oestrogen gel and utrogestan elizabeth carr-ellis

Oestrogen gel and utrogestan: Have I found my HRT heaven at last?

Indiana Jones come and get me because I think I’ve found my holy grail and its name is oestrogen gel and utrogestan and utrogestan. (Okay, that’s two names, but you get my drift…)

It’s been almost three years since I was first put on HRT. Three long years of traipsing back and forth to the doctor – you can read my HRT journey here – and almost two years of arguing to get separate hormones.

But finally – FINALLY! – I got it. So what do I think? Let’s get the science out of the way first.

Oestrogen gel and utrogestan: what is it?

Basically, oestrogen gel and utrogestan is hormone replacement therapy in two separate bits: a gel that gives you oestrogen and tablets that give you progesterone (click on the links for my easy-to-understand guides to these hormones).

Before this, I was on Femostan, which comes in a tablet, and then I’ve had years of various patches.

What’s wrong with other HRT?

Absolutely nothing, if you can tolerate it. The trouble is, I can’t.

First of all, Femostan did absolutely nothing for me. Nowt. Zilch. Nada. I was still a psychological and physical mess at the end of several months taking it, scratching away at itchy skin and a ball of anxiety. The only thing it did help was my hot flushes.

This was followed by HRT patches and I quickly saw a cycle of mood swings whenever I switched to the progesterone part. This got me into a cycle of GPs prescribing different HRT patches, which all had the same result, until I was told that I suffer from progesterone sensitivity.

Even before that, though, I was advised to have oestrogel and a Mirena coil fitted for the progesterone or oestrogel and utrogestan – the gold standard of HRT. Pity my GP surgery hasn’t been told that…

What are the benefits of oestrogen gel and utrogestan?

Taking oestrogen transdermally (that is: through the skin, in a gel or a patch) is the safest form of HRT, while a micronised progesterone (body-identical, which means it is physically identical to the hormones our body makes) is the most tolerable form to take.

The beauty of a gel is that you can easily adjust the dosage up or down. That’s impossible with a patch, unless you stick on loads.

(You can’t reduce a patch by cutting it in half, by the way; the chemicals are not spread evenly over it so you aren’t getting a true 50 per cent reduction. Plus they fall off easier if you cut them. Yeah, I did it first without researching properly. Divvy!)

Regardless of my situation, however, I know women who are happy with their HRT tablets and their patches. There is no such thing as a typical menopause and the answer to your treatment is as unique as you are. What works (or doesn’t) for me works (or doesn’t) for me alone. There is no one-size-fits-all with HRT.

So tell me – is oestrogen gel and utrogestan working for you?

Yes. And no. But mostly… yes!

I started on oestrogen gel and utrogestan three months ago. I still can’t believe it. Last time I wrote about my HRT, I was unsure what to do.

HRT has never given me that boost of life I had heard about and I was beginning to think I was just a hypochondriac – something many menopausal women have told me they often feel.

oestrogen gel and utrogestan

And to make things worse, the coil doctor phoned up to tell my my surgery was no longer fitting coils because of Covid, which is ridiculous.

I have experience with this GP, so I kept calm and said: “That’s okay, I’d like to go on an oestrogen gel and utrogestan then, please.”

“No,” she replied. “That’s not possible. You see, you need progesterone, which is what the coil is for. You can’t not have HRT without progesterone.”

“Yes,” I said. “That’s why I’d like utrogestan.”

Sigh. “But you can’t. You need progesterone. We aren’t fitting coils, so you’ll have to have a patch.”

She was so insistent that I started doubting myself. Is utrogestan a progesterone? After all, she was the doctor – and our centre’s women’s health expert. Perhaps I’d got it all wrong…

So I agreed to being prescribed Evorel Sequi, which I’m 99% certain I’ve had before.

As soon as the phone was down, I googled utrogestan and coils and re-read everything I’d read before. Of course utrogestan is a bloody progesterone!

I called up the surgery the very next day and got an appointment with a GP I respect. After calmly explaining why I would not be taking Evorel Sequi – or ever consulting the coil doctor again – I asked again for oestrogen gel and utrogestan.

“I have never prescribed that before,” she said. “Bear with me, because I’m going to have to do a lot of checking to make sure I get the quantities right for you.”

Lots of: “Okay, so you need…” and: “And this much gel – I’m not sure how many doses these hold, so I’ll prescribe one for now and if you need more, just call,” later, I had my script.

After two years of fighting for it.

Three months on…

Disclaimer first: I’m still on sertraline, an anti-depressant that I started taking because I was so scared of the suicidal thoughts I’d had when the progesterone got me last year. (And that’s the first time I’ve ever put it so bluntly.)

Apart from that, I feel normal. Even not bad at times, actually. I am looking after myself again, with a new haircut and some new clothes, and eating better.

I’m not out of the woods yet, thought. For a couple of days per month, usually around the end of the utrogestan period or sometimes afterwards, I get hit by the black dog again and feel useless and just rubbish, really. But I’ve only had one cry in three months. That’s amazing.

I’m also due to speak to a specialist in a few weeks, so I’m hoping to bump up my oestrogen gel. At the moment, I’m on one pump twice a day, giving me 1.5mg of of hormone.

In general, most days, I feel stronger and happier. It’s taken two years, but finally I think I’ve found my HRT heaven with oestrogen gel and utrogestan.

What HRT are you on and how is it affecting you? Leave me a comment below – they help so many others. And don’t forget to subscribe to get your free 20-page guide to menopause and midlife, with all the information you need.

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98 thoughts on “Oestrogen gel and utrogestan: Have I found my HRT heaven at last?”

  1. Same combination as you, it works great for me. My GP suggested this after patches gave me a terrible skin rash. Maybe I have been very lucky with my Gp they have been very clued up and sympathetic.

    1. That’s brilliant to hear. I have a great GP, but getting to see him is a nightmare so I end up doing the rounds of who is available. I love hearing positive doctor stories! x

  2. I use Evorel 75 patch twice a week, and utrogestan for 12 days, which was a change from Evorel Sequi. Took a while to settle but so far so good!

