Objectives: To assess the effects of oral estriol on the bone mineral density (BMD) and bone metabolism in postmenopausal women.
Methods: Seventy-five natural postmenopausal women with a BMD of more than 10% below the peak bone density were treated for 50 weeks with 2 mg/day estriol (E3) cyclically and 0.8 g/day of calcium lactate continuously. BMDs at L2-L4 were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
Results: The BMD increased 1.79% (p < 0.01 vs. pretreatment) after 50 weeks, accompanied with decrease of biochemical markers of bone turnover. With regard to climacteric symptoms, Kupperman's menopausal index improved (p < 0.01 vs. pretreatment) after 5 weeks of treatment. As to the incidence of adverse events genital bleeding was observed in only 8.0% of the subjects. Endometrial histology and cytology showed neither abnormalities nor hyperplasia during and after the treatment.
Conclusions: Estriol prevented postmenopausal bone loss and improved climacteric symptoms effectively with low incidence of genital bleeding.