Hormone Replacement Therapy (or HRT) is currently the most common used treatment for menopausal symptoms. As mentioned earlier, during the menopause there is a decline of oestrogen in a woman’s body which results in an hormone imbalance. This method of treatment aims to replace hormones to rebalance this. There are over 50 different types of HRT combinations. This means that there is a range of types (hormone type) and dosage levels which makes it more applicable to a large group of different individuals. If suitable for HRT, individuals will discuss the best combination for them with their practitioner.
Below are the main forms of HRT combinations
Oestrogen on its own
As oestrogen this is the core hormone that declines during this transition to the menopause, it is the main ingredient of all HRT medications.
For those who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), oestrogen alone is most likely the best HRT route to go down. Depending on the individual’s severity of symptoms and general health, the practitioner will advice on the best starting dosage which may change due course.
Oestrogen and Progestogen
For those who have not had a hysterectomy, excess oestrogen can thicken the lining of the womb (endometrium). This can potentially lead to excess growth or cancer. To counteract this, a progestogen is also combined with oestrogen to protect the endometrium.
Furthermore, there are three different types of delivery methods (this is how the medication is taken):
• Orally – as a tablet (via mouth)
• Transdermally – through the skin (takes the form of a patch of gel)
• Implant – it is positioned beneath the skin and provides a slow but steady release of oestrogen throughout a certain period of time
When it comes to vaginal and bladder symptoms, it is worth noting that there are creams or vaginal rings available to provide symptom relief. More information about this can be discussed with your practitioner.
It is very important to note that whilst HRT is considered to be the most effective to many people, it may not be for everybody. Depending on the individual, side effects may arise. It is always important for an individual and their practitioner to discuss the ups and downs of treatments before going ahead. Your health that must be prioritised before anything.
If you opt for this treatment, the nurse will write a prescription and provide it to the specialist pharmacy. Here, it is prepared and compounded for you and delivered to your door within few days.