  3. Michelle Burlinson

    OMG, your story is so closely match to mine! I’ve been on antidepressants on and off for years. I think I hit the mother load of meno symptoms last July, very deep depression, anxiety so bad I could’ve quite happily been sectioned. I thought I was loosing by my mind it got so bad I took to my bed for 3 hellish weeks and contemplated suicide it was that bad. My Doctor put me on fluoxetine a good while back and I stopped it for a while and he said I needed to go back on it, which I did. I then joined a meno group and bam, it all made so much sense, all my symptoms pointed to menopause not depression. I’ve been menopausal since I was 43 now 54! I feel shame that I did not pick up on the cues or explore options. I just I carried on suffering and not really doing anything about it, par for the course for many women! Anyway, I demanded to go on HRT. I started Everol patches last September, my hot flushes subsided, aches and pains subsided, hair stopped falling out and my skin didn’t feel so dry but sleep was still allusive and doing the job I do (nurse) , I cannot afford to go without it! I started on the Esterogel and progesterone pill plus vaginal Oestrogen tablets (urethra atrophy). It’s been ok, hot flushes are still with me but not so aggressive, sleep is much better but my hair is still falling out, I’m exhausted all the time and I’m still having little MH wobbles when isn’t great! I’ve upped my gel pumps to 6, so far so good but my GP who’s had extra training in menopause is off sick ATM and I’m reluctant to see anyone else as they just want to increase my antidepressants, which isn’t the answer! I’ve just signed up for a consultation with Dr Louise Newson, Menopause Specialist, who I’ve heard is amazing. £250 which is a lot of money but worth it to me to get the right support and advice. I realise I’m lucky and can afford it, many women in my position can’t and that’s totally unacceptable given half the population are women and a good % will be going through menopause. Things have got to change in women’s health and unless we all shout about it, nothing will change. I don’t want my daughter to go through what I did in fact I will walk with her every step of the way when the time comes!

    1. Why do so many of us feel shame that we didn’t realise menopause symptoms (I did)? If we haven’t been told them, then how were we to know? Louise knows her business and a half, so you’re in good hands. But as you say, it’s not acceptable that you’re having to pay for what should be available through the NHS. Let me know how it goes, please.

      One thing – I would recommend trying organic sulfur (MSM) for your hair, too. I have hair loss and it has really helped. Makes my nails grow lovely too! x

    2. Hi, just came across the site & can’t believe what I’m reading!!! I was put on anti depressants two years ago, very depressed, suicidal but I was going to work every day, swimming every morning but was told I was depressed. Only by watching Davina McCall I started on HRT gel. Two pumps a day, it’s only been three weeks, and just wondering when will it “kick in”.

      1. Hi Jen and thanks for the comment. Hope you can’t believe what you’re reading in a good way!!!! This is such good timing, I was walking and thinking about HRT (I do that!) and what my experiences have taught me. It can take up to 3 months for HRT to feel the full effects, but you should start noticing a change after a few weeks. If you still feel nothing after 3 months, talk to your GP about upping the number of pumps you can have. You may need more. Good luck and let me know how you get on x

  4. I’m about 2 yrs menopausal, I’m 47 but for the last 8 yrs I really thought I was losing my mind. My symptoms started at 38, Back & forwards to the Gp, was prescript Antidepressant as my mood was like a seesaw & constant UTI’s, had bladder repair 8 yrs, got sterilised then too, & had a TVT done ( bladder sling )but all a long it was perimenopause.
    I’ve only started HRT about 20 mths ago , at first I felt better but it didn’t last , went back to Endocrinologist I have thyroid disease . And she put me on divigel 2 sachets daily .
    I also had to take provera , but my first experience of that was horrendous , I felt suicidal , so my dose of provera was lowered & I was told to take it every couple of mths. Which I know isn’t correct as my womp is intact . So my next experimence of provera but me in hospital , I had flooding ( bleeding that I couldn’t
    control )was give medication to stop the bleeding . So I had to do a lot of research & thanks to Dr Louise Newson on her instragram I really don’t know where I’d ended up.
    So armed with new information I asked for uthrogeston vaginal suppositories , not issues with progesterone now .
    Was still feeling not myself , chronic fatigue , insomnia , aches and pains in my muscles & hands & feet .. had blood taken & my estrogen levels were still very low even though I am on HRT, so I’m on 100 mg patches estradot . To be honest I really thought I’d be doing cartwheels with this new regime .
    My husband is so supportive , he said he’s sees glimmers of the old me shining through .
    I do think I sound like a hypochondriac and I get embarrassed . But I just want feel normal again.

    1. Oh Aine, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through and thank goodness you managed to find help and advice from Dr Newson. It really shouldn’t be up to women to do so much research. New HRT regimes take a while to get established in the body, that’s why I waited 3 months before posting about my experience. Your husband sounds wonderful and if he’s seeing patches of the “old you”, then it sounds as if the new regime is starting to work. Please try and stay positive. You are NOT a hypochondriac. You have a condition that needs help and it is the system that is letting you down. Please keep in touch and let me know how you get on xxx

  5. I’ve been on HRT for seven years – am now 56. Problem is I still bleed – I switched from Everol 50 & 3
    Everol combi to Everol 50 & utrogestan 2 years ago but continued with period like symptoms. After loads of tests my womb is fine but still struggling with bleeds. Latest attempt is Everol combi only & I’ve bled from day 1! Do I give it a month or try the gel /Utrogen approach? I can’t go off HRT as symptoms too bad without it but having periods at 57 is not a nice prospect!

    1. Oh I hear ya – the bleeding is a pain and I can’t wait for it to be over. Bleeding and spotting can happen in the first few months (some women have told me up to six months) and then usually dies down. I’d give it about three months and keep tracking the bleeding with how heavy and frequency. If it doesn’t ease, go back to your GP and discuss it, with perhaps the possibility of having a coil fitted. Please let me know how you’re doing too x

  6. Thank you for sharing your story, I found you in a random Google search trying to learn more about my new HRT combo of oestrogen gel and utrogestan tablets and feel like I’ve found a glimmer of hope. I have a new GP who is wonderful and as soon as she reviewed my meds said she wanted to change me to this “ gold standard” HRT. I’m in the first cycle of it and not sure what it will do for me yet as I’m managing a bunch of things. That said, reading the comments here I wonder if these challenges have more connections to menopause than I’ve realised. I had bladder surgery 2 years ago after huge decline over short period. I’d had issues post-childbirth but now I realise the decline is in line with the lead up to my beginning HRT. Since the surgery, my HRT prescription has been all over the place thanks to supply issues post-Brexit & my mental health has steadily declined. I’m seeing a psychiatrist & psychologist now with shared care plan through my new GP. Psychiatrist issues the meds, psychologist leads the therapy and GP in background. I do have a history of childhood & early adult trauma with a diagnosis of complex PTSD now. I have struggled to understand why after all these years of coping very well it has all exploded and taken over my life in the last few years. I’ve had terrifying suicidal thoughts more frequently (hence psychologist now) and wonder on a daily basis if I’ll ever feel like myself again. It’s frightening, debilitating, intimidating and shaming to feel this way. Your post & comments have helped me to see how interconnected the menopause is and why my mental health issues feel so intense. The PTSD is undisputed but the impact of menopause is something that needs to be part of the overall conversation. Thank you for your help x

