February 9, 2021

FAQs about Oestrogel and Micronised Progesterone

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  1. How do I apply Oestrogel?

Most women are instructed to apply the gel to inner thighs or upper outer arms. For reliable absorption and stability of dose it is recommended that Oestrogel is applied to the skin as a thin layer so that it leaves a sheen which dries in approximately 5-10 minutes.

  1. How much Oestrogel do I use? My GP hasn’t advised.

Your GP should advise you on how much gel to use, just as they should with any other medication. Please check with them if they have failed to advise you. The usual starting dose for Oestrogel is one or two pumps, once per day.

  1. Should I use Oestrogel in the morning or at night?

Advice differs, but generally speaking, Oestrogel can be used at any time of day, however consistency from day to day is key.

  1. What are the symptoms of taking too much?

One of the most common symptoms is tender or painful breasts. However, it is important to be aware that breasts can become tender when starting any HRT so you should allow time for this to settle.

  1. Can I apply the gel over sun cream or body lotion?

No, Oestrogel should be applied to clean, dry skin. You can apply body lotion and sun cream over gel after waiting a minimum of one hour after application.

  1. Can I take Oestrogel in my hand luggage on a flight?

Yes, Oestrogel can be carried in hand luggage. More information is available at Hand luggage restrictions at UK airports: Medicines, medical equipment and dietary requirements – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  1. Is Oestrogel okay in hot temperatures?

There are no specific storage instructions for Oestrogel, therefore it should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 degrees centigrade.

  1. Are Oestrogel and Estrodose the same product and why are they packaged differently?

Besins, the manufacturer, have assured us that all packaging variations for Oestrogel/dose are exactly the same product and that they are just packaged differently for different markets.

Micronised Progesterone

  1. What is the correct dosage for micronised progesterone – for peri-menopause, post-menopause and after hysterectomy?

If peri-menopausal, the usual prescription of micronized progesterone is 2 x 100mgs capsules for 12-14 days per 28 day cycle.
If post-menopausal, the usual prescription of micronized progesterone is 1 x 100mgs capsule every night.
Women who have had a hysterectomy do not usually require progesterone as part of their HRT (unless they have a history of endometriosis).

  1. Is it normal to bleed when starting continuous micronised progesterone?

It is not unusual to have some erratic bleeding when commencing a continuous regimen of HRT. This should settle within 4-6 months but should be reported to your GP at your three month review.
Erratic bleeding can take the form of spotting, a period, or a flood, if you are at all concerned you should discuss this with your GP.
This document provides the current advice about managing bleeding on HRT
Management of unscheduled bleeding on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – British Menopause Society (thebms.org.uk)

  1. I’m scared to use Progesterone; I’ve heard it has lots of side effects.

Most women who use progesterone have no lasting side effects. If you experience side effects which persist after a few months, it is worth discussing using micronised progesterone vaginally with your doctor. Using micronised progesterone vaginally eliminates side effects for many women but is not licenced, therefore your doctor may wish to seek advice from a specialist prior to prescribing this way.

4. Can I use micronised progesterone vaginally? My GP says no or hasn’t heard of it being used this way.

Micronised progesterone is licenced for oral use, using it vaginally is ‘off licence’. However, many medications are prescribed this way every day. Many menopause specialists advise using micronised progesterone vaginally to minimise problematic side effects. There is more information in this link  14-BMS-TfC-Progestogens-and-endometrial-protection-01H.pdf (thebms.org.uk)


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