What is HRT?

Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT is a hormone treatment used to relieve the symptoms of menopause. It includes the hormones oestrogen, often progestogen and in some cases testosterone.

Using HRT is the most effective way to treat symptoms of the perimenopause and menopause, it tops up the hormones that your body is no longer producing.

There are different ways to take the different hormones in HRT and we will tailor make this for you, depending on your choice, your health conditions and your family history. We will recommend the safest preparation and dose for you. Please do talk with us about your preferences, some women love the gel and others don’t. Some women remember to take a tablet every night for 2 weeks of the month and other’s would never remember that, don’t worry, we’ll work together to find the right HRT for you.

Oestrogen – taken daily, trandermally, as a gel, patch, spray or taken as an oral tablet. Very few women use an oestrogen implant. We do not fit oestrogen implants at Rowena Health. The type of oestrogen mostly used is 17 beta-estradiol, which has the same molecular structure as the oestrogen you produce in your body, it is body identical. It is derived from the yam root vegetable.

Progesterone – if you have a uterus (womb), you will need to take a progestogen as well as oestrogen, ­this is known as combined HRT. Oestrogen taken on it’s own can thicken the lining of the womb and increase the risk of uterine cancer; taking a progestogen keeps the lining thin and reverses this risk. The safest type of replacement progestogen is called micronised progesterone called Utrogestan. It is body identical. It comes as a capsule taken orally, at bedtime. Occasionally this progesterone can also be used vaginally, off license, only after discussion with a Dr. An alternative way to receive a progestogen is to have the Mirena coil inserted into your uterus. This is also a very effective contraceptive and it needs replacing every five years. There are other progestogens available as part of oral HRT combined tablets or patches, which we can discuss with you, if necessary.

Testosterone -­ many women during perimenopause and menopause suffer from a lack of sex drive. For some women, that does not cause them any concern, but for others it really upsets them and affects their relationship. If you are taking HRT for a few months and still have a low sex drive which is affecting you then NICE support us to prescribe Testosterone to women, even though it is not licensed to be used, but it can be safely used. Many women report that it helps with other symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog and lack of libido. Testosterone can be beneficial, in addition to the oestrogen in HRT, to bring about further improvements of these particular symptoms.

Local vaginal oestrogen – vaginal oestrogen treatments can be added to your HRT to help if you suffer from vaginal and bladder symptoms. The vulva, vaginal tissues shrink and become dry as we age and can appear like a thinning, wisened prune. Adding oestrogen twice a week into the vagina, as a cream, a tablet, a gel or a little plastic ring keeps those tissues plump and strong and really helps and is very low dose and safe in almost every woman. We will discuss which products is right for you.

These are the oestrogen products that can be absorbed transdermally through the skin to help relieve your symptoms. This is the safest way to take your HRT, as evidence shows that in licensed doses in healthy women there is unlikely to be an increased risk of blood clot. Many women find this a great way to take oestrogen.
These are some different oestrogen patches which can be applied twice weekly, at doses individual to you.
Some women prefer to take the oestrogen part of their HRT as an oral tablet, we can discuss this with you when we look at risks and benefits of HRT. Taking HRT as an oral tablet slightly increases the risk of blood clot.
These are some ways to take the progestogen part of your HRT to protect the lining of the womb from the thickening effect that could occur if you took oestrogen alone. It is important to take progesterone, if it has been prescribed, as taking oestrogen HRT without a progestogen puts you at risk of endometrial cancer.
These are examples of patches which can be used so that both oestrogen and progestogen is absorbed through the skin through the same patch, some women find it easier to take both hormones in a patch. We will discuss if this is right for you.
There are also some oral tablets combining oestrogen and progestogen.

We can discuss which preparation may suit you and your lifestyle best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let us know if you agree to cookies

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. Please let us know if you agree to these cookies.

For a complete overview of all cookies used, please see our privacy policy and our cookie policy