    1. Your GP sounds wonderful and I have such admiration for you for tackling so much. We overlook the effect hormones have on us as we get older, but they’re still as strong and powerful as when we were in puberty. We would never treat teenagers the way we treat ourselves. I have a similar background of childhood trauma and know how it can suddenly explode on you in ways you would never have thought, and at times you would never have thought. I wish you all the luck and help in the world. Please keep in touch and let me know how you’re doing xxx

  7. I’ve only recently realised that I have been perimenopausal….and I actually think I’ve been like this for ten years. Such a lack of joy, mood swings, anxiety, brain fog……I rang my.GP who told me to go check out the website menopause matters and aldi suggested antidepressants…….A lot of research later, I asked to speak to someone at the surgery who is an experrt in hrt. The expert is not a GP….its the pharmacist….I asked for oestrogen gel and utrogestan….and testosterone (which was declined). AFter some blood tests, I have my prescription and start next period. I hope I feel better….

    1. Hi Emma. My Gp also said to check with the pharmacist about how to take my HRT!!!! In a way, I can understand – they are trained in drugs. Hope you’re feeling better now???? xxx

  8. Hello ladies. V interesting to read all your stories. After 15 months wait re covid to see my gp face to face, I did today and she gave me 45 mins of her time and so much understanding. I’m on vagifem suppository twice a week, evorel 50 patch and vaginal utrogestan 100mg x 2 for two weeks in every four. I’m awaiting a follow up for testosterone and an e-string vaginal ring but the latter could be six months down the line as I can thus far only tolerate a cotton bud internally as my urethra and vagina have atrophied severely. I’m 47, been experiencing symptoms since I was 43, and relied on fluoxetine as my symptoms weren’t identified as perimenopause until just a few weeks. Two [email protected] admissions for uti that led to my bladder bleeding within a couple of hours of symptoms. No sex in nearly a year and tiredness that got so bad I feared I had cancer. Feeling hopeful that a corner has been turned today.

    1. Oh Pru! That sounds horrendous – but yay! for your GP. Giving you so much time is wonderful and what you needed. It can take a few weeks for everything to settle down with HRT (and it can feel worse at first) so keep an eye on it, track your symptoms and hopefully you’ll see an upturn soon. Please keep in touch x

      1. hi I am on femoston and it doing exactly what it did to you, feeling super low! i had a coil fitted and had it removed due to pain!
        also been on trisequins, the doc has prescribed antidepressents but im scared ti take them,with reference to the utrogestan are these pills?
        i would like to approach my doctor, there not the best so want to go armed with info lol!!

    2. Hi pru I’ve literally fell upon this group searching for help as I’ve just collected my script from the chemist! I was so excited like a kid on Xmas morning!!!! In the magic bag was a box of patches & 3 months supply of pills!! I was like ehh wtf I’m sure my GP gave me a choice of either patch or pill? Anyway I began the search and now realise this is the new way forward for HRT my GP very young but extremely well knowledgeable and urged me to try it!! My symptoms 😫 odd flushes mainly after food & hot drinks…..oh and alcohol 🍸😐 they would come and go for probably last 18 months!!! Now my joints ache my hair falling out I’m so tired and yawning constantly hot from within most of the day!! And the memory!!! I was convinced I had onset dementia still do to be honest! My mum diagnosed last Dec with Alzheimer’s doesn’t help as I’m probably at higher risk now anyway!!! Hence this awful news and other shit going on I found myself on fluoxatine! Is this causing the memory/ fatigue? So getting back to my magic bag!!! God I hope it works 💪🙏👌 tablet & patch together my patches are Estradiol 50 mcg and ultrogestan 100mg caps!!! Would love to hear if anyone gets this too!!! Pru I wish you well in your meno journey… . Xx 👌

  9. Absolutely shocking the lack of menopausal training for GPs. Also I find it outrageous that surgeries are not fitting coils at the moment and can see no reason for that.
    Like most women I didn’t realise menopause has so many symptoms. I have been lucky and had very few but stumbled on an interview with Dr Menopause and now follow her on instagram- such an education.
    Ladies please do ask to have you B12 and Vitamin D checked, my tests came back low and I am now having injections to boost them. Lack of these vitamins also cause aches and pains along with brain fog so can be contributing to menopausal symptoms.
    I live in Dubai and was lucky to be able to go directly to a specialist who ran the full tests including vitamin ones. I am now on oestrogen gel. Just started aged 54 and no progesterone as had a hysterectomy, excited to see things improve and in a month I go back to her and if needed she will prescribe testosterone, which seems hard to get in UK. From what I heard it officially only permitted for men so Doctors have to step out of the guidelines to give to women but it can done – so keep asking for it of you feel its right for you.
    Keep pushing your GPs or change to a better informed one who understand that women should not have to suffer. Things must change. It’s unacceptable for women to be untreated (unless it’s their choice) and very alarming how quickly doctors dish out anti depressants.
    Wishing us all the best on this next chapter of life and let’s make sure we enjoy it. Xxx

    1. Brilliant comment, Josephine! Thank you. And that is such a good message about B12. Low levels can cause many symptoms that could be mistaken for menopause, as well as even causing hallucinations! We need to remember that not everything we go through at this age is menopause and make sure we’re as healthy as possible.

