Compare Femoston with other HRTs

If you’re currently experiencing menopause symptoms, then you might be considering hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

The symptoms of the menopause can vary in severity and can have an impact on everyday life. But HRT can help with these symptoms by replacing the hormones that decline during menopause.

Active ingredient
Available doses
Form
Lasts for
Made/marketed by
Pharmacy status
Prices starting at
Works in
Femoston

Femoston

Estradiol/Dydrogesterone

Comes as a continuous or sequential tablet, depending on whether you're still having periods.

See treatment  
Estradiol/dydrogesterone
1mg/10mg; 2mg/10mg
Tablet
24 hours
Mylan
£51.95
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Evorel

Evorel

Estradiol

Oestrogen-only HRT patches that help ease menopause symptoms.

See treatment  
Estradiol
25mcg/24hr; 50mcg/24hr; 100mcg/24hr; 75mcg/24hr; 100mcg/24hr
Skin patch
-
-
£33.95
Provera (HRT)

Provera (HRT)

Medroxyprogesterone acetate

Progestogen-only tablet to help symptoms of menopause. To be taken alongside an oestrogen for a combined HRT.

See treatment  
Medroxyprogesterone acetate
5mg; 10mg
Tablet
-
-
£32.95
Gina

Gina

Estradiol

Oestrogen-only HRT to tackle vaginal menopause symptoms.

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Estradiol
10mcg
Vaginal tablet
24 hours/72 hours
Novo Nordisk
£58.95
Utrogestan

Utrogestan

Micronised progesterone

The natural progesterone treatment. Taken alongside oestrogen to relieve symptoms of menopause.

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Progesterone
100mg; 200mg
Capsule; pessary
24 hours
Besins
£37.95
FemSeven

FemSeven

Estradiol

A weekly oestrogen patch to combat symptoms of the menopause.

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Estradiol
50mcg/24hr 75mcg/24hr 100mcg/24hr
Skin patch
3-4 days
Theramex
£37.95
Elleste Duet Conti

Elleste Duet Conti

estradiol hemihydrate, norethisterone acetate

Like Elleste Duet, but continuous. Which makes it best suited to postmenopausal women.

See treatment  
Estradiol/norethisterone
2mg/1mg
Tablet
24 hours
Mylan
£54.95
Tridestra

Tridestra

Estradiol/Medroxyprogesterone

Extended cycle tablet that's used in combined HRT.

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Medroxyprogesterone/estradiol
2mg; 2mg/20mg
Tablet
24 hours
Orion
£61.95
Progynova

Progynova

Estradiol

Oestrogen only tablet or patch for women who've had a hysterectomy, or used alongside a progesterone in combined HRT.

See treatment  
Estradiol
1mg; 2mg
Tablet
24 hours
Bayer
£37.95
Lenzetto

Lenzetto

Estradiol

Daily form of HRT. Just spray it onto your skin to ease menopause symptoms.

See treatment  
Estradiol
1.53mg/spray
Spray
8-24 hours
Gideon Richter
£37.95
  • Manufacturers subject to change.
  • Start and duration of effects are estimations.
  • For more detailed information on your medication, read the patient information leaflet.
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This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

Choosing the best HRT

Wrapping your head around the various HRT options can feel like a big ask.

Just as symptoms can vary from person to person, so can getting the right treatment. There’s no such thing as a single best HRT treatment as this will vary from person to person. The stage of your menopause, your health and your lifestyle can all play a part in deciding which type of treatment is best for you.

This can mean that sometimes it’s necessary to try a few different HRT options to find the one that will work best for you and your individual circumstances.

On this page we’ll go through each type of HRT that’s available and run through what you need to know so that you can make a choice on the best HRT for you.

Combined or oestrogen-only HRT: what’s the difference?

The two main types of hormones that are used in HRT are oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen is one of the main female sex hormones, and is what declines in the body during menopause. Progesterone is a hormone that helps to regulate your cycle and get your uterus ready for pregnancy.

