Are HRT patches used for other treatments?
'HRT' patches are for menopause only – they are currently licensed to be used only for treating menopause symptoms in women and for preventing osteoporosis that is related to the menopause. They are not prescribed for other treatments.
What is used for testosterone deficiency? – this can be treated with other hormonal patches, tablets, gels, implants or injections, which all contain the main male hormone, testosterone. Patches for testosterone deficiency normally mimic your body’s natural production of testosterone, which varies throughout the day.
What is used for gender reassignment? – gender reassignment can be treated in both children and adults. Hormone therapy is one part of treatment.
- Children under 18 – if you are under 18 you could be referred to a specialised Gender Identity Clinic (GIC). Once puberty is reached, they can be treated with gonadotrophin-releasing hormones (GnRH analogues). These are man-made hormone medicines, which suppress the hormones naturally produced by the body
- Treatment for adults – this also involves referral to a specialised GIC. Hormone therapy depends on your preferred gender and involves taking either oestrogen or testosterone therapy. It aims to make you more comfortable with yourself in terms of how you feel and your appearance.
Are HRT patches similar to nicotine patches? – both are patches designed to release their active ingredients over a different period of time. They may appear similar but are used for different medical reasons. HRT patches are designed to release a fixed dosage of hormones over a day and are usually replaced after a few days.
Nicotine patches are used to help you quit smoking – the patches are replaced daily and usually release a fixed dosage of nicotine over a period of 16 or 24 hours. The dosage depends on how many cigarettes you smoke and is adjusted as you continue on your stop smoking programme.