Different Forms of HRT: Aygestin, Norlutate, Norlutin

Please note: the information below is intended for general guidance only. EarlyMenopause.com cannot guarantee the current availability (or suitability) of any form of HRT. Consult your doctor for further information.

Contains: Progestin — norethindrone acetate

Another synthetic progesterone, norethindrone acetate (NETA) is a C19 progestin, made from testosterone. Different chemical groups are added and subtracted, eliminating the male properties from the hormone and forming an absorbable, stable progestin.

It is stronger than MPA, so you need smaller dosages. It’s commonly prescribed to women who have had problems dealing with side effects from Provera or Cycrin, and is said to help reduce the breast tenderness and bloating that are often caused by MPA. In addition, it lowers triglycerides — which is a plus, since estrogen tends to raise them. The downside? Since it’s made from testosterone, some studies have indicated that is has androgenic effects — in other words, it may cause masculinizing side effects, such as acne, hair growth, and excessive oil production.

But there is one plus to its androgenic roots: One recent study conducted in Denmark found that women on estradiol and norethrindrone acetate showed a decrease in fat — especially in the abdominal area — and an increase in muscle mass. The doctor in charge of the study pointed out that it wasn’t conclusive, but this could be due to the androgenic source of the progestin.

  • Standard dosage: 5 mgs
  • Pros: Often causes fewer side effects than Provera or Cycrin; may reduce breast tenderness and bloating, lowers triglycerides; may help decrease fat and increase muscle mass
  • Cons: May cause weight gain (but primarily lean mass, not fat), increased cholesterol levels, acne, excessive oil production, other masculine characteristics