Combined HRT involves taking both oestrogen and progesterone, whereas oestrogen-only HRT means only taking oestrogen. Oestrogen-only treatments are generally better to use if you’ve had a hysterectomy or if you have a Mirena ‘coil’. Whereas combined treatments will be more suitable if you have a womb.

Cyclical vs continuous: which should you use?

Cyclical HRT (also known as sequential HRT) is where you cycle oestrogen and progesterone in a monthly or 3-monthly pattern, taking breaks to have a period. Continuous HRT means taking oestrogen and progesterone continuously, without a break.

Which one you take will usually depend on things like your age and the stage of menopause that you’re in. Cyclical HRT is more commonly used in people who are still getting their periods, whereas continuous HRT is usually recommended for post-menopausal women (those who haven’t had a period in the last year).

With cyclical HRT, you’ll probably see some bleeding each month, like a period but it’s usually light and regular. You won’t see any bleeding using continuous HRT if your periods have already stopped for 12 months before you start. It’s safe to use continuous HRT if it’s less than 12 months or if you’re still having infrequent periods, however you’re much more likely to see “break-through” bleeding, which isn’t very predictable or convenient.

So what are the different HRT options?

Once you know which type of treatment is the right choice for you, you can then make a decision on how you want to use or take HRT. Let’s take a look at the most common ways to take HRT along with the pros and cons of each type.

Tablets

Tablets are the most common form of HRT and are available in different dosages to suit your needs. Combined, oestrogen-only, cyclical and continuous HRT are all available in tablet form, so whatever type of hormone tablets you need, they’ll usually be available as a tablet that you can take.

  • Pros

  • Cons

When it comes to taking hormone replacement tablets there’s lots of choice available, whether you want oestrogen pills or progesterone tablets. They’re easy to use and work in a really simple way, you just need to take them as directed. Menopause tablets are also convenient for travel or taking when you’re on the go, so can fit into your lifestyle more easily.

If you find swallowing tablets difficult then you may prefer to try another method of HRT. It’s also thought that this type of medication may be less suitable if you have cardiovascular problems.

What’s the best HRT tablet?

There’s no ‘best’ HRT tablet, really. The best HRT tablet is the one that works best and is safest for you. So as long as you’re following the advice of your clinician when it comes to oestrogen-only or combined HRT (and likewise with cyclical or continuous), the best HRT tablet is the one that’s best for your symptoms.

It might take a little trial-and-error, but you’re likely to find a HRT tablet that works for you.

Skin patches

Contraceptive patchSkin patches gradually release oestrogen or progesterone (depending on your treatment) into your skin throughout the time you use them. Some patches will need to be changed more frequently than others. Some require changing a few times a week and others on a weekly basis.

You usually wear a patch on the lower part of the body, beneath the waist.

If you’re taking combined HRT patches, you’ll be given two different types of patches which will need to be used as directed – and can vary depending on your cycle.

  • Pros

  • Cons

If you find it difficult to take tablets (or don’t like them) then patches can be a better choice. They’re convenient for travel and can be used on the go. If you don’t want to have to remember to take a tablet each day, or you find you forget to take other types of medication, then skin patches can help.

If you don’t want people to see the patch or don’t like the sensation of it then patches might not be for you. Some people with sensitive skin might find that the patch causes irritation to their skin.

What’s the best HRT patch?

The best HRT patch for you will depend on what stage of the menopause you’re at, as well as whether or not you’ve had a hysterectomy. If you’ve had a hysterectomy you’ll want to take an oestrogen-only patch like Estradot or Estraderm, otherwise you’ll benefit from a combined patch like Evorel Sequi or Conti. And if you’re still getting periods you might be advised to use Everol Sequi, whereas if you’re postmenopausal Evorel Conti might suit you better.

You can still use an oestrogen-only patch if you haven’t had a hysterectomy, it just means that you’ll need to take a progesterone alongside this to reduce your risk of womb cancer.

Are HRT patches better than tablets?

‘Better’ is entirely a matter of preference. If you often forget to take your tablet, you might find patches more convenient – though there is a risk of the patch falling off, which you’ll need to consider.

