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Oestrogen-only tablets: what is Elleste Solo and how do I use it?

Elleste Solo tablets are a type of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that contain the hormone oestradiol, which is identical to the oestrogen made naturally in the ovaries. HRT is the most effective way to improve symptoms of the perimenopause and menopause, which can include hot flushes, night sweats, poor sleep, brain fog, vaginal dryness, depression, anxiety and mood swings.

How does Elleste Solo work?

Elleste Solo works by replacing the oestrogen that is lost during the menopause transition. It’s a type of systemic HRT, which means it sends hormones into the bloodstream so they can travel through the entire body and relieve a wide range of symptoms.

When and how do I use Elleste Solo?

Elleste Solo is a single tablet, which should be taken at a similar time of day, with or without food. If you still have your womb, you will 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. In some types of HRT, the oestrogen and progestogen are combined, but this isn’t the case with Elleste Solo.

What doses does Elleste Solo come in?

It’s available in two strengths: 1mg and 2mg. You will usually begin on the 1mg dose, but your doctor may recommend increasing this to 2mg if your symptoms don’t improve after the first three months.

What are the benefits?

Some people find that tablets like Elleste Solo are the simplest and most convenient way to take HRT. 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 Elleste Solo suitable for?

For most people, the benefits of HRT outweigh any risks. However, there’s a small increased risk of blood clot or stroke if you take HRT in tablet form, and this is more likely if you are obese, a smoker, or have had a clot in the past. For this reason, your doctor may decide that taking oestrogen via a patch, gel or spray may be a better option for you.

Can I expect any side effects?

It often takes a few months for the body to adjust to taking HRT, so you may notice some mild side effects. Not everyone experiences these, but you might notice a slight feeling of sickness, some breast discomfort or leg cramps. You may also experience some breakthrough bleeding or spotting. Let your doctor know if this continues for longer than the first six months. You may also experience a lower libido when you take HRT tablets. If this becomes an issue, talk to your doctor about taking oestrogen in a patch, gel or spray instead, as these don’t have this effect.

RELATED: HRT doses explained


NHS: hormone replacement therapy

NICE: estradiol tablet

Oestrogen-only tablets: what is Elleste Solo and how do I use it?

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