to be effective in treating vaginal symptoms of menopause, including dryness, itching, burning, and discomfort;
- The Treatment of Bone Loss: Estrogen treatments have also been shown to help protect individuals from osteoporosis, which is a bone thinning disease; and
- The Treatment of Early Menopause or Other Medical Conditions Associated With Estrogen Deficiency: If a woman had their ovaries removed before age 45 or lost function in the ovaries before the age of 40, then their body is exposed to less estrogen then normal women who experience menopause.
- As such, estrogen treatment can decrease such persons’ risks of other various health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and mood changes.
How Are Estrogen Drugs and Medications Administered?
As mentioned above, low estrogen treatments and hormone replacement treatments primarily focus on replacing the estrogen in a person’s body when the body no longer is able to produce such estrogen. There are two main types of low estrogen therapies:
- Systemic Hormone Therapy: With systemic hormone therapy a person typically takes a pill that contains a higher dose of estrogen that is absorbed throughout the body to treat symptoms associated with menopause; and
- Lower Dose Vaginal Product Treatment: Low dose vaginal treatment typically comes in a cream, tablet, or ring form and is utilized to minimize the amount of estrogen absorbed by a person’s body, which helps to treat issues related to vaginal discomfort and urinary issues.
Examples of other ways in which estrogen treatments may be administered include topical patches, oral pills, sprays, vaginal rings, and skin creams.
Are There Any Dangers Associated with Low Estrogen Treatments?
As with most medical treatments that utilize drugs, there are side effects to low estrogen treatments. For example, low estrogen treatments have been associated with a number of harmful side effects and dangerous conditions, including, but not limited to:
- Issues related to heart related defects, such as heart diseases;
- The development of breast cancer;
- Weight gain;
- The development of diabetes;
- Higher than normal levels of triglycerides, potassium, and the hormone prolactin in the blood;
- Nipple discharge;
- The development of blood clots; and/or
- Other medical issues related to the heart, such as becoming more susceptible to strokes.
As can be seen, the injuries associated with low estrogen treatments can be harmful. Most of the legal claims that arise from injuries suffered by persons that receive low estrogen treatments will be brought under the legal theory of product liability. As such, the drug manufacturer, wholesaler, pharmacy, and even the physician may be held liable for injuries associated with the use of drugs administered in low estrogen treatments.
However, low estrogen treatment lawsuits may also be brought under the legal theory of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, other medical professional, and/or healthcare organization falls below the standard duty of care that is required of them when managing, diagnosing, and treating their patient, which results in an injury to that patient.
This deviation from the standard duty of care required of all medical professionals is generally the result of an act of negligence. Medical malpractice law is the set of state laws that allow an injured patient to bring a legal claim against a negligent medical professional. This means that medical malpractice lawsuits allow a patient to recover damages for the harms that were caused by the professional’s substandard conduct.
In the case of low estrogen treatments, a physician may be held liable for administering low estrogen treatments to a patient, especially if they knew of the risks associated with the low estrogen treatments and failed to inform the patient.
For example, many scientific studies have shown that persons who begin hormone therapy at an older age, receive estrogen alone or with progestin, or have a personal medical history of having a higher risk of cancer or heart defects, have an elevated risk of defects occurring in low estrogen treatments. As such, a doctor who fails to inform their patients of such elevated risks may be liable for medical malpractice.
It is important to note that there are also class action lawsuits that have been filed in response to injuries suffered as a result of low estrogen treatments. For example, the Estradiol class action lawsuit was one such class action lawsuit associated with estradiol, a form of estrogen and natural hormone utilized in regulating the female reproductive system.
What Are the Legal Remedies for Low Estrogen Injury Claims?
As mentioned above, the most common legal remedies for low estrogen injury claims are based in medical malpractice claims and product liability claims. In order for a person that was harmed by a defective product or drug utilized in low estrogen treatment to be successful in their civil lawsuit against the party responsible for their injures, they must typically prove the following:
- That the product was sold to them in the stream of commerce;
- That the seller or manufacturer was under an obligation to sell or manufacture the drug in such a way to meet the ordinary expectation of average consumers;
- That at the time of sale the drug contained a design defect or a manufacturing defect;
- That the defect in the drug is what caused the product to be unreasonably dangerous;
- That the defect was foreseeable (i.e. predictable), and that an average consumer could have been injured by the defect; and
- That injury caused an average consumer to sustain quantifiable damages.
When a plaintiff, i.e. the person that was injured, is able to successfully prove the above elements, then they will be able to recover damages. The damages award for civil claims is most commonly monetary in nature. This means that the plaintiff will be able to recover a monetary award that helps them to cover costs associated with the medical treatment that they had to receive as a result of their injuries, and other costs associated with their injuries.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Estrogen Treatment Lawsuits?
As can be seen, low estrogen treatment injury claims often involve complex product liability and medical malpractice laws. As such, if you have been harmed as a result of low estrogen treatments, it is in your best interests to immediately consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine who may be held responsible for your injuries. Additionally, an attorney will also be able to initiate a civil lawsuit on your behalf, and represent your interests in a court of law, as needed.