Hormone replacement therapy (or HRT) is the term given to medication that works to replace the female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone in women as a way of easing the symptoms of the menopause. As a woman approaches the menopause, these hormone levels begin to drop.
HRT can bring relief to women by restoring the levels of the depleted hormones and helping to reduce the chance of unwanted and uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, reduced libido, difficulty sleeping and more.
The hormone oestrogen helps to release eggs from the ovaries, as well as regulating periods and aiding conception. It is a reduction in oestrogen which causes many menopause symptoms and why all HRT medicines contain this hormone.
The primary function of the hormone progesterone is to prepare a woman’s womb for pregnancy. In addition, it offers protection for the lining of the womb, known as the endometrium.
A drop in progesterone has little effect compared to decreasing levels of oestrogen. However, women who take oestrogen-only HRT are at an increased risk of womb cancer, which is why some HRT therapies contain synthetic versions of both hormones.
If you have had a hysterectomy (an operation to remove the womb) you do not require progesterone and can take oestrogen-only HRT.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can come in tablet form, patches, gels or an implant. It is important to discuss your menopausal symptoms with your doctor first, to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Your doctor can then suggest suitable a HRT for you based on your situation and medical history. We have a wide range of different HRT treatments to buy online, so you can be sure to find the right one for you.
Unless told otherwise by their doctor, most women will usually take HRT for around 2-5 years, with the dose gradually being lowered before it’s time for the treatment to end. Moreover, HRT does not act as a contraceptive, so if you are still getting menstrual cycles whilst on HRT, you will need to take your usual precautionary measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies.