Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) - patch

What does it do?

As you go through menopause, you produce less of the hormone oestrogen. MHT patches contain oestrogen, which treats symptoms of menopause and helps prevent weak bones (osteoporosis). If you still have your uterus (womb), you need to take progestogen as well to protect the lining of your uterus.

How should you use it?

Apply the patch to a clean, dry area of skin (such as the tummy) as directed. When you have removed the old patch, apply the new one in a different place to prevent irritating your skin. Do not cut the patch.

What if you forget a dose?

If you forget to change the patch, remove the old patch and apply a new one as soon as possible.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs.

Important information continues on next page.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Symptoms of a blood clot including: sudden shortness of breath, swelling or pain in one leg

Symptoms of a stroke including: sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side, face drooping, sudden changes in vision or speech, sudden loss of balance

Severe headache

Chest pain

Tell your doctor immediately

Unexpected vaginal bleeding

Tell your doctor

Headache, mood changes

Sore or enlarged breasts

Weight gain, swollen feet or legs

Dry eyes, brown patches on the face

Stomach upset, stomach cramps, bloating

Vaginal itch/discharge

Red or itchy skin where patch has been applied

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, liver, or gallbladder problems, migraines, diabetes, or if you smoke.
  • Women taking MHT may have a small increased risk of breast cancer, blood clots, stroke and heart attacks. Tell your doctor if you, or someone in your family, has ever had any of these problems.
  • If you are having surgery, it is important to tell your doctor that you are taking MHT.
  • MHT does not protect against pregnancy. You can still get pregnant up to 1 year after your last period if you are older than 50, or up to 2 years if you are under 50. Talk to your doctor about contraception options.
  • Dispose of MHT patches by folding the patch in half with the sticky sides together. Make sure to dispose of it out of the reach of children.
  • MHT is also known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).