What if I can’t use HRT

HRT is often portrayed as the be-all and end-all answer to menopause symptoms. But what if you have been through surgical menopause, HRT doesn’t agree with you, or you don’t want to use it?

We all have choices and should never feel pressured to do what the majority does. Our bodies belong to us. Why give in to pier pressure? Yes, HRT has many benefits, but we still have a choice.

So what else can we take if we can’t take HRT, and what else may we be prescribed?

Many GPs will look at the following:-




There are two types of antidepressants – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – which may help with hot flushes caused by menopause.

These medicines are not licensed for this use. This means they have yet to undergo clinical trials to test if they help this symptom, but many experts believe they’re likely to help, and your doctor will discuss the possible benefits and risks with you.


Tibolone (brand name Livial) is a prescription medicine similar to combined HRT (oestrogen and progestogen).

It’s taken as a tablet once a day. It can help relieve symptoms such as hot flushes, low mood and reduced sex drive, although some studies have suggested it may not be as effective as combined HRT.

It’s only suitable for women who had their last period more than a year ago (known as post-menopause).


Clonidine is a prescription medicine that can help reduce hot flushes and night sweats in some menopausal women. It’s taken as tablets 2 or 3 times a day.

 It does not affect hormone levels, so unlike HRT, it does not carry an increased risk of problems such as breast cancer. But research suggests it only has a minimal effect on menopausal symptoms.

Complimentary medications

Purchase online or in a health food store. These are:-


St John’s Wart

Evening Primrose


Black Cohosh  


Always check that these alternatives do not interfere with any prescribed medication.

Find what works best for you and run with that because we are all different. One size does not fit all.

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