Patches also come with a decreased likelihood of getting indigestion, which could make it a good switch to make if tablets are giving you this side effect. Patches have also been shown to come with a lower risk of blood clots than tablets do.

Oestrogen gel

Dash of Oestrogel gelOestrogen gel is becoming more popular as a form of HRT . This menopause gel is simply applied to the skin once a day. If you need to take combined HRT, you will need to take progesterone as well as oestrogen in a different way, as this HRT gel doesn’t contain both.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Oestrogen gel is useful if you don’t want to use patches or tablets and is easy to use. It’s also convenient to carry with you.

You need to remember to apply this daily. It also doesn’t come as a combined treatment if you need both progesterone and oestrogen.

What’s the best oestrogen gel?

This one’s entirely down to you. As all non-vaginal oestrogen gels work in the same way, it just comes down to the strength of treatment you want. Sandrena is a stronger treatment than Oestrogel, so might work a little better for you if you’re still getting symptoms like hot flushes on Oestrogel. Our clinicians can help you find the right gel for you once you’ve talked to us about your health.

Oestrogen gel vs. patch

Whether you use an oestrogen gel or patch for your HRT is your choice. If you’re worried about your patch falling off as you’re going about your daily life then gel can alleviate that concern, but whereas a patch can be used for three-to-four days, you’ll need to remember to use your oestrogen gel every day. So it’s essentially just a case of whichever form of HRT will suit your lifestyle the best.

What other HRT options are there?

The treatments outlined above are the most commonly used types of HRT, but there are other options if they’re not suitable for you or don’t work in the way that you want them to.

Implants

Implants are a small pellet-like object that is placed under your skin by a clinician as part of a minor surgery under local anaesthetic. They aren’t as common or as widely used as some of the other options, likely as they require surgical intervention.

HRT implants come as an oestrogen only implant or a progesterone implant (also known as an IUS). The oestrogen only implant lasts a few months whereas the progesterone implant lasts for a few years and is commonly used as a contraceptive.

  • Pros
  • Cons

Both types of implant last longer than other types of HRT treatments, so you don’t need to remember to take medication or use treatments daily. It’s also really convenient as it’s with you all the time.

You’ll need to take progesterone or oestrogen alongside your implant if combined therapy is needed. This type of HRT isn’t as commonly used or as widely available as other types. It also needs a surgical procedure which can come with associated risks, though it’s a relatively low risk surgery.

Vaginal oestrogen

Vaginal oestrogen will usually come as a ring, pessary or cream, which is then placed inside the vagina at night. It is not known as HRT as it doesn’t correct hormonal balances elsewhere in the body but is sometimes used to treat certain symptoms of the menopause. It’s sometimes known as menopause cream or hormone cream.

  • Pros
  • Cons

This type of medication can help to relieve vaginal dryness (which can be a symptom of menopause). It also doesn’t carry the usual risks of HRT, so you don’t need to take progesterone alongside it even if you still have a womb.

There’s also a form of vaginal oestrogen that’s available without a prescription, called Gina, which you might find useful if you don’t want to make an appointment with your GP.

Vaginal oestrogen doesn’t alleviate all symptoms of menopause like other types of HRT. It won’t stop symptoms like hot flushes. It provides local oestrogen but doesn’t affect the whole body. It can be inconvenient to take and needs to be taken daily.

What doses of HRT should you use?

You’ll usually start on a low dose of HRT, especially if you’re taking it for the first time. You may need to gradually take higher doses if it doesn’t help with your symptoms, or your symptoms worsen. This should always be done under direction from a clinician or medical professional.

Can testosterone help with HRT or menopause?

Testosterone (also known as a male sex hormone, though women have testosterone in their body naturally too) isn’t currently licensed for the symptoms of menopause. It doesn’t help to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with menopause.

Testosterone gel is sometimes prescribed “off-label” to increase sex drive. Testosterone in women can cause acne and unwanted hair growth, so many women don’t feel that it’s worth the benefits.

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