  10. Julie aged 59
    Hi, found comments all useful.
    I was on sertraline for 2yrs, assumed I was depressed due to bereavements & “time of life stuff”, weened myself off sertraline per gp surgeries pharmacist recommendations, but didn’t solve anxiety, lack of confidence felt during last 10yrs!
    Finally taking HRT gel & progesterone tablet (only 3wks in now) after watching documentary with Davina McColl. So still waiting to feel full effects. Though had few strange side effects which hoping others can concur.
    Swollen labia initially & itching (no I have been applying on my shoulders 😅)…
    Will keep viewing updates

    1. Hi Julie and thanks for reading. I’d give your doctor a wee call just to make sure it’s not a yeast infection or the likes. It’s always best to be sure. Let me know how you do xxx

  11. I’ve just had the most wonderful phone call with a lady doctor who listened and straight away said you could try HRT.
    Would you like the gel or patches? And you need to take a tablet at night until we can get your coil changed .
    Had my blood pressure & weight checked and within an hour my prescription is waiting at my local chemist .
    Let’s start this journey….

  12. I’m so thankful I have come across this! I have just bee prescribed utrogesta and oestrogel. I have to take Utrogestan during days 15-26 of my cycle but I don’t know what that is because I have the mirena coil. My Doctor is great st prescribing but not so great at advising!
    Does anybody know when I should start taking th tablets?

    1. Hi Michelle. Glad to have been of some help. Have you been given Utrogestan at the same time as you have a coil or is the coil being removed? I had a similar problem because I was bleeding so irregularly through my previous HRT that I had no idea when my cycle was (or if I was still having a 28-day cycle!). In the end, I just decided to start the gel and then start the progesterone 15 days after that! It might be worth while having a quick chat to your pharmacist, too. They often know more about the actual HRT than the doctor! x

  13. Hi, I have been prescribed Utrogestan to take days 1-12 and the gel. There are 28 of these. (The gel) Do I put them on for the 12 days I am taking the tablets or every day for the 28 days, as there is no directive on the box?
    Does anyone know please……..

    1. Hi Hayley. It’s so infuriating that they don’t advise people properly. Yes, you take the gel all the way through and the Utrogestan on the days they say. x

  14. Hi,
    At long last i have had my first telephone consultation with a new female doctor, she was fantastic, listened to me woes, she is going to put me on HRT.

    The only thing I am not sure whether to have patches or gel? I will also be taking a tablet at night?
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    thank you
    Fraz

    1. That is fabulous to hear! Yay for doctors who listen! As for gel or patches, the BMS gold standard is gel, which you rub into your upper arm and shoulder or inside thigh. But there is nothing wrong with patches. If you have a patch, then you’ll get oestrogen and progesterone together so won’t need a tablet at night. However, some women find them itchy and they do tend to leave black marks on your skin from the glue (I’m guessing they’re made by men!). Also, I found patches annoying on holiday as they were uncomfy on my bum but I didn’t want them on display on my leg!!!! Let me know what you decide x

  15. I’m 55 soon and started the menopause battle – because that what it has felt like – at age 42. Looking back I was probably perimenopausal from my late 30’s! I’ve taken combined HRT in tablet form on and off for 6 of those 13 years and while they helped with the hot flushes, the raging anxiety, night sweats, lack of sleep, lack of energy and tiredness, mood swings and just about every other menopause symptom have been harder to control. I thought I was going mad and had such black thoughts at times that it is difficult to say out loud how black they were. I’ve been prescribed antidepressants all too easily and they just made me feel worse!
    After watching the Davina McCall programme, which was an eye opener, I thought enough is enough and in May this year I asked my GP to refer me to menopause clinic and on Wednesday I’ve had a consultation with an amazing menopause specialist. She has prescribed Oestrogen patches and Utrogestan initially after explaining that this is a much better form of HRT and why. For the first time in 13 years I’ve felt listened to and understood and so reading the comments above that this is considered the ‘gold standard HRT’ makes me hopeful that there is way through this and I can get back to being the person I once was.

    1. How brilliant that you took control and asked to see a menopause specialist. Davina would be cheering you on, I know! It is so wonderful when you get a medical person who listens. That’s half the battle! Fingers crossed they help you, Amanda! Let us know how you get on. x

  16. Hi thanks for posting all your experiences it really helps to read them.
    I’ve just been prescribed oestrogen gel and utrogestan after years of being ignored by an archaic gp who shrugged and told me “well that’s how it is for us women at our age”
    Thankfully I moved house so got a new gp practice who live in the same century as me 😁
    I’m actually peri menopausal and still had horrendous night sweats and hot all the time in the day. Fingers crossed this combination will work for me.

  17. Has anyone had significant insomnia when starting oestrogel and utrogestan? I am on the first moth after charge from evorel sequi patches which didn’t stick well. I did have terrible sleep for the first 4 days taking the new regime and so split the oestrogel to twice daily instead of all at night. I think I had a real dip in mood taking daily uterogestan by mouth so have reluctantly changed to 100mg vaginally for days 15-26. too early to say yet if the tearfulness in the mornings will settle but i wonder if anyone else has had these sort of side effects and if they settle or whether i’m just sensitive

    1. Oh Jan, I’m so sorry to hear you’re so tearful. It’s awful, isn’t it. My sleepless nights seem to come and go and I did have a bad bout about a month back. Have you tried doing some meditation before bed? It does help me a lot x

  18. Wow you story nearly mirrors mine. Luckily I have been speaking to a local lady who has done a massive amount of research and she has suggested this combination for me today. Spoke to GP and insisted on it…..doctors should be training or at least researching with each individual case…..hoping this gives me the relief I desperately need. X

    1. So many of us have the same story! It’s crazy. So glad you got someone to help and give you support. It’s what we need at times! Hope it helps, Nicola x

  19. Hi, just come across your post which has been great to read about your experience with HRT.
    I have been taking oestrogel only since April but for me this is my 3rd(!) attempt. Aged 59, I have suffered with very low moods, tiredness and feeling very flat about everything for a long time. I didn’t get on with the utrogestan the last couple of times I tried it so now I am on eostrogel only for now through the Newson Clinic and will be trying another progesterone once my oestrogen levels are up. Felt better to start with but didn’t last long before insomnia and anxiety kicked in. Now I have increased the gel to 3 pumps and supposed to go up to 4 pumps along with testosterone but feel even worse since increasing my dosage over the last 10 days.
    Certainly HRT isn’t the magic pill although for many women they have positive results once starting it but not for me unfortunately. Lots of trial and error with dosage. I feel lke coming off everything now and accepting that perhaps HRT just doesn’t suit me especially now I am about to be 60.

