Other Considerations Before Choosing A Hormone Patch
Generally, we recommend placing the estradiol patch on an area of skin on your torso or below the waist that is obscured by clothing they should not be applied to the breasts. Heat can make some patches release their estrogen too quickly, which can affect the dosage you receive, so it is recommended that you not use tanning beds or saunas while wearing an estrogen patch. Patches should not be exposed to other high heat or direct sunlight. The hormone patch should be applied to clean, dry skin. If you are someone who regularly applies body lotions or creams, you should not attempt to place a patch after applying moisturizer. It may affect how well the patch adheres to your skin and how the medication from the patch is absorbed.
What Is Estradiol Patch
Estradiol is a form of estrogen, a female sex hormone produced by the ovaries. Estrogen is necessary for many processes in the body.
Estradiol Patches are used to treat certain symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation. Estradiol Patch is also used to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis, or to treat ovarian disorders.
Estradiol Patch may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Oestrogen Formulations And Modes Of Delivery
Oestrogens are available as tablets, skin patches and gels. These products contain different kinds of oestrogen which are all effective in treating menopausal symptoms. There is no clear consensus about which delivery method is best overall, although there are some circumstances where transdermal therapy is preferred.
Patches or gels are better for those who have high triglyceride concentrations, those with hypertension, those who may not absorb tablets adequately and those at increased risk of venous thromboembolic disease . This includes those women who are overweight or smokers . Patch therapy may be better tolerated by women with migraine .
Vaginal oestrogen in creams, pessaries or tablets is available for women with symptomatic vaginal dryness and can be used either alone or in combination with systemic therapy .
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What Is Known About Hormone Therapy And The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Taking combined hormone therapy can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Here are some important findings:
- Taking combination hormone therapy showed a rare increase of absolute risk of less than one additional case of breast cancer per 1000 person years of use.
- There was a nonsignificant reduction in breast cancer seen in women with hysterectomies on estrogen only therapy.
- If youve been diagnosed with breast cancer you should not take systemic hormone therapy.
The Risks Of Oestrogen
Oral oestrogen increases the risk of blood clots . The risk increases with age and other risk factors such as obesity, previous thromboembolism, smoking and immobility. In women less than 60 years, the risk with oral oestrogen alone is 3 per 10,000 per year which is not significantly different from placebo.
- Oral oestrogen increases the risk of stroke and the risk increases with age. Stroke risk is not significantly increased in women younger than 60 years with normal blood pressure. The risk may be lower with lower doses and the use of transdermal oestrogen .
- Oral oestrogen is associated with an increased risk of gallbladder inflammation . There are no data regarding gel or skin patches.
- Oestrogen alone does not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer is primarily associated with combined oestrogen/progestogen therapy and related to the duration of use. Oestrogen alone has not been shown
to increase breast cancer risk in high quality randomized controlled trials . In a large observational study there was no significant increase in breast cancer with oestrogen only therapy for 20 years .
- Oestrogen alone commenced at the time of menopause does not increase the risk of coronary heart disease and may decrease the risk .
- For a fuller discussion of risk and benefit see the AMS Information Sheet Risks and Benefits of Menopausal Hormone Therapy.
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What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is the process of taking hormones when your natural hormone levels are low.
Hormone replacement therapy can help to reduce symptoms associated with low hormones and help to balance your hormone levels and body functions.
Hormone replacement therapy can be used for a variety of hormones, most commonly low insulin, estrogen , testosterone, human growth hormone, and thyroid hormones. Hormone replacement therapy can be used for both men and women.
Hormone replacement therapy comes in different types of applications including topicals like creams, gels, and patches, ingestibles like pill or capsule supplements, injections, and implants.
Not all hormones come in every form, so your doctor will help you to decide which form is best for you based on the hormone that you are taking. Each application type has its own pros and cons and must be weighed to decide if it fits your lifestyle and needs appropriately.
Before Taking/using Oestrogen Hrt
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start oestrogen HRT, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have migraine-like headaches.
- If you have any unexplained vaginal bleeding.
- If you have had breast cancer or any lumps in your breast, or if a close family member has had breast cancer.
- If you or a close family member have ever had a blood clot in the legs or lungs.
- If you have varicose veins, or any swelling of your veins.
