Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) - Who can use it 

Who can use HRT 

You can begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as soon as you start experiencing menopausal symptoms.

The average age for women to experience menopause is 52. However, some women have the menopause when they are in their forties or sixties. There is no way of predicting exactly when the menopause will occur.

Some women have menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness, before menopause actually starts. This is known as the peri-menopause.

The peri-menopause occurs because levels of the female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, fall when the number of remaining eggs drops below a certain number. This means you may experience menopausal symptoms even when you are still having periods.

In most cases, HRT can be used without taking a test to confirm you are starting the menopause. A test for the menopause is usually only necessary if you are under 40 or have unusual bleeding patterns during your period.

Testing can help rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms, such as having an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or cervical cancer.

When HRT is not suitable

HRT may not be suitable if you:

In these circumstances, a different type of medication may be prescribed to help control your menopausal symptoms.

Read more about the alternatives to HRT.


Page last reviewed: 11/05/2012

Next review due: 11/05/2014

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