Menopause is a natural part of the ageing process for many women, but the stages before menopause (peri-menopause) and menopause itself can lead to many uncomfortable symptoms, which is when HRT medications can provide much-needed relief. However, not only can menopause cause issues such as stress incontinence, hot flushes, night sweats, changes in sex drive and mood, but it can also increase a women’s risk of osteoporosis, especially if she has experienced menopause prematurely.
The main aim of HRT is to replace oestrogen lost, because the body doesn’t produce this hormone as it should just before and after menopause. It does this either by supplying the body with oestrogen or with medications that act just like oestrogen, although some medications also include progestogen, which is used to prevent endometrial cancer in women with a uterus. Although there are a number of oestrogen treatments that can be used, there are specific groups of medications often recommended to women suffering from menopausal symptoms.
Estradiol is a form of natural oestrogen, similar to conjugated oestrogens used in other HRT treatments, although it can be present in higher doses in some treatments. It simply works by replacing oestrogen levels lost during menopause. Estradiol can be administered orally or transdermally (via the skin) and is mostly taken with a combination of progestogen, depending on whether a patient has had a hysterectomy or not. HRT treatments with estradiol include:
- Evorel (estradiol)
- Evorel Sequi and Evorel Conti (estradiol and progestogen)
- Elleste Solo and Elleste Solo MX (estradiol only)
- Elleste Duet and Elleste Duet Conti (estradiol and progestogen)
- Kliovance (estradiol and progestogen)
Conjugated oestrogen treatments
Conjugated oestrogens are used in HRT, as they are found to be more effective compared to the synthetic oestrogens used in contraception, although some synthetic oestrogens are used in osteoporosis prophylaxis. Just like estradiol, a combination of conjugated oestrogens can be used with or without progestogen depending on the patient. Treatments with conjugated oestrogen are:
- Premarin (conjugated oestrogens only)
- Premique and Premique Low Dose (conjugated oestrogens and progestogen)
- Prempak C (conjugated oestrogens and progestogen)
Tibolone is an anabolic steroid, and doesn't contain actual hormones or hormone derivatives like some other HRT treatments. Tibilone has properties of oestrogen, progestogen and testosterone and isn’t normally recommended to women who are perimenopausal or for at least 12 months after the last menstrual period. It’s normally only recommended for short term treatment of oestrogen deficiency and osteoporosis prevention and can provide relief from symptoms such as night sweats, hot flushes, vaginal dryness or itching and low sex drive. An example of a widely used tibolone HRT treatment is:
- Livial (tibolone)
Ordering HRT treatment
If you have already been prescribed an HRT treatment, HealthExpress can provide you with a safe and convenient way to get your medication online. Simply start the process with an online consultation today. All consultations are reviewed by one of our registered doctors first, after which you’ll be provided with a chance to complete your order. Once your order has been completed your medication will be dispensed by our pharmacist and shipped for next-day delivery. Alternatively, for London locations, delivery can be arranged to be the same day.