Hormone Replacement therapy (HRT) is a commonly prescribed treatment for menopausal symptoms. As the name suggests, it replaces the hormones that are lost during the menopause.
Not every woman is suitable for HRT. Your healthcare professional will make an assessment of your symptoms and counsel you on what the best treatment is for you.
HRT is available in different types, formulations and can be taken via different routes.
There are three main routes - your doctor or healthcare professional will discuss with you, which route is the most appropriate for you.
Orally via the mouth as a tablet
Transdermal (through the skin) methods. They can take the form of an adhesive patch, gel or spray
For vaginal and bladder symptoms, oestrogen can be taken as a small vaginal tablet, pessary, cream or vaginal
ring inserted within the vagina
WHAT DOES HRT DO?
HRT helps to relieve the symptoms caused by oestrogen deficiency in women — such as hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and osteoporosis and other menopausal symptoms.
WHAT’S RIGHT FOR ME?
Every woman is an individual and the HRT that will best suit you will depend on your individual circumstances, including your stage in the menopausal process, and whether or not you’ve had a hysterectomy. There are many types of different HRT treatments; it is essential that you understand both the short and long-term benefits and risks of each to ensure that you maintain the best possible health and quality of life at every stage of the menopause.
Your healthcare professional will discuss the HRT options with you and you both should make a decision based on your individual needs.
Remember, not every woman is suitable for HRT. Your healthcare professional will assess you and counsel you on what the best treatment option is for you, that is individualised to your needs.
WHAT’S IN HRT?
Most HRT contains two hormones – an oestrogen and progestogen. The oestrogen helps relieve the symptoms of the menopause, whereas the progestogen is there to protect the lining of your womb (uterus).
The core ingredient of all forms of HRT is oestrogen. Oestrogen relieves symptoms such as hot flushes, prevents vaginal symptoms and some strengths of oestrogen can help to maintain bone health.
Women who have had their womb removed may be able to take oestrogen only HRT. Your healthcare professional will decide which treatment is best for you.
Oestrogen only HRT comes in different strengths and different formulations. It is available as a tablet, patch, spray or gel.