A NEW approach to hormone replacement therapy that may reduce unwanted side-effects is being studied at the Margaret Pyke Centre in London. Women recruited to the project will still take oestrogen orally, but progestogen, the second hormone used in HRT, will be released by an intrauterine device rather than being taken orally.

Giving progestogen in IUD form may reduce the dose needed to protect women from the risk of endometrial cancer and reduce side-effects such as abdominal swelling and mood swings. Delivering the hormone in this way will also provide contraception for those who still need it, and reduce the heavy bleeding often suffered by women who are nearing the menopause.

Women in their forties who have menopausal symptoms but whose periods have not completely stopped, and who are interested in joining the project, should contact Dr Naomi Hampton, Margaret Pyke Centre, 15 Bateman Buildings, Soho Square, London W1V 5TW (071-734 9358).