Types of HRT

Medically reviewed

Medically reviewed by Brenda G., MD | Written by SheCares Editorial Team | Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Types of HRT

Different types of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are available to women, providing them with a certain degree of freedom and choice to best suit their reproductive needs and lifestyles when it comes to balancing hormones.

The varying types of HRT include, but are not limited to:

  • Implants. Implants require a minor surgical procedure in which a tiny, hormone-containing device is implanted under the skin, slowly releasing hormones over time. They must be changed once every few months.

  • Topical creams, gels, and sprays. These topical applications offer women the hormones they need to be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, thus bypassing the liver. They're usually applied daily. It is important to let them dry before touching the area. 

  • Tablets and pills. These are two of the most common ways of reaping the benefits of HRT. They are normally taken once a day and can be estrogen-only or combined. Beware that some risks of HRT are higher with tablets and pills than with other forms of HRT. 

  • Skin patches. HRT patches are applied to the skin and allow hormones to be gradually absorbed into the body. Once applied, they should be changed every few days or as prescribed. Using them can avoid side effects common from oral HRT methods. 

  • Vaginal rings, creams, and suppositories. These HRT options are applied to the vaginal area to relieve vaginal dryness or dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), but not other symptoms of menopause. Each comes with its own application schedule.

In addition, there are a number of hormone-specific types of HRT medications depending on if you are pursuing treatment for your waning estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone levels.

Click on the following link to learn more about the types of estrogen replacement therapy, the most common HRT regimen.

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