What is Elleste Duet and what is it used for?
Elleste Duet tablets are a combined form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), used to treat symptoms of menopause. It has two active ingredients, which emulate the two female sex hormones: a natural version of oestrogen (estradiol) and a synthetic version of progestogen (norethisterone).
Cyclical combined treatments like Elleste Duet are appropriate for women who have started suffering from menopausal symptoms but still have somewhat of a menstrual cycle. If you have not had a hysterectomy, you will likely be prescribed a combined treatment.
Elleste Duet is a cyclical treatment – the first 16 tablets in a cycle contain estradiol only, and the final 12 tablets contain a combination of estradiol and norethisterone. This causes a regular period and reduces your risk of cancer.
Three types of Elleste Duet are available. In the 1mg pack, the 16 white tablets contain 1mg estradiol; the 12 green tablets contain 1mg norethisterone as well as 1mg estradiol. In the 2mg pack, the 16 orange tablets contain 2mg estradiol; the 12 grey tablets contain 2mg estradiol and 1mg norethisterone. Elleste Duet Conti tablets contain 2mg estradiol and 1mg norethisterone in all the white tablets.
As your body adjusts to Elleste Duet, you may notice breakthrough bleeding or spotting. Talk to your GP if this continues after more than a few months of treatment. You should review your HRT with your GP at least once each year and have regular gynaecological checkups.
Read our general guide which offers more information on Elleste Duet and bleeding with information on what to expect.
To see how other women have got on using this HRT, read our Elleste Duet reviews page.
HRT will not prevent pregnancy in women who are otherwise fertile. Women under 50 are considered fertile until two years after their final menstrual cycle (for women over 50, this is reduced to one year). Do not use a hormonal contraceptive while undergoing HRT.
What is the menopause?
All women go through the menopause. This usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. As you approach this age, your ovaries will produce less and less oestrogen. This has the effect of stopping the menstrual cycle, but the change in hormone levels can lead to several symptoms which may have a substantial impact on day-to-day life.
Physical symptoms include:
- hot flushes (a spontaneous heat that spreads throughout the body, leading to blushing, sweating and an unusually strong heartbeat)
- night sweats
- dryness of the eyes or vagina
The hormonal change can also cause distressing psychological effects such as irritability, insomnia and depression.
Experiences with menopausal symptoms vary significantly depending on the individual. They can begin multiple years prior to the menopause itself and remain for many years. Women will, on average, experience symptoms for about four years.
How does HRT work?
Hormone Replacement Therapy eases the symptoms of menopause by supplementing the levels of hormones that the body can produce naturally. Some medicines are oestrogen-only. However, in women who still have a uterus, an uncontrolled increase in oestrogen levels will cause the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) to grow excessively. This will substantially increase your risk of complications such as endometrial cancer. For this reason, some HRT is also combined with synthetic progesterone to lower this risk.
Elleste Duet tablets (1mg, 2mg, & Conti) are a combined HRT containing oestrogen and progesterone and are used in women who are suffering from menopause and have not had a hysterectomy. Women who have had a hysterectomy are more likely to be prescribed Elleste Solo tablets.
Non-medicinal alternatives for the symptoms of menopause
For Night Sweats and Hot Flushes:
- Using A fan
- Cool Showers
- Wearing light clothing
- A healthy diet and regular exercise
- Stopping Smoking