Menopause can cause lots of different symptoms that can be hard to manage daily. Hot flushes, vaginal dryness and night sweats are just some of the problems you can face and it can seem like they’re here to stay.
However, hormone replacement therapies (HRT) like Femoston aim to alleviate your symptoms and help you get back to doing what you love. But does Femoston have any side effects? Learn more about this type of HRT and discover how its side effects could impact you.
What is Femoston?
Femoston is a type of combined-HRT made from estradiol and dydrogesterone, both synthetic versions of oestrogen and progesterone. Femoston aims to relieve menopause symptoms by replenishing your oestrogen levels that have decreased due to menopause. Dydrogesterone is added to the medication to help prevent endometrial cancer, as taking just estradiol (oestrogen) can increase your risk.
Femoston is slightly different from other combined HRTs as you take an estradiol-only tablet for 14 days before moving onto one that contains both hormones for the next 14 days. This is so the HRT mimics your natural menstrual cycle as much as possible — hopefully reducing side effects.
Femoston side effects
All types of HRT have some side effects, and that includes Femoston. The side effects can be common, uncommon, and mild or severe. Some women can also have allergic reactions to the medication, but this is very rare.
Let’s take a look at some of the Femoston side effects.
Weight gain is often associated with HRT and it is possible you could gain a few pounds while taking Femoston. However, this tends to be caused by water retention rather than gaining fat or muscle. Weight gain can also be caused by lifestyle changes during and after menopause — causing it to be falsely attributed to the HRT that you’re taking.
However, if you notice a lot of weight gain while taking Femoston and you haven’t changed your diet or exercise, speak with your GP for further support.
Many women wonder if HRT can cause bleeding as it’s often likened to the contraceptive pill. Sometimes, taking Femoston can cause breakthrough or irregular bleeding during the first three to six months you take it. However, this usually stops after six months as your body has become more adjusted to the hormones.
If you’re still bleeding after six months or are heavily bleeding while taking it, speak with your doctor for advice.
Migraines and headaches
A common side effect of taking Femoston is headaches or migraines. These can occur because of the hormone fluctuations your body is experiencing — triggering a headache or migraine.
It’s important to remember a regular headache or migraine is a normal side effect. But if it comes on suddenly or is severe, you need to seek medical attention
Mood swings are a common symptom of menopause and taking HRT could help alleviate them. However, Femoston can possibly cause changes to your mood such as low moods, anxiety and even depression. These feelings can be short-lived as your body adjusts to the increased hormones.
If you are feeling suicidal or your depression or anxiety is getting worse, always reach out for support and speak with your doctor.
Other side effects
As well as the above side effects, there are a few other common ones that can occur such as:
- Back pain
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Increased vaginal discharge — although this can be helpful when trying to combat dryness
- Feeling tired or unwell
- Swelling in your fingers, ankles or feet
Some less common side effects can develop when taking Femoston too. These can include:
- Changes to your libido
- Weight loss
- Varicose veins
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Vaginal thrush
Severe or high-risk side effects
Some side effects are more severe than others and they can often require immediate medical attention and treatment. However, it’s worth noting that these side effects are rare.
Severe, rare side effects can include:
- High blood pressure
- Allergic asthma
- Liver disorders including jaundice
- Gallbladder disease
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Brain tumour
- Haemolytic anaemia
If you experience any severe side effects, call 999 immediately.
As well as side effects, there are some potential increased risks when taking Femoston. Taking combined-HRT can slightly increase your risk of breast cancer, depending on how long you take it. There is also a slightly increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. However, this type of cancer is a lot rarer than breast cancer in general.
The risk of blood clots is 1.3 to 3 times higher in women who take Femoston, so you must have regular checkups with your doctor so that they can monitor your side effects. The risk of stroke is also 1.5 times higher.
If you have any concerns about the increased risks when taking Femoston, speak with your doctor and they will be able to advise if it’s the right HRT for you.
Femoston can be a useful HRT to take when trying to alleviate menopause symptoms. However, it is important to be aware of the side effects it could have on your body. If you’re unsure about taking Femoston or are struggling with the side effects, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. They can provide you with the medical support you need.