For those of you thinking of taking HRT, it’s crucial to understand what is available and which method is right for you. Understanding the options will enable you to have a constructive talk with your GP as HRT can be taken in several different ways.
One of the most popular methods of taking HRT is by taking a tablet, usually once per day. Combined HRT tablets and oestrogen-only are available and for some women, this may be the simplest and easiest way of taking treatment.
Skin patches are another common method of taking HRT. You stick them onto your skin and replace them every couple of days. For some people, patches can be a more suitable option than tablets as it can be an inconvenience taking a tablet every day. Applying skin patches can also help bypass some side effects of HRT, such as indigestion.
This form of HRT is getting increasingly popular with women. The gel is applied to the skin once a day and is received by the body. Similarly to skin patches, this can be a handy way of taking HRT while bypassing a small risk of some side effects such as slight blood clotting.
HRT can be provided in small pellet-like implants which are inserted under your skin with the use of local anaesthetic, although these aren’t widely used or available. The implant releases oestrogen over time and can stay in their position for many months before needing to be replaced. This can be a suitable option if you don’t want to worry about taking treatment every day or every other day.
Oestrogen is likewise available as a pessary, ring or cream that is placed inside your vagina. These can help relieve vaginal dryness, although they won’t help hot flushes, so make sure to choose an HRT method that is right for you. They can also be used without using progestogen even if you still have a womb.