In September 2022 the UK announced that a form of over the counter HRT would be available without a GP from Pharmacies for women over 50 who have not had a period for 12 months.
It will require a consultation with a pharmacist who will check for contra-indications with any current medications.
The type of HRT available is a brand called Gina, specifically for the symptoms of Vaginal Atrophy (VA).
This type of over the counter HRT can relieve –
- and painful sex associated with VA.
Declining Estrogen levels after Menopause cause changes in our vaginal health, the walls become thinner, and this can lead to the symptoms listed above.
It is important to note that this type of HRT will not relieve any other symptoms associated with Menopause.
How Gina works
A small tablet is inserted, with a pre-loaded applicator, directly onto the wall of the vagina.
This gives a small amount of Estrogen directly to the vagina and starts to rebalance the ph levels in around two weeks and relief from symptoms in 6 weeks.
Gina works to address the cause of VA, not just the symptoms but requires continuous use.
The initial pack delivers one tablet per day for two weeks; then, the dose is one tablet twice a week, with a 3/4 day gap between
Follow-up consultations with the pharmacist every three months to check you are still benefitting from the product
Around 50% of post-menopausal women will suffer from VA, and I consider this a long-term health risk.
Thinning of the tissues in and around the vagina cause decreased flexibility, elasticity and reduced mucus production.
Also, lower Estrogen causes the ph level in the vaginal to go higher; this can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria and increased instances of UTIs and Thrush.
The announcement of over the counter HRT is a step in the right direction for women’s health
However, we in the UK still suffer from shortages in other forms of HRT available on the NHS (apparently, there are no shortages if you pay privately