Oestrogen is made in the body in the ovaries, adrenal glands and in fatty tissue. There are various forms of oestrogen made, but It is the ‘oestradiol’ form of oestrogen, primarily produced by the ovaries, that circulates around the body and is actively responsible for all of its essential functions observed in multiple tissues across the body (including uterus, vagina, brain, bones, muscle, blood vessels and heart). During the perimenopause and menopause the egg follicle reserves contained within the ovaries are depleted. It is the declining oestrogen levels that results in the range of symptoms that women can experience.
HRT can be taken by various methods depending on personal choice and taking account personal medical background and risk factors. Most HRT that is commonly prescribed contains the same oestrogen component, 17 Beta Oestradiol, which is identical in chemical structure to the oestrogen that the ovaries produce and so is referred to be some clinicians as “body identical”.
This can be prescribed in the form of a tablet, patch or gels (pump dispenser or sachets) and either individually or sometimes as a combination of these.
Sometimes it is suitable that the oestrogen component of HRT is delivered ‘transdermally’ through the skin rather than given orally. Women can either apply a weekly or twice weekly patch which is placed below the waist on clean dry skin which should remain in place during bathing or showering.