Elleste Duet Conti contains two types of female hormones, estrogen (estradiol) and progesterone (norethisterone). Progesterone is added to combined HRT to minimize the risk of developing cancer of the womb (endometrial cancer). Most women take a combined HRT like Elleste Duet Conti unless they have had their womb removed. When you go through the menopause your ovaries stop producing eggs and also oestrogen, the lower levels of oestrogen can cause some unpleasant symptoms like hot flushes, vaginal dryness, changes in your libido, mood swings and sleeping problems. Elleste Conti Duet has been developed to help combat some of these symptoms.
Are you aged 45-55 and suffering from hot flushes, night sweats, headaches or mood changes? It could be you are going through the menopause. While the menopause is completely natural, it does bring with it many challenges and symptoms. Some of these can be mild and some can be stronger, sometimes they’re merely a small annoyance, at other times they can take over your life.
Menopause happens because your ovaries stop producing eggs. When this happens, there is a drop in the hormone estrogen in your body. This lack of estrogen is responsible for many of the more unpleasant side effects linked to the menopause. These include:
- Hot flushes
- Vaginal dryness
- Lower sex drive
- Night sweats
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood changes
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Teduced muscle mass
- Weak bones, osteoporosis
As mentioned, the usual age for the menopause is between 45 and 55 years old, the average in the UK being 51. Some women go through premature menopause (under the age of 45). The menopause isn’t a quick process, it can last anything from 6 months to 13 years. So that’s quite a long time to put up with the symptoms if they are affecting your daily life.
The three main stages of menopause:
- Perimenopause: the time when your periods are becoming less frequent and lighter, lasts on average 4 years.
- Menopause: once your last period finishes, the average age in the UK is 51.
- Postmenopause: menopause ends one full year after your last period, but it usually takes 2 to 5 years for symptoms to stop.
To help with the symptoms of menopause it’s really important to maintain overall good health:
- Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week
- Lose weight if you need to
- Quit smoking
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Eat a healthy balanced diet packed with essential nutrients
If hot flushes are the main issue, then you could try the following:
- Dress in layers so you can remove one if you’re feeling hot
- Take a cool shower
- Invest in a fan
- Avoid trigger foods such as spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol
If your symptoms are seriously disrupting your daily life there are treatments available to help you. Some women turn to herbal or complementary medicines but you should always proceed with caution where these are concerned. They simply don’t adhere to the same strict regulations as conventional medicines and on the whole, results cannot be proven.
The main treatment in the UK is Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT), as the name suggests, HRT is a range of medicines designed to restore the levels of the hormone estrogen in your blood. Sometimes these come combined with the other most common female hormone, progesterone. There are a whole range of different types of treatment available and different medicines target different issues specifically. Finding the right medicine for you can sometimes be a process of trial and error. Some treatments are taken continuously, others are taken according to your cycle.
HRT also comes in a variety of different forms:
- Vaginal creams
Again, it’s about finding the treatment that suits you best. You should always take the lowest possible dose of HRT that you can for the shortest possible period of time. One HRT that contains both estrogen and progesterone is Elleste Duet Conti. To find out more about whether this may be an HRT that suits you, read on
What is Elleste Duet Conti?
Elleste Duet Conti contains two types of female hormones, estrogen (estradiol) and progesterone (norethisterone). Progesterone is added to combined HRT to minimize the risk of developing cancer of the womb (endometrial cancer). Most women take a combined HRT like Elleste Duet Conti unless they have had their womb removed.
When you go through the menopause your ovaries stop producing eggs and also oestrogen, the lower levels of oestrogen can cause some unpleasant symptoms like hot flushes, vaginal dryness, changes in your libido, mood swings and sleeping problems. Elleste Conti Duet has been developed to help combat some of these symptoms.
When is Elleste Duet Conti used?
Elleste Duet Conti is used to help with the symptoms of the menopause and is designed to be used when at least 12 months have passed since your last period, so in the postmenopausal phase. In particular, it is prescribed to help with hot flushes.
It can also be prescribed to help protect postmenopausal women from osteoporosis, although only if there is a reason that certain other medication cannot be taken. You will only be prescribed Elleste Duet Conti if your menopause symptoms are seriously affecting your day to day life and simple lifestyle changes (like exercise, healthy eating and preparing for flushes) are not making enough of a difference.
How do you use Elleste Duet Conti?
Elleste Duet Conti comes in tablet form. You should take one tablet a day and aim to take it at the same time every day. Swallow the tablet whole with water. The tablet comes in packaging marked with the days of the week to help you remember to take it every day. The package is also marked with arrows indicating which order to follow when taking them. When you finish one strip of tablets, start a new strip on the next day.
