Hormone Replacement Therapy

As women approach menopause, the level of female hormones begins to drop. This results in uncomfortable symptoms like vaginal dryness, low sex drive and hot flushes. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) replenishes these female hormones and relieves the symptoms effectively.

 

51 years 1 in 10 51%
old is the average age for a woman to reach the menopause in the UK women experience menopause before they reach age 40 of women surveyed said that menopause had affected their sex lives

 

Hormone Replacement Therapy

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Elleste Duet

Elleste Duet, a combined HRT treatment helps treat symptoms of menopause. It contains two active ingredients that resemble principal female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone. They can cure a variety of menopausal symptoms from vaginal dryness to extreme mood swings.

£32.99
Elleste Solo

Elleste Solo is a prescription-based medication recommended to menopausal women who are experiencing the side effects of diminishing oestrogen levels in their body. It contains estradiol hemihydrate, an estrogen-like hormone which effectively overcomes vaginal dryness, hot flashes and mood swings.

£29.99
Elleste Solo MX

Elleste Solo MX is a patch-based Hormone Replacement Therapy. The patch restores the dropping oestrogen levels during menopause, by supplying the same to the body directly through the skin. It is an ideal treatment option for women who have undergone a hysterectomy.

£19.99
Estradot

Estradot is a Hormone Replacement Therapy. It contains a synthetic form of oestrogen called estradiol, this method of HRT can be safely used by all women as part of various regimes. Estradot is a first line treatment for women who no longer have a uterus (those who have had a hysterectomy). The medicine is applied as a patch and only needs to be changed twice a week.

£22.99
Evorel

Evorel patches are a type of Hormone Replacement Therapy. These patches contain a form of oestrogen called estradiol in various strengths that release gradually whilst you have them on ranging from 25 mcg per hour, 50mcg per hour, 75mcg per hour up to 100mcg per hour. The hormone passes through the skin into the body and spreads to give you relief from your symptoms.

£14.99
Evorel Conti

Evorel Conti patches are a continuous combined Hormone Replacement Therapy. They are called this because both the active ingredients combined in them get released continuously. The active ingredients are estradiol and norethisterone. This supplement the reduction in female sex hormones during menopause.

£34.99

Menopause occurs when a woman's ovaries stop producing and releasing an egg every month. This means that the woman will no longer have monthly menstruation, nor will she be able to conceive. On average, menopause occurs in women in their 50s. However, some women go through menopause in their 40s and a small percentage of women, in their 30s.

Menopause is not the same for all women. Depending on the severity, the symptoms vary. Some of the symptoms that significantly affect a woman's quality of life include:  

  • Vaginal dryness 

  • Hot flushes 

  • Low sex drive 

  • Issues with memory 

  • Insomnia and night sweats 

  • Anxiety and inability to focus 

Hormone replacement therapy (also known as HRT) is a treatment taken by women when they begin to show signs of menopause. HRT treatments are designed to replenish the female hormones, which the menopausal women have stopped producing. HRT helps relieve the menopausal symptoms and allow the body to return to normal. 

The menopause medication contains the female hormones – oestrogen and progestogen. Oestrogen is responsible for many functions in a woman's body. When the level of this hormone drops, the woman starts experiencing menopause symptoms. A drop in the oestrogen level can also lead to osteoporosis. Therefore, it is important to keep these hormone levels up. HRT medication replenishes these hormones and wards off the uncomfortable symptoms.  

The hormone progestogen is responsible for maintaining womb health and keeping certain cancers at bay. A drop in this hormone doesn't cause the menopause symptoms, but it's important to keep these hormones at a healthy level for better uterus health. However, if the woman has already had a hysterectomy (uterus removal), she can take an oestrogen-only HRT medication. 

The main benefit of HRT is that it helps alleviate most of the symptoms of menopause, such as:  

  • Night sweats 

  • Hot flushes 

  • Vaginal dryness 

  • Mood swings 

  • Reduced sex drive 

  • The weakening of the bones. Osteoporosis is very common after menopause 

HRT may not be suitable in women with:  

  • A history of?ovarian cancer?breast cancer, or?womb (uterus) cancer 

  • A history of?heart disease?or?stroke 

  • A history of?blood clots 

  • Liver disease 

  • Untreated?high blood pressure. The blood pressure has to be controlled before you can start HRT.  

  • Pregnancy 

HRT Hormones 

HRT?replaces the hormones that a menopausal woman is no longer producing. HRT uses two hormones: 

  • Oestrogen: Types of oestrogen are oestradiol, estrone, and estriol 

  • Progestogen: Synthetic version of the hormone?progesterone are medroxyprogesterone, norethisterone, dydrogesterone, and levonorgestrel

HRT treatment involves taking both these hormones, called combined HRT or just taking hormone oestrogen, called as oestrogen-only HRT.

Most women are prescribed combined HRT because taking oestrogen-only HRT can increase the risk of developing endometrial (womb) cancer. When HRT is combined with progestogen, it minimises the risk.

