Hormone replacement therapy - patches

• Patches may be used to provide hormone replacement   therapy (HRT). Patches have the advantages that they give a   more constant dose of hormone and require changing only   once or twice a week.

• Patches may contain either a combination of oestrogen and   progesterone, or oestrogen alone. If the uterus is still intact, a   combination of oestrogen and progesterone is given, or an   oestrogen-only patch with progesterone tablets for 2 weeks of   the month. If the woman has previously undergone a   hysterectomy, oestrogen is given alone.

• The patch is usually positioned on the lower body or thigh. It   will need to be changed twice a week, but should not come off   in the bath or when swimming.

• Irritation may occur, but this can be minimized if the patch is   left open to the air for 1-2 minutes before being applied.