Menopause symptoms can be debilitating to deal with. With symptoms ranging from hot flushes to vaginal dryness and low moods, it’s no wonder so many women seek relief. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of the most popular solutions for menopause symptoms and there are lots of options available. However, which ones are the best and available in the UK?
Find out with reviews.healthcare and discover the best HRT in the UK.
What is HRT?
HRT is a type of treatment used for menopause symptoms and it’s made of synthetic hormones. These hormones mimic the ones lost due to menopause. It can come in many different forms too, such as:
With so many different options, it can seem impossible to choose just one. However, once you know what your body needs and speak with your doctor, the choice should be clear.
Side effects of HRT
All medications can have side effects, including HRT. But they are manageable and usually resolve themselves within the first few weeks of taking them.
Side effects can include:
- Water retention
- Low mood
- Vaginal bleeding
How to get HRT in the UK
In the UK, HRT is available on prescription with only specific brands being available over-the-counter. There are also wellness brands that offer HRT online. With these brands you will need to complete questionnaires about your health so their medical professionals can make sure it’s the right dose and type for you.
HRT can be oestrogen-only. Women who have had their uterus or ovaries removed are the only ones recommended oestrogen-only HRT for menopause symptoms. Estradiol is the synthetic version of oestrogen and is commonly used in these treatments.
Oestrogel is a topical HRT gel you apply directly to your skin. This HRT is said to alleviate hot flushes, vaginal dryness and mood swings. You will need a prescription for the gel because it contains a total amount of 750 mg of estradiol. This is a relatively high dose.
When you apply Oestrogel to your body, the estradiol is absorbed into your bloodstream and raises your oestrogen levels to minimise your menopause symptoms.
Estradot is an HRT patch with different strengths — 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg. To determine which strength is right for you, you’ll need to speak with your GP. You only need to use two patches a week, making it a lot easier to get your dose without trying to remember to take a tablet every day.
Progynova is an oestrogen-only HRT tablet that comes as 1 mg or 2 mg in strength. These are taken once a day at the same time every day and you won’t take a break when you finish the packet.
Combined HRT is where there is more than oestrogen in the treatment, with the most common addition being norethisterone acetate. This is given to women who haven’t had their ovaries or uterus removed as taking oestrogen on its own can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Femoston is available on prescription and comes in different strengths. It can contain 0.5 mg or 1 mg of estradiol and 2.5 mg or 5 mg of dydrogesterone (another type of synthetic progesterone). Femoston dosage is slightly different to other HRT tablets as you need to take the estradiol-only tablets for 14 days, then switch to the tablets that contain both estradiol and dydrogesterone for the last 14 days.
This split dosage aims to mimic your natural menstrual cycle and hopefully reduce side effects while effectively relieving menopause symptoms.
Kliovance contains 1 mg of estradiol and 0.5 mg of norethisterone acetate (synthetic progesterone) and is taken for 28 days straight before continuing onto your next pack without a break. Kliovance has a lower dose of hormones so hopefully, you don’t experience as many side effects.
If you find that Kliovance isn’t strong enough for your symptoms, then Kliofem can be tried instead. Kliofem contains 2 mg of estradiol and 1 mg of norethisterone acetate to help you manage your menopause symptoms with ease. Again, Kliofem is taken once a day at the same time and you don’t take any breaks when prescribed it — unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
There are so many different types of HRT available in the UK, that finding the right one for you is a conversation best had with your doctor. Whether you want to see your hot flushes reduced or stabilise your mood swings, HRT could be a possible solution for you.