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Oestrogen-only patches: what is Evorel and how do I use it?

Evorel is a type of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that relieves symptoms of the perimenopause and menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats, poor sleep, brain fog, vaginal dryness, depression, anxiety and mood swings. These small, clear patches contain the hormone oestradiol, which is identical to the oestrogen made naturally in the ovaries.

How does Evorel work?

Evorel works by replacing the oestrogen that is lost during the perimenopause and menopause. It’s a type of systemic HRT, so when the sticky patch is applied to the skin it releases oestrogen directly into the bloodstream where it can travel through the entire body and relieve a wide range of symptoms.

When and how do I use Evorel?

An Evorel patch should be applied below the waist to clean, dry skin. Most people find that they stick well to their bottom or thigh, but others prefer to stick them to their hip or tummy. It’s a good idea to vary the location, as you might notice that your skin is slightly red or irritated when you remove the patch. Each patch contains enough oestradiol for three or four days, so it should be changed twice per week on the same days, and at roughly the same time.

If you still have your womb, you’ll also need to take a form of progesterone or progestogen, which is usually given as a tablet or via the Mirena coil. This is because taking oestrogen can thicken the cells in the lining of the womb, and there’s a small risk of these cells turning cancerous. There’s no increased risk of cancer of the uterus when you also take progesterone or progestogen.

What doses does Evorel come in?

Evorel patches are available in four strengths: 25mcg, 50mcg, 75mcg and 100mcg. Most people start on a low dose and this is titrated over time according to individual symptoms.

What are the benefits?

You may find patches are more convenient than gels and sprays as they don’t need to be applied every day and they’re less messy to use. As well as easing unpleasant menopausal symptoms, taking HRT can also reduce your future risk of osteoporosis, as well as your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Who is Evorel suitable for?

For most people, the benefits of HRT outweigh any risks. As the oestrogen is absorbed through your skin there’s no increased risk of blood clot or stroke, and it can also be used if you have migraines.

Can I expect any side effects?

It can take a few months for the the body to adjust to taking HRT, so you may notice some mild side effects. The most common are breast discomfort, leg cramps and breakthrough bleeding or spotting. These usually settle over time, but talk to your doctor if side effects persist for longer than the first six months. Patches can leave some sticky marks on the skin, but these can be removed with baby oil and a dry flannel.

RELATED: how to apply HRT patches


NHS: hormone replacement therapy

NICE: Estradiol

Oestrogen-only patches: what is Evorel and how do I use it?

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