    1. Hi Tracy. I know exactly where you’re coming from. The last month was horrendous on utrogestan – lower than I’ve been in a long time – and I’m wondering if perhaps HRT just isn’t for me too. It seems to be too many errors on each trial! Please chat to the doctor at the clinic before you make any decisions and if you do decide not to take HRT, come off it slowly so you don’t get any sudden drop. Let me know how you get on x

  20. Hi, i need some advice Im still having my periods every couple of months and they have not stopped yet but getting all the menopause systems I had high pressure at the start so could not take HRT but now all good. I have been prescribed Utrogestan to take on days 1-12 and use the gel. I am really struggling on how I take the above do I start the pills and gel together if I do when is day one is it 1st of the month ? Also if I do take for 12 days when do I have a bleed and for how long. Also when do I restart the pills. As my periods are not regular I really don’t know how to proceed. . Can someone please advise ? Also is it best to take the pills at bedtime. Sorry for so many questions but it’s not clear and I could do with some help. Many thanks

    1. Hi Helen. It is bloody confusing – my GP didn’t even know and she had to look it up! I had no idea where my cycle was neither, so I had a rough idea of when my last period was, added a couple of months and used that as day 1 and started from then. You’re usually advised to take utrogestan days 15-26, so perhaps have an ask to check. (the pharmacist often knows better than the GP). You take your gel all month long, every day, with no stopping, and then you take the Utrogestan on the days prescribed – so for those 12 days, you are using both gel and tablets. I’ve set a reminder on my phone so 28 days after I took my first Utrogestan, I get a reminder that it’s time to start the next cycle (our menstrual cycle being 28 days). So out of every 28 days, I have 1-14 days on gel, 15-26 gel and tablets, 26-28 only gel. Then back to Day 1 again. Utrogestan can make you feel tired, so take them at night time on an empty stomach. Bleeding depends, but I usually get mine towards the end of the utrogestan cycle – about day 22ish. Hope that helps. As I say, the pharmacist often knows better than your GP so have a word with them if you’re worried. x

      1. Hello, I’ve been prescribed utrogestan 100mg and advised to take one a day, I do at night, I’m taking every other night along with two pumps of estrogen gel. Should I be taking utrogestan for a certain number of days? I’m 47 no period for 2 years. Thanks in advance x

        1. Hi Kerry. Check with your pharmacist as they’ll know exactly what you need, but most commonly in cases like yours, we use the gel every day and take utrogestan on days 1-25 of your 28-day cycle. You take daily because you’ve had no periods so you shouldn’t have a withdrawal bleed. If you do bleed, please contact your GP. And again, double check with your pharmacist as they generally know more than your GP! x

          1. This whole thread is hopefully going to be useful today when I speak to the practice nurse yet again: I feel like I have been pestering her for the last year or more. But nothing has worked enough so far and I have found in the last month of being off all HRT that I need to go back on it, all my symptoms and more have gradually come back.
            My main symptoms are atrophy (well, soreness, burning, aching, needing to pee a lot especially at night), anxiety, crying, headaches and some night sweats. I can’t tolerate oestrogen cream. I tried Evorel Conti patches, some improvement but spotting started after four months so I was changed to Kliofem then Kliovance tablets, the spotting became bleeding which lasted for weeks. I have an appointment in October for an ultrasound scan but I honestly think it was the HRT. So now I have been off all HRT for five weeks, the bleeding stopped completely afte a week, but everything else is back and I feel like giving up, especially in the middle of the night. Going on holiday in a while, tbh I am dreading it, I am in a lot of discomfort much of the time. Limited success with acupuncture sessions, the benefits last a couple of days but then it’s all back again.
            The nurse has said I am too old (56) for a second Mirena to be fitted, so I am really hoping the utrogestan and oestrogel route will be helpful. I have researched it and am ready to tell her about it!
            Thx for all the info 🙂

      2. Hi – Ive been experiencing ‘aches and pains’ ‘lethargy’ ‘feeling flat and unmotivated’ ‘weight gain around middle (usually slim) so the doctor did a blood test (im 48) and said it’s likely im perimenapause (periods stopped only 10 weeks ago). She said i needed to go on anti depressants, I said ‘No thanks’, she then said I needed the coil, I said ‘no thanks’ and then she said lets wait three months and see how you are, if bleeding returns, I said no thank you, I dont want to spiral into feeling worse so she agreed to give me HRT she td me I could have the oral HRT (sorry dint know the name) I said no thanks, she then said maybe she would give me the patch, I said no thank you I would lime the gel with progesterone, she laughed and said well lets hust try the patch! My reposne ‘No thank you I would really like to try the gel based on what I have heard’ she squirmed, examined me mentioned again the coild but guess what…I absolutely stood my ground and I have i. my hand Oestrogel and Utrogestan! Any pointers before I start this tomorrow is very useful please, nervous at the list of side effects but exited at feeling a little bit towards ‘normal’.

        1. Well done you for doing your research and standing your ground! Remember, side effects are not “will happen” but “could happen”. There are possible side effects with every medicine we take so it’s important to be aware of them, but always with that proviso. Good luck and let me know how it goes x

  21. Hi all,
    I have been taking the gold star combination, 2 pumps of oestrogel for 2 weeks and have had some bad side effects, bloating and cramping stomach. .When should I become concerned about these or is it still early days and my body getting used to hormones again? My last period was 6 years ago, I’m 56. I have been very lucky that it has only taken two drs appointments to get my Hrt . I think it definitely helped that I went in armed with lots of information.

    1. Hi Nan. It takes a few weeks (up to 3 months) for your body to get used to the hormones and settle down, but it’s always best to get in touch with your GP if you’re feeling uncertain. Glad you were able to get help so quickly! x

  22. I am now 70 and have been subscribed Utrogestan 100mg and 2 pumps of 750mg Orstrogel daily. As I haven’t had a period for at least 6 years. Will I have to endure having periods again?

    1. Good news, Pat! Taking the utrogestan every day means you won’t bleed!! There may be some spotting in the first few weeks, however, while your body adjusts. x

  23. Very emotional reading all your experiences, the impact that the menopause has on women and the hugely inconsistent treatment is infuriating! I’ve just started the ‘gold standard’ treatment, thanks to a well informed and very helpful GP, but worry about how many women aren’t so lucky and whose lives fall apart as a result. One of the biggest challenges for me has been the anxiety and brain fog (I also have Graves’ disease, a hyperactive thyroid), which has really knocked my confidence at work. I look around me and wonder how many of my colleagues have also taken a step back because of the menopause.