However, oestrogen-only HRT is usually prescribed for women whose womb has already been removed during a?hysterectomy.

HRT can be taken in different forms. Talk to your GP to decide on the best HRT form of treatment for you.

Tablets?

Tablets are usually taken once a day and are one of the most common forms of HRT. Both oestrogen-only and combined HRT medications are available as tablets.

Skin Patches 

Skin patches are also a convenient form of taking HRT. You just have to stick them to your skin and replace them every few days. Both oestrogen-only and combined HRT?patches are available. 

Oestrogen Gel

Like skin patches, oestrogen gel is a convenient way of taking HRT. But, if you still have your uterus, you'll have to take progestogen separately to reduce the risk of womb cancer. 

Implants

These small pellet-like implants are inserted under?your skin (usually in the?tummy area) after your skin is numbed with local anaesthesia. 

The implant?releases oestrogen gradually and lasts for several months before needing a replacement. But if you still have your uterus, you'll need to take progestogen too. 

Vaginal oestrogen 

Vaginal oestrogen is available in various forms that can be placed inside your vagina:  

  • Creams 

  • Tablets 

  • Rings 

  • Pessaries 

Vagina oestrogen helps in relieving vaginal dryness, but not other symptoms like hot flushes. It doesn't carry the usual HRT risks of breast cancer. Hence, it can be taken without progestogen, even if you still have your uterus.

The HRT medications available at MedsNow are:  

EllestePremique, Lival, FemostonEvorelSequiEvorel Conti, EvorelEstradotElleste, Solo MX, Elleste Duet, Zumenon 

Oestrogen-Only HRT: This treatment routine is only recommended for women who have had their womb removed (hysterectomy). Taking oestrogen alone carries a risk of developing endometrial cancer. But in women with no womb, this is not a concern.

Cyclical (or Sequential) HRT: This HRT treatment routine is usually recommended for women who are taking combined HRT for the menopausal symptoms but still have their?periods. 

Cyclical HRT is of two types:

  • Monthly HRT: Monthly HRT is recommended for women having regular periods. Oestrogen has to be taken every day, and progestogen has to be taken for the last 14 days?of your menstrual cycle.

  • 3-Monthly HRT: This HRT treatment routine is recommended for women who have irregular periods (you should have a period every 3 months). Oestrogen has to be taken every day, and progestogen has to be taken for around 14 days every 3 months.

Continuous Combined HRT

If a woman hasn't had her periods for a year, she is classed as being a post-menopausal woman. Continuous combined HRT is usually prescribed for post-menopausal women. In continuous combined HRT, the woman has to take oestrogen and progestogen every day without a break.

Some HRT side effects include:  

  • bloating

  • fluid retention

  • depression?

  • headaches

  • breast tenderness or swelling

Possible health risks associated with the administration of HRT include: 

  • An increased risk of endometrial cancer?(only if the woman still has her uterus and is not taking a progestogen along with oestrogen) 

  • Increased risk of blood clots and stroke  

  • Increased chance of gallstone/gallbladder problems 

  • Increased risk of dementia if HRT initiated after the woman has been in menopause for 10 years 

Does HRT cause weight gain? Most women believe that taking HRT will make them gain weight, but there is no evidence that supports that claim. Weight gain is common during menopause, whether or not you are on HRT. However, eating healthy and exercising regularly can help you lose unwanted weight. 

Where to put the HRT patch? Apply the patch?to a clean, dry, oil-free and hair-free area of the upper buttock or lower stomach. Keep the patch firmly pressed for 10 seconds.  

How long do HRT side effects last? When HRT treatment begins, you may experience side effects such as nausea, leg cramps and breast tenderness. These side effects may disappear with 6 to 8 weeks.  

Can I buy HRT over the counter UK? No. HRT is a prescription-only medication.  

What age can you start hormone therapy? Hormone replacement therapy should be started before the age of?60?or within?10 years?of menopause. 

What are the alternatives to HRT? The alternatives to HRT can be broadly classified as: 

  • Herbal medicine: Plants and plant extracts are used to relieve the symptoms. For e.g. St John's Wort or evening primrose oil 

  • Non-hormonal medical treatments: Doctor prescribed medicines such as antidepressants 

  • Alternative medicine: Instead of conventional medicines, a wide range of therapies such as acupressure, homoeopathy, and acupuncture are used. For e.g. aromatherapy with HRT 

Does HRT make breasts bigger? Your breast?density may increase when you are on hormone replacement therapy. The combination of oestrogen and progestogen?increases breast?density more than oestrogen alone.

How will I feel when I am on HRT? When you start taking HRT, you may feel some side effects such as nausea, breast tenderness, and leg cramps. 

Is HRT gel better than patches? Oestrogen?gel is a popular form of HRT. It has to be rubbed onto the skin once a day. Like skin patches, HRT gel is a convenient form of HRT, and it does not increase the risk of blood clots.  

At what age should a woman stop taking hormone replacement therapy? If you are over 59years or have been on HRT for 5 years, talk to your doctor about quitting HRT.

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