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Your doctor may have talked to you about whether Bijuve (a new type of HRT) is right for you. Here’s some information about Bijuve: what it is, how it differs from other HRTs, who can take it, and the benefits, side-effects and risks.
Bijuve is a new oral HRT tablet that was launched in September 2021.
The tablet contains 1mg of oestradiol (oestrogen) and 100mg progesterone and has been designed for women who have their womb intact (that is, have not had a hysterectomy) and whose last period was at least 12 months ago.
Both the oestradiol and progesterone are ‘body identical’ – that is chemically and biologically the same as hormones that naturally circulate in a woman’s body.
All the other HRT tablets that contain both oestrogen and progestogen contain a synthetic progestogen. Bijuve is different in that both the oestrogen and the progestogen are ‘body identical’ hormones – that is biochemically the same as the hormones made by your body.
HRT consists of two hormones – an oestrogen and a progestogen. If you have had a hysterectomy, you usually only need the oestrogen part. The vast majority of oestrogen prescribed is body identical oestradiol. The exceptions are Premarin-containing products, and tibolone. Premarin products contain conjugated equine oestrogens (i.e., a mix of oestrogen derived from horse urine). Tibolone is fully synthetic with oestrogen, progestogen and androgen (male hormone) like properties.
What are the advantages of body identical hormones? Body identical progesterone has a lower risk of breast cancer compared with synthetic alternatives and has a neutral effect on blood clotting and blood lipids like cholesterol.
Bijuve is a continuous combined type of HRT – that is, a ‘no bleed’ HRT designed for women to take when periods have stopped for around 1 year or longer.
Like any form of HRT, Bijuve will reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. The risk of heart disease – and death as a result of heart disease – is reduced when HRT is started under the age of 60 years or within 10 years of the menopause. If HRT is started early in the menopause transition, and in premature ovarian insufficiency, HRT will also reduce the risk of dementia.
Please see here for more on the benefits of HRT.
The side effects are similar to other forms of HRT – breast tenderness, headache, nausea, pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, and unscheduled vaginal bleeding are the most common.
Bijuve contains oral oestradiol and so there is likely to be a small increase in the risk of blood clots or stroke when compared with taking oestrogen transdermally (through the skin). HRT containing progesterone has a lower risk of breast cancer compared with synthetic alternatives, but the risk is likely to increase with time as it is with other forms of HRT.
You can read more about the risks and benefits of HRT here.
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