    1. It’s a question I keep asking myself, Rose! I’m so glad you’ve got a good GP – we need to hear more about them so the others know that they’re letting us down!! x

  24. So glad I’ve come across this page! Reading your story and all the comments I think I can relate to it all!
    Started on the combination gel and utrogestan about 4 weeks ago ( after patches/ tablets for last 2 years) The patches and tablets didn’t work for me .. the patches never stuck to my skin and the tablets just made me feel awful and the weight gain was horrendous! So I thought I’m going to do this cold Turkey!! I lasted 6 months and I was so miserable and I couldn’t cope with the flushes! I have a shelf in my house that could belong in Holland and Barrat! Spoke with my Gp and she’s been with me throughout this trail in error for the last years! When she suggested the gel combo I was sceptical.. 4 weeks on and what a difference already not as many hot flushes ( cut by prob 70%) joints not as achy although feel a bit nauseous but one of the side effects I believe. So massive Thankyou! I did think I was becoming a hypochondriac always thinking there is something else wrong with me and then not going to the doc for fear of them thinking the same ..

  25. Hi looking for some advice ladies I’m on 4 pumps of oestrogel and 100g daily utrogestan. I’ve been on hrt for about 18 months and steadily my oestrogel has increased and my utrogestan has changed to a daily dose. I feel so flat, anxious and extremely tearful all the time, my sleep improved but now I wake with a jump and awful anxiety during the night as if there is an intruder! I have absolutely no libido and it’s really affecting my relationship with my husband. Wondering if anyone can relate to this and any tips on tweeting my doseage? Thanks

    1. Hi H20 exact same HRT as myself . Felt great when I started in May this year. Remember feeling a sense of happiness for the first time in a long time. Terrible muscle tension and aches and pains all disappeared. However still having sleep problems with waking up with terrible anxiety and panic. Also the happy feeling seems to be waring off unfortunately. Have recently registered with The Newson Clinic for a consultation for Testosterone as have done loads of research and this seems to be the extra hormone some woman need to regain their get up and go, strength, energy, libido and also helps with sleep.Unfortunately my GP is reluctant to prescribe it so thought sick of putting up with symptoms going to pay if I have to.

  26. Found your site whilst googling about HRT prescribing. Had a very frustrating phone appointment today with a GP, I’m on Evorel Sequi 50 but really not getting on with the conti side. Whenever I’m on the combine patches I develop itchy rashes over my body, lack energy even when I do sleep, bloated and no period for 2 months, my GP niece said I needed more oestrogen and to go on uttogestan, so I asked for that after explaining my symptoms. I was offered firstly antihistamine for my rash and stick to the Evorel! Or either Femseven conti or a combined pill. Didn’t want the tablet, but questioned why I was being offered the conti having only missed 2 periods at most and had been already been misprescribed conti in April whilst still having periods. I have now been given the Fem7 sequi, not what I want or necessary need, will try the new patches and hope I feel an improvement.

    1. Oh Lord, Tracey, what a rigmarole you’ve had. Have you tried seeing another GP? And also, ask to see your menopause specialist if possible. It shouldn’t be this difficult! x

  27. Hello, I’m just starting my HRT journey – are you happy on your current regime – I can’t work out if you now have the coil or gel and utro? Sounds like you are settled on the latter, which is great!

  28. Goodness! I’m so glad to read I’m not the only one having issues. I’m in the US and had to go to a specialist after being brushed off 2 different gynos.
    I’ve had PMDD for about 15 years – key symptoms being crushing anxiety & depression. Taking Antidepressants for 7-10 days at the end of my cycle (when the anger & nightmares start to period) helped. but once my cycles became irregular & hard to identify (I got an IUD/coil + start of peri-meno) it’s been a mess. Now it’s pain, fatigue & poor sleep often, with no cycle to speak of. I can’t tell you how many covid tests I took because there didn’t seem to be a reason my my fatigue & headaches.
    The specialist was a godsend. Being told your not crazy & it’s normal *chefs kiss*
    Anyway, we are trying antidepressants first because it worked in the past – and I’m ok with that! HRT might not be in the cards due to a history of heart disease.

    Oh, and I also have lome successwith acupuncture when my symptoms are awful. I do get relief but sometimes it’s only a couple days, sometimes it’s a couple weeks. If you tiry i, go every couple weeks. It does help me

    1. I love how open you are to find a treatment that works, Jeanne. ADs shouldn’t be the first port of call for menopause, but it should be on the table if needed because it can help (and as you say, some people can’t take HRT or don’t want to). I’m interested in the acupuncture too. I hear a few women say it helps. x

  29. I am on this combination too. Two pumps of gel and a utrogestan 100 per day. I have taken this for two years and it’s worked well for me. I have the odd teary moment and a little anxiety sometimes but no more than I would have experienced before menopause. More energy and less achy and itchy ! I too had a battle to get utrogestan. I live in Wales and it’s not prescribed here or wasn’t two years ago. I had to get it privately and my gp now prescribes for me. It should be available everywhere and be the first choice of hrt not something women have to battle for.

  30. Hi all, I haven’t really slept for about 18 months. After trying various tablets, and now Evorel 100 patches and Utrogestan for the last 3 months, I still don’t sleep. The patches seem to prevent all other symptoms pretty well, but now I have recurring breast tenderness. (I also experienced this with a couple of previous estrogen tablets too) I know it’s the patches, as I went without them for a week, and the discomfort stopped. I would love to hear if anyone else suffers from these issues, especially the insomnia.

  31. Hi to all, so good to hear that many women are getting the help they totally deserve and are feeling better. But all women should be treated the same and the correct HRT should be made available for them too. We shouldn’t have to fight or have a battle on our hands just to take control over our own health to feel better. And to think we all seem to be relying on Louise Newson- One person who has taken the time and care and wants to help women at this difficult time. All doctors these days should be aware of the menopause considering half the population go through this transition at some point. Not only women are affected by the menopause families, marriages and other relationships ,work are all affected. It can reduce you to a shadow of your former self, loss of confidence and self worth. But HRT can help with many of these issues and it should be available with your GP being able to advise you with up to date knowledge. Hopefully many of you are finding that is the case, My own journey has been a difficult one . I wish you all every success in your own personal journey.