- If you have too much sugar in your blood .
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works.
- If you get angina chest pain, or if you have had a heart attack.
- If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
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Why Is There Currently A Shortage Of Some Hrt Medications
Pharmacies first started reporting HRT shortages way back when in May 2020, at the peak of the pandemic. And since then, things have only got worse. This year, around 30 menopause medications had a limited supply. In particular, Oestrogel a popular hormone therapy, lots of women use, because like HRT patches side effects are limited, its easy to use, and considered safer than some other products.
Drug manufacturers have put these shortages down to a spike in demand for HRT that they cant keep up with. Prescriptions for HRT in England have increased by more than 50% since 2017. In 2021 there were 538,000 prescriptions for HRT, compared to 238,000 in January 2017.
The drug companies plan to increase their manufacturing capabilities. But in the meantime, current shortages mean some women cant access the drugs theyve been prescribed. Or have to wait up to 3 months for them. Its not surprising a shady HRT black market has sprung up, and many women have been sharing or swapping the drugs they can get with friends. Once youve found a way to manage your menopause, no one wants to give that up!
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Avoiding The Gi Tract
Absorbing estrogen via a patch instead of by pill means the estrogen bypasses your gastrointestinal tract. When you take oral estrogen tablets, your liver and intestines try to break down some of the medication before the body can absorb the estrogen into the bloodstream and deliver it where it is needed. Using a transdermal medication, like the estradiol patch, bypasses this first pass by the liver, more quickly distributing the medication to the rest of the body. Bypassing the liver and intestines also reduces your risk of developing gallbladder disease or affecting liver function.
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How Long Should I Take Hormone Therapy
In general, there is no time limit to how long you can take hormone therapy. You should take the lowest dose of hormone therapy that works for you, and continue routine monitoring with your healthcare provider to reevaluate your treatment plan each year. If you develop a new medical condition while taking HT, see your provider to discuss if its still safe to continue taking HT.
Hormone Patches For Menopause
They are called transdermal . This is because the hormones in the patch are absorbed through the skin by blood vessels and then delivered throughout the body.
There are two types of patches:
- combination estrogen and progestin patch
There are also low-dose estrogen patches, but these are principally used for reducing osteoporosis risk. They arent used for other menopause symptoms.
Estrogen is the group of hormones produced primarily by the ovaries. It supports and promotes the development, regulation, and maintenance of the female reproductive system and sex characteristics.
Progestin is a form of progesterone, a hormone that affects the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
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How Does This Medication Work What Will It Do For Me
This medication belongs to a group of medications called hormone replacement therapy. It is a patch that contains an estrogen and a progestin .
It is used to manage menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, trouble sleeping, and vulvar and vaginal atrophy in women who still have their uterus intact.
Estrogen and progesterone are female hormones made by the ovaries. At menopause, the amount of estrogen made by the ovaries declines and symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness can occur. Most women reach menopause naturally around the age of 50, but some women may undergo menopause sooner, naturally or due to surgery.
When an estradiol patch is applied to your skin, it releases the hormones into your blood through your skin. The medication is designed for women who have not had a hysterectomy . These women require progestin while using estrogen to prevent complications associated with taking estrogen alone.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
Side Effects Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
If youre going through menopause, hormone replacement therapy might be on your mind. This involves taking doses of female sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, or both. HRT is used to ease the unpleasant symptoms that are typically associated with menopause.
This phase is a normal part of aging. It typically happens between the ages of 45 and 54, and its marked by a drastic drop in estrogen and progesterone. As a result, you might have hot flashes, vaginal discomfort, and mood swings. Your risk for osteoporosis also shoots up.
HRT can reduce these symptoms. However, with that relief comes lots of side effects. Depending on your pre-existing conditions, HRT may or may not be right for you. Before you take the dive, learn about the risks and side effects of hormone replacement therapy.
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Are Hormone Patches Safe
Any type of HRT comes with some associated risks. But in most cases, the benefits of using menopause patches greatly outweigh any potential risks. Discuss your personal and family history and symptoms with your physician before using any type of HRT.
Transdermal estrogens increase the risk of developing blood clots, which is also a risk with most other types of hormonal treatments. This risk is rare in women aged 50 to 59 years old.
