Medical experts are calling for action to resolve the national shortage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products used to treat menopausal symptoms.
The shortage is causing difficulties for thousands of women in the UK, medical experts have said.
Many women approaching menopause in the UK have been struggling to access the drugs for the past year, which reproductive health bodies say is due to ongoing manufacturing and supply issues.
But the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and British Menopause Society (BMS) say it is still unclear why the shortages started and why they “seem to be unique to the UK”.
There are also concerns that more recent reports of shortages of contraceptives will be detrimental to the physical and mental wellbeing of women and girls, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) said.
The three organisations have written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for a group to be set up to address the root cause of the shortages, following what they call an “extremely frustrating” lack of transparency.
HRT is prescribed to women to replace their body’s declining levels of oestrogen during the menopause.
There are currently around 360,000 prescriptions of HRT medicines dispensed every month on the NHS.
In October, the DHSC restricted exports of 19 HRT medications to help address the shortfall in the UK.
What is your experience? Have you been affected by the shortage of HRT products? Have you had to use alternatives as your prescribed product is not available?