How is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) taken?
There are many ways of taking HRT, with the most usual being a daily tablet. Alternatives include skin patches, a small pellet or implant under the skin, a gel applied daily to the skin, a ring inserted into the vagina, or a nasal spray.
Oral forms: There are many prescription preparations available that contain estrogen. Some have additional
progesterone, which is either incorporated in the same tablet or taken separately. Estrogen can be taken every day, in 28-day cycles. Typically, a progestin is added for the last 10 to 14 days in each cycle. This combination causes monthly bleeding, similar to a period, even in women who have not had one for years. Bleeding usually begins after the last progestin tablet is taken. For women who are several years past menopause, estrogen and progesterone can be taken every day continuously. This usually avoids monthly bleeding, which is a common reason why women elect to discontinue HRT. With this option, the lining of the uterus remains healthy because the continuous progesterone keeps it from becoming thickened.
Implants: The estrogen implant is a small pellet containing pure estrogen. It is inserted under the skin of the abdomen or buttock. A woman receives a local anesthetic during insertion. The implant allows estrogen to gradually be absorbed into the bloodstream. It is effective for four to eight months. Most women with implants also take progestin tablets the first 10 days of each month.
Skin patches: Transparent adhesive patches containing estrogen, or a combination of estrogen and progestin, can be applied on the skin below the waist, such as on the hip. The patches release the hormones directly into the skin. Patches are usually changed once or twice a week.
Estrogen creams: Estrogen creams can be used for local treatment of vaginal dryness and irritation. The cream is applied inside the vagina and travels into the bloodstream.
Estrogen gel: A gel is available that is applied to the skin once or twice daily. It contains estrogen that is readily absorbed by the body. Some women feel that they are more in control of their hormone therapy with a gel, and they find it convenient and easy to use. As with the cream, estrogen gel can relieve menopause symptoms but does not provide protection against osteoporosis.
More information on menopause
What is menopause? - Menopause is a stage of the human female reproductive cycle that occurs as the ovaries stop producing estrogen, causing the reproductive system to gradually shut down.
When does menopause occur? - Most premenopausal women experience changes in their menstrual cycle. Perimenopause is the phase before menopause actually takes place, when ovarian hormone production is declining and fluctuating, causing a host of symptoms.
What are the signs and symptoms of menopause? - The symptoms of menopause can be divided into early and late onset symptoms. Early symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, hot flashes, and mood changes. Late symptoms include vaginal dryness and irritation, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
What causes menopause? - Menopause occurs when the ovaries are totally depleted of eggs and no amount of stimulation from the regulating hormones can force them to work.
What is premature menopause? - Premature menopause is menopause that happens before the age of 40 - whether it is natural or induced.
What is perimenopause? - Perimenopause is the stage of a woman's life before menopause. The perimenopause is a normal period of transition between the childbearing years and menopause.
What is postmenopause? - Postmenopause is the time when most of the transitional stress of menopause has passed. Since postmenopausal women produce less estrogen, there are some symptoms that they might experience.
What are the treatment options for menopause? - Treatments for menopause can be divided based on those symptoms that are present in a given woman at a specific time. The standard of treatment for menopausal symptoms is replacement of one or both of the major female hormones.
What is hormone replacement therapy (HRT)? - Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment for women who have reached or passed menopause, which often is referred to as "the change of life."
What are the benefits of hormone replacement therapy? - The benefits of hormone replacement therapy include controlling menopause symptoms, preventing heart disease, preventing osteoporosis, preventing some hard-to-detect female cancers.
What are the risk factors for hormone replacement therapy? - Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) risks and possible side effects include increased risk of cancers, blood clots, gallbladder disease, and heart attack or stroke.
What hormones are used in hormone replacement therapy? - The menopause is associated with a relative lack of oestrogens and progestogens. Replacement therapy always requires oestrogens, which are given continuously.
How is hormone replacement therapy taken? - There are many ways of taking HRT, including a daily tablet, skin patches, a small pellet or implant under the skin, a gel applied daily to the skin, or a nasal spray.
What is natural hormone replacement therapy? - Natural hormone replacement therapy (NHRT) is a combination of human estrogens and natural human progesterone.
What are herbal remedies for menopause? - Some women take herbal, natural, or plant-based products to help their symptoms. Wort and chasteberry may help some women with depressed mood.
What is estrogen replacement therapy (ERT)? - Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) is therapy to replace estrogen no longer made by a woman's body because she is post-menopausal or her ovaries have been damaged or removed.
What menopause diet is suggested? - Eating right can definitely ease the various discomforts of menopause including hot flashes, bloating and mood swings.