Hormone patches could slightly increase the risk of breast cancer if theyre used for 5 or more continuous years. However, the risk decreases once HRT is discontinued. Its very important to carry out routine breast cancer screening whether youre taking HRT or not.
Women who are older than 65 years old could experience an increased risk of dementia while on HRT. Studies have found that using HRT for 5 to 7 years doesnt increase the risk of death. Transdermal hormones carry a lower risk of gallbladder disease than oral hormones.
Although more research is needed, its believed that several natural treatments can help relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Some natural treatments that may help relieve menopause symptoms include:
Can Oestrogen Hrt Cause Problems
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with oestrogen HRT. You will find a full list in the manufacturer’s information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Oestrogen HRT side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sick or being sick||Eat simple meals|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues or is unusually severe, speak with your doctor as soon as possible|
|Dry eyes||If you wear contact lenses, ask your optician for advice if this becomes troublesome|
|Stomach cramps, bloating, weight changes, breast tenderness, fluid retention, rash, changes in sexual desire, mood changes, leg cramps, feeling dizzy. Patches can also cause skin irritation||Speak with your doctor if any of these become troublesome|
|Vaginal thrush||Speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice on a suitable remedy|
If you develop any of the following symptoms, please stop taking/using the HRT and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- Sudden chest pain.
- Sudden breathlessness, or if you cough up blood.
- Swelling or pain in a leg.
- Severe stomach ache.
- An unusually severe headache.
- Any yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes .
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Progesterone Also Helps With Menopause
One of the most troublesome symptoms of menopause is delayed or interrupted sleep.
ability to think clearly during the day.
This study also confirmed the results of earlier trials that showed progesterone had the ability to reduce the severity of night sweats, which can awaken people from an otherwise sound sleep.
Does Hrt Cause Weight Gain
Contrary to popular belief, HRT does not cause weight gain. Changes in weight are typically from menopause and other lifestyle factors. Any noticeable weight gain is usually just bloating and swelling.15
For some women, the benefits may outweigh these side effects. Talk to your doctor to see whats right for you. As always, dont be afraid to express any concerns or hesitations.
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The Benefits Of Oestrogen
- Oestrogen reduces the severity and frequency of hot flushes by around 85%.
- Oestrogen improves vaginal dryness.
- Oestrogen reduces the risk of post-menopausal bone fracture, including hip fracture .
- Oestrogen use is not associated with weight gain .
- Women who go through menopause before 45 years are advised to take oestrogen until the age of average menopause at 50 years. The decision to continue oestrogen beyond 50 should be reviewed annually by the woman in consultation with her doctor .
Help Balance Your Hormones Without Hrt Patches Side Effects:
All the natural ingredients discussed here can be found in the Menopause Day and Menopause Night patches, alongside many other nutrients specifically chosen for their proven abilities to support women during menopause.
Both patches were formulated to gently target menopause symptoms around the clock, with minimal side effects. And theres no issue with stock either! Give them a try and you can get back to the important business of living your best life again. Youve got this.
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How Can I Reduce These Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy
In most cases, these side effects are mild and dont require you to stop your HT. If your symptoms bother you, ask your healthcare provider about adjusting either the dosage or the form of the HT to reduce the side effects. Never make changes in your medication or stop taking it without first consulting your provider.
What Form Does This Medication Come In
140/50 Each round, 9 cm2 patch contains 140 µg of norethindrone acetate and 50 µg of estradiol-17ß. Nonmedicinal ingredients: silicone, acrylic-based adhesive, povidone, oleic acid, and dipropylene glycol.
250/50 Each round, 16 cm2 patch contains 250 µg of norethindrone acetate and 50 µg of estradiol-17ß. Nonmedicinal ingredients: silicone, acrylic-based adhesive, povidone, oleic acid, and dipropylene glycol.
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When To Stop Taking Hrt
Most women are able to stop taking HRT after their menopausal symptoms finish, which is usually two to five years after they start .
Gradually decreasing your HRT dose is usually recommended, rather than stopping suddenly. You may find that your menopausal symptoms come back after you stop HRT, but these should pass within a few months.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. You should have a complete physical exam, including a pelvic exam, at least yearly. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to transdermal estradiol.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are using transdermal estradiol.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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