HOW DO YOU TAKE HRT?

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.

One option: tablet and gel

other option

The other option is as a gel which comes in either daily individual sachets or via a pump dispenser. The gel as you can see in the video is easy to apply and quickly absorbed. Apply each measure on each arm or thigh.
HRT is either given as oestrogen alone if woman has had a hysterectomy or has a Mirena coil inserted, or in combination with a progestogen if a woman still has an intact uterus. The progestogen component differs according to each product. There is currently only one licensed progesterone which is ’body identical’ which can be taken as a capsule either orally or inserted in the vagina as a pessary.
If a woman still has a uterus then during the perimenopause the HRT offered is called sequential and will mimic a natural menstrual cycle and give a regular withdrawal bleed. Postmenopausal women should be taking bleed free HRT that is a referred to as continuous combined.
The aim with all forms of HRT is to control symptoms at the lowest effective dose, so if you are particularly sensitive to hormones you can start at a low dose and review your response to treatment at three months.

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