When you are taking Elleste Duet Conti for the first time you can start as soon as you get your prescription if you are not already taking any other form of HRT. If you are already using an HRT and the one you are using means you usually have a monthly bleed then take your first tablet on the first day of your bleed. If the HRT you are using doesn’t allow you a monthly bleed, then simply start taking Elleste Duet Conti on a convenient day.
What dosages are there?
Elleste Duet Conti comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains 2mg of estradiol and 1mg of norethisterone acetate. It comes in packs of 24 or 88 tablets. You should always be taking the lowest possible dose of HRT for the shortest possible time to control your symptoms.
If you forget to take your tablet at the right time take it as soon as you remember and then take the next tablet at the usual time. If you are more than 12 hours late to take your tablet, simply skip it. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed tablet. You may experience bleeding or spotting if you miss your tablet. If you take more Elleste Duet Conti than you should, it is unlikely to cause any serious problems but you may experience sore breasts, nausea, sickness, tiredness, low mood, acne and an increase in body and facial hair. Remember you should always follow your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions when it comes to taking medicines and check with them if you are unsure of anything.
What are the side effects of Elleste Duet Conti?
As with all medicines, Elleste Duet Conti comes with some side effects, but not everyone will get them. There are some diseases that are reported more often in women using HRT compared to women who aren’t using HRT, these include:
- Breast cancer
- Abnormal growth or cancer of the lining of the womb
- Ovarian cancer
- Blood clots in the leg veins or lungs
- Memory loss (dementia)
- Heart disease
Very common side effects that may affect more than 1 in 10 people include:
- Painful periods
- Problems with your menstrual cycle
- Breast pain or tenderness
Common side effects that may affect up to 1 in 10 people include:
- Low mood
- Sleeping problems
- Rashes or itchiness
- Back pain
- Vaginal discharge
- Vaginal infection
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Changes to your sex drive
- Excessive thickening of the womb lining
- Increase in weight
- Swollen ankles
Uncommon side effects that may affect up to 1 in 100 people include:
- High blood pressure
- Varicose veins
- Breast cancer
- Muscle cramps
If you are worried about any of the side effects or you are finding them difficult to cope with then speak to your doctor about making changes.
When shouldn’t you take Elleste Duet Conti?
If you have ever had certain illnesses, then you should avoid taking Elleste Duet Conti as it can cause further complications or worsen a condition you already have:
- Breast cancer
- Cancer which is sensitive to oestrogens
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Excessive thickening of the womb lining
- A blood clot in a vein
- A heart attack, stroke or angina
- Liver disease
- A blood clotting disorder
If any of the conditions listed above appear for the first time when taking Elleste Duet Conti, stop taking the tablets immediately and contact your doctor. Never take Elleste Duet Conti if you are allergic to estradiol hemihydrate or norethisterone acetate or any of the other ingredients listed on the package. If you have ever had any of the following you should talk to your doctor before taking Elleste Duet Conti as it can make things worse or cause a recurrence so you will need more frequent check-ups:
- Growth of womb lining outside your womb or excessive growth in the womb lining
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Severe headaches
- Fluid retention
- High levels of fat in your blood
- A disease which affects your immune system
- Otosclerosis (a disease affecting your hearing
Does Elleste Duet Conti interact with other medications?
Always tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including herbal supplements and vitamins, as even complementary medicines can affect how certain other medicines work.
Some medicines may affect how Elleste Duet Conti works, these include:
- Medicines for tuberculosis
- Medicines for HIV infection
- Medicines for epilepsy
- St. John’s Wort
Where can you buy Elleste Duet Conti?
You can order Elleste Duet Conti online from a pharmacy or buy it in pharmacies nationwide.
Can I get Elleste Duet Conti without a prescription?
No, Elleste Duet Conti is a prescription only medicine you cannot buy it over the counter. You will need to discuss your symptoms and general health with a doctor to get a prescription. You could make an appointment at your doctor’s surgery or you can consult a doctor online if you wish.
Brazier, Yvette What you need to know about HRT (May 2017) Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181726.php
Irani, Shirin Consultant Gynaecologist Menopause (2019) Retrieved from https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/womens-health/menopause
NHS UK Hormone Replacement Therapy (July 2016) Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/
NHS UK Menopause Treatment (August 2018) Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/treatment/
Piramal Healthcare Elleste Duet Conti Patient Leaflet (May 2018) Retrieved from https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.9511.pdf