  32. Hi love .i have been on hrt now since last dec was on everol siquil .now on everol 75 and cyclogest .im strugglin really bad with the progestrone side of it .i cant tolerate it .i was really bad last year suicidle .i thought i was gettin dimenta .my doc throw anti ds at me for 7 months it made me worse .sumone asked me if it was my hormones .i said no im still havin my periods .she mentioned peri .nether heard of it .so doc did blood test estrogen was on the floor she said sorry .i was really upset because i thought im 51 and the symtoms im tellin her how i was she shoold have known. My docs dnt know hardly anything to do with menopauce .its awful because you dnt know who to turn to u feel all alone anx thats scary they want me to go on gel now im scared of changin .said im not absorbin the patches as my estrogen hasnt gone up much from ladt blood test .did you go stright on to gel from patch .did it make you feel funny at beginin .thanx

    1. Oh Colette, I’m so sorry to hear all this. You shouldn’t be feeling this bad. Please ask to be referred to a menopause specialist for extra help. It can take a few weeks to start feeling better and you can go on a bit of an emotional ride until that, but if it gets too much, please see your GP. The gel is great – you can go on it straight from patches with no worries. It’s actually easier! Let me know how you get on xxx

  33. Hello. I have found this site after researching oestrogen gel and utrogestan.
    Firstly, wow! Looks like I’m definitely not alone here. I’ve read all your comments. Bless you all x 💜
    My menopause story began in 2017, when I was 39. Prior to this I had a living hell dealing with Endometriosis, which was just horrendous. I had surgery to remove cysts and (touch wood) have been fine ever since.
    Back to 2017.  The hell I thought I’d left behind showed itself again. This time it wasn’t pain I was dealing with, it was depression, crying, not coping, so tired, zero energy, unable to function at work, anxiety, hot flushes all day and night, not sleeping. I eventually was put on HRT. I cant remember the name of the fitst one. Anyway it didn’t work. Back to GPs, who put me on Femistan-Conti. It was great for awhile and I could finally get on with my life.
    Over the last couple of months, hell has been slowly creeping back. Mood swings, up and down with the flick of a switch, hot flushes, zero concentration and making mistakes at work which have only made matters worse, dark thoughts, crying,  no libido whatsoever, headaches, tiredness, oh god the tiredness! !

    Hell was back and it was here to stay.

    I have been in touch with my GP last week and after discussing changing my HRT, which they absolutely agreed had to be done. I have been prescribed oestrogen gel and utrogestan which I have picked up from the chemist today.
    I understand the tablet of 100mg utrogestan contains a mild sedative, so I am 100% taking this in the evening ready for bed, but I just wondered, with the gel, which I have to have 2 pumps per day, should I apply this at the same time as taking the tablet?
    Thankyou for taking the time to read this. Can you help? x 🖤

    1. Hi Vicky! You can use the gel anytime that suits. I used to do a pump on one leg in the morning and a pump on the other in the night – but then I couldn’t remember which leg I’d used in the morning and it started annoying me (OCD and menopause brain fog) so I put both pumps on in the morning now. Whenever works for you and I hope it works x

  34. Hi,
    I turned 50 last December and after many years of what I now know was perimenopause, finally had my last “real” period about 17 months ago. Tried estradiol patch and it was amazing. Unfortunately, as soon as I started the Prometrium (I’m in the U.S. and Prometrium is our equivalent of Utrogestan) capsules 100 mg nightly, I quickly spiraled downward. Within a week I was horribly depressed, anxious, and unable to do anything. Recently my doctor had me try 25 mg. progesterone every night, but that also caused me to feel depressed, etc. Even 25 mg every other night made me sick. Literally. Headaches, dizziness, nausea. I thought I had the flu! I stopped taking it and within a few days I felt better. I have been researching like crazy, and found references to taking progesterone vaginally. Out of desperation, started using the Prometrium vaginally earlier this week. I know it’s doing something because I insert it before going to bed, and I wake up to menstrual like cramps and bloating. That said, I’ve used it twice this way, with a day in between, and so far I am NOT experiencing much of the garbage I was feeling when taking it orally. I pray it really works for endometrial purposes, because this allows me to up my estrogen patch to what is still lower than normal dose, but enough to stop the hot flashes and many other symptoms.
    Does anyone else here use the caps vaginally? My doctor said she’d never heard of that.

    1. Hi Li. There are many women who’ve contacted me who use utrogestan vaginally and I’ve had specialists recommend it, too. Fingers crossed it works for you – just keep your doctor up-to-date with what you’re trying (it might encourage them to research more, too!). x

  35. Ah ladies it’s so interesting hearing your stories. I’m not alone! I started on 2 pumps of Oestrogel and 100mg Utragestan four months ago after reading up about this treatment. GP was fantastic! Took a while before I felt any affect to my hot flushes, low mood and lack of sleep and I have gone up to three pumps as I feel I needed a bit more oestrogen and feel much better. I am 2 years post menopausal so continuous progesterone but only downside is I’m bleeding every two weeks. I think heavier since upping the gel. I am due to see menopause nurse in a couple of weeks so will see what she advises but just read on Louise’s site that the dose of progesterone can be doubled to help bleeding so will ask about that. Don’t really want to go on synthetic progesterone so let’s see what they advise! Also interspersed to ask for blood test now to see what my levels are and whether I’m allowed testosterone on the nhs to lift libido? If you don’t ask you don’t get right 🙂. Wishing you all luck in your journey…don’t give up!

  36. Stumbled across this site and what a relief to find this as you sometimes think you are so alone in this situation. After years of feeling dreadful, anxiety increasing, sleepless nights constantly and been given patches and fluoxetine which seems to be a common thing I have just finally been given utrogesten 100 to take days 1-25 and Elleste solo 2mg daily in tablet form. I am just hoping that something will change as you feel so useless and desperate or at least I have and just unable to function.
    I wondered if anybody on here has taken this tablet combination or has any feedback on it? as I am trying to look that up and get some details as I read that it seems that gel is the gold standard so in a way I wish I had found this website earlier as I would have put the case forward for this potentially as I felt like I had to write a business case to the dr,s to get me new mediation.
    Am so relieved I have got something, so starting today but any views I would be interested to hear and thanks for setting up this great site….definitely makes you release your not going completely mad.

    1. Hi AC. So glad you’ve been helped at last. It’s true, we have to write a thesis to get help. Hopefully the changes that are happening will help that. I’ve not tried this regime, but fingers crossed someone here has. Remember, it takes a while for the hormones to settle down so there may be a little roller-coaster but if it gets too much, call your GP.

