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Estrogen as a skin patch

Estrogen patches are small bits of translucent plastic, which supply estrogen through the skin. This gives a very smooth level in the blood whereas with pills, levels go way up after taking the pill, but drop down later. Estrogen shifts can set off mood swings, breast tenderness, hot flashes and more. Many menstrual cycle problems are due to swings in estrogen levels. You don’t want to keep having these fluctuations after menopause; the patch avoids them.

When estrogen is absorbed from the GI tract, it first has to travel through liver. Here two things can happen: the estrogen may be chemically altered and it tends to increase the liver’s production of some proteins, such as those involved in blood clotting (a potentially harmful effect). Not all these effects are bad; estrogen also increases the production of HDL, the good cholesterol. New preparations of estrogens, which are absorbed through the skin, have much less effect on the liver.

All patches use estradiol, the natural female hormone. They are like a little piece of tape which is placed out of sight on the back or lower abdomen where it releases estrogen into the body in a steady trickle. The patches can be worn while swimming or showering. They are changed once or twice a week. A gel form of estrogen that can be applied to the forearms once a day ,may become available soon.

The key to being happy with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is to be sure it is customized for your body.

 <- Previous page         Next page ->

What is Menopause?
When does menopause happen?
How Menopause Feels
What is HRT?
Surviving  – and thriving – during menopause
The big question: HRT
HRT and Breast Cancer
HRT and Contemporary Lifestyles
The HRT Option
How is HRT taken:
The different forms of estrogen:
Estrogen as a skin patch:
The splendors and miseries of progesterone
What are SERMs?
If you've had a hysterectomy
Deciding about YOUR Menopause
I'm on HRT but I don't feel any better

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