Ask the Nurse

I am getting ready to start Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) after a complete hysterectomy. Will the estrogen patch cause weight gain? I am prescribed 0.075 mg.

Weight gain is a woman’s biggest concern! (No pun intended.) The estrogen patch consists of 17-B Estradiol, a bioidentical estrogen, which is the predominant form of estrogen that our bodies produce when the ovaries are working.

17-B Estradiol has positive effects on the bone, brain and vaginal tissue. Oral preparations of 17-B Estradiol are subject to what is called a first pass through the liver, where it is metabolized and as a result may promote more unwanted side effects such as nausea, bloating and blood clotting. The transdermal skin (the patch, spray or gel) route is not subject to the initial first pass through the liver.

In general, there is NOT weight gain with menopausal estrogen therapy. In fact, women on estrogen post-hysterectomy tend to be leaner than women not on estrogen.

Please be sure to follow up with your health care provider to individualize your dose as patch strengths range from 0.100 to 0.075, to 0.06 to 005, to 0.0375 to 0.025, to the lowest of 0.014. You want to be sure you get just the right amount of estrogen that your body needs!

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

August 28, 2012 at 3:30pm