      And you’re not going mad!!!!!

      Let me know how you do x

  37. Has the coil helped? I’m struggling with Utrogestan at the moment. Did you try it vaginally? Would love to know your thoughts re Utrogestan versus the coil.

    1. I didn’t do vaginally – it was such a faff getting the utrogestan in the first place that I couldn’t face that fight. Plus the meno specialist and the gynaecologist both thought it would be better getting the coil fitted, so I went with that. I’m two weeks in so too early to tell, but I had a really bad day last week. However, I know the hormones are settling in and kinda expected that, which is why I’m waiting a few months to do a full review and comparison. There are many women who have good results with vaginally so have a word with your GP and ask. x

  38. Hi there, I have had 3 months of the Oestrogel and Utrogestan combination of gel and tablet and it’s been excellent. I feel almost “normal” after quite a while of feeling useless, inert and bone heavy. Regularly crying for no apparent reason has ceased. The hot flushes are less ferocious too; in fact as the weather has turned colder I wish they come back a bit! What my question is today though is… can I have a few days of just using the gel? My prescription is running out and I can’t get more for 6 days. I have probably got enough gel to see me through but only 2 tablets. And if I don’t take anything for 4 days? The world won’t end but will I immediately plummet into the doldrums again? In fact, I don’t know how long I’m supposed to stay on the medication. My doctor wasn’t very forthcoming, sadly I don’t have a doctor I know very well so there’s no comfortable relationship there. Any advice?!

    1. Hi Alison! Great to hear you’re feeling so good on the oestrogel and utrogestan. I take it you’re on progesterone every day? You’ll be fine for a few days without it (you may get a little spotting, but I’m not 100% certain) and then start with the progesterone straight away. It’s the oestrogel that is keeping your mood up, while the progesterone is keeping your womb safe, so a few days without the progesterone is okay and you won’t go into the doldrums. x

  39. Lisa Pietryga Milligan

    For around 2 years felt like I was a wreck, crying at the least wee thing, fed up, palpitations, almost like panic attacks, fits of sleep during the night, then periods came in fits and starts and soooo painful. The big kicker was the BRAIN FOG!!! I think I was peri menopausal for quite a bit really but stupidly didnt recongise it talk about not seeing the woods for the trees! Luckily I got a Locum doctor (during Covid) face to face who offered me a wide choice of HRT ie pills/patches/gel and help me decide on Oestrogel and utrogestan. After 3 days the hot flushes were fewer then 3 weeks later they were gone. I get a full nights sleep now, plus I dont feel like I am ‘plugged into the mains’ any more. I thought I would have a ‘fight’ on my hands to get HRT but the doctor was tremendous and I feel like me again.

  40. Rachael Edwards Edwards

    Hi, it’s such a shame us women have to suffer for so long when having menopausal symptoms without realising it is menopause. However, I do feel it’s not so much of a taboo subject and it’s being talked about a lot more recently.
    For years I suffered with anxiety, stress, fatigue and all the other associated symptoms putting it down to stressful life events. A GP diagnosed me with anxiety 6 years ago and straight away gave me a pill to take which numbed me, I soon weaned myself of these. During this time I felt like I was suffering from high functioning depression. Fast forward 6 years I turned 50 this year and started on estrogen gel and progesterone 3 months ago after suffering from a bad bout of anxiety which lasted nearly 3 weeks with no exact cause of it. After talking to work colleagues I was fortunate enough to have spoke with a menopausal specialist at my local surgery about support for menopause and she prescribed HRT; I had done my homework so knew the treatments available. They did make a difference to anxiety and many other symptoms, but the 1st 2 months weren’t great. Had a review this week and GP advised to up dose of gel to 4 pumps daily = 6mg. I can honestly say this has made a huge difference already! For the 1st time for as far as I can remember I am not suffering from fatigue every day, I still get tired which is normal but no longer fatigued which if anyone has exoerienced is awful. I have so much more energy and can handle stress in a much more realistic way, I’m not so irritable and concentration has much improved. I urge anyone to look at these ‘body identical’ treatments for HRT and go to GP with knowledge of treatments. Much love, Rachael xx

  41. I’m new to HRT. My dr put me on utrogestan a week ago, as I’d asked for progesterone as I’d read it was calming. 100mgs on day 10 until I bleed is what she said. My main symptoms were (are) all “psychological”. I had panic attacks and horrific insomnia, depression, suicidal ideation. Can you just take progesterone only or do I need to look at estrogen? I’ve always been estrogen dominant with PMDD so wasn’t sure it would be a good idea to take it. Like I say I’m very new to all of this. I’m 46.

    1. Hi Stacey. My advice is always to talk to your GP about this, but you can take progesterone on its own. Pharmacists are often more up-to-date on information, so you can always drop in and ask them, too x

  42. Hi, I am on the same combo, changed after being on Elleste Duet for 9 months and experiencing severe bloating mid month / constipation, all other symptoms like migraine, breast soreness, anxiety went though. I have been on the new combo gel and progesterone tablets only 1 month and for the last 2 days (which is day 22 of my cycle) but have started to feel really tired (like the tiredness you feel in early stages of pregnancy), it’s knocking me out during the day. I’m taking the tablet in the morning, should I take at night do you think? Should I keep going despite this? I’ve not had any other symptoms of peri-menopause (which I have suffered with since 40, now 46). Do you think the tiredness with go after a few months use? Thanks for your blog by the way, stumbled on this after looking up side affects….Thanks!

    1. Hi KH. I’m so glad you found 50Sense helpful. Definitely take your progesterone at night – it will make you tired and zonked out, so you’ll get a good night’s sleep. x

  43. I am 3 months on hrt patches gave me worse sleep issues and couldnt tolerate utrogestan. Tried combined patch horrendous. Back to utrogestan and put on an antidepressant. After 6 weeks on it depression helped not much for anxiety symptoms. Asked about local nhs clinic told long waiting list. To leave another 4 weeks then hrt to be reviewed again. Am going to try magnesium glycinate ro help sleep once used to utrogestan . Anxiety the worst thing for me have had to be signed off work. Just want a balance and to feel like me again . Have had flashes of it. Never realized so many women struggle with menopause and how hard it can make living a fully functioning life. What a rollercoaster it’s been.

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