HRT is designed to replace the hormones oestrogen and progesterone that decrease during the menopause. HRT treatments derive these hormones from different sources:
- Oestrogen is taken from plants or other sources.
- Progesterone is available synthetically (artificially) produced in a form that is easier for the body to absorb. Also in a body identical form called Utrogestan.
There are more than fifty different HRT preparations available and deciding which treatment is appropriate can be difficult. Usually, a low dose of hormone treatment is recommended to begin with. This will help minimise any side-effects and will allow for the dose to be increased if a lower dose has proven ineffective. It is advised to persevere with hormone replacement treatment for a few months before concluding whether the treatment has worked well for you. The different types of HRT treatment are outlined below:
Oestrogen-only HRT: This is only recommended for women who have had a hysterectomy. Taking oestrogen on its own carries an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer (cancer of the womb or uterus). However, if the womb has been removed via a hysterectomy then this is no longer a concern.
Examples include: Climaval (discontinued), Elleste-Solo, Progynova, Zumenon, Evorel, Estradot, FemSeven and Premarin.
Cyclical HRT: This type of treatment can also be referred to as sequential HRT. Usually, this form of HRT is recommended for those suffering from the symptoms of menopause but who are still experiencing their periods. There are two different types of sequential hormone replacement therapy:
- Monthly cyclical HRT is where oestrogen is taken every day and progestogen is taken at the end of your period for 12-14 days. Monthly cyclical HRT is recommended for women who experience regular periods.
- Three monthly cyclical HRT involves taking oestrogen every day and progestogen for 12-14 days, every 13 weeks. This form of HRT treatment is recommended for women who experience irregular periods.
Continuous combined HRT treatment: This form of HRT treatment is recommended for post-menopausal women. A woman is classed as being post-menopausal if they haven’t had a period for a year. Continuous combined HRT treatment involves taking oestrogen and progestogen every day without a break.
It is advised that women who are on HRT long-term should consider using topical treatments, such as gels or patches, as the risk of using these treatments long-term has been shown to be very low.
The HRT treatments available from The Independent Pharmacy are:
Elleste Solo 1mg tablets, Elleste Solo 2mg tablets, Elleste Duet 1mg tablets, Elleste Duet 2mg tablets, Elleste Duet Conti tablets, Evorel patches, Femoston, Kliofem, Kliovance, Livial tablets, Novofem, Premarin 0.625mg tablets, Premarin 1.25mg tablets, and Premique Low Dose tablets.
HRT treatments from The Independent Pharmacy must be repeated supplies of an HRT treatment that has been prescribed by your doctor previously and is still appropriate.