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Oestrogen Therapy

As the name suggests, HRT works by replacing oestrogen, which naturally begins to fall in the approach to menopause, causing menopausal symptoms. The menopause normally happens between the ages of 45 and 55, although it can occur earlier or later.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is effective in treating several of the most common menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats, vaginal dryness and soreness.

If you have had your womb removed (hysterectomy) then you only need oestrogen HRT therapy. If however you still have your womb you will be given both oestrogen and progestogen this is because the progestogen is used to protect the lining of the womb.

Before taking HRT containing oestrogen and progestogen make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you suffer from migraine-like headaches.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you, or a close relative, has had breast lumps or cancer.
  • If you know you have fibroids in the uterus or endometriosis.
  • If you, or a close relative, has ever suffered from thrombosis (blood clots).
  • If you suffer from varicose veins.
  • If you have prolonged periods of immobilisation (for example if you use a wheelchair or are confined to bed).
  • If you suffer with obesity.
  • If you have just had a major trauma or been in an accident.
  • If you have any surgical operations planned, or have just had an operation.
  • If you have angina or have recently had a heart attack.
  • If you have any vaginal bleeding for which the cause has not been found.
  • If you have liver problems.
  • If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.

Before taking HRT containing oestrogen only make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:.

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have any vaginal bleeding other than your normal monthly period.
  • If you suffer from liver or heart problems.
  • If you suffer from breast or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the womb).
  • If you suffer from thrombosis (a blood clot) or have a history of thrombosis.
  • If you have had a blood clot of an artery (e.g. stroke or heart attack).
  • If you suffer from diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes), or porphyria (blood disorder).
  • If you suffer from migraines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.

Side Effects

Everyone’s reaction to a medicine is different. You may experience some of the side effects listed below or none at all. If you are having problems with this medicine, it’s important to tell your GP immediately.

  • Feeling of being sick
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach cramps, bloating, weight changes, breast tenderness, rash, changes in sexual desire, mood changes, leg cramps.

Important:

If you experience pain in your chest that spreads to your neck and arm, contact your doctor immediately.

If you experience swelling in your leg or a sudden pain in your chest with difficulty breathing, contact your doctor straight away.

If you experience yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, or swelling of the mouth or face, contact your doctor straight away.

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