FAQs - Stella

Stella FAQs

Our most frequently asked questions about Stella.

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What is Stella?

Stella is an online clinic for menopause offering affordable, personalised menopause care. We provide access to all treatment options, including HRT, ongoing support and community through our menopause app.

With Stella you can start with an in-depth online assessment which helps you understand your stage of menopause and get recommended personalised treatment options based on your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle and preferences. Treatments could include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), if right for you. 

Your subscription includes HRT prescriptions, delivery within five days, online doctor’s appointments with medication review. Online appointments with doctors can be booked to discuss options and there is plenty of time with the doctor to share your experiences and concerns. The first prescription is always for three months and there is a three-month review to see how it’s going.

Access to the Stella menopause app is included. It uses personalised exercises and psychological techniques to get habits to stick, improving health now and in later life. The app covers sleep issues, brain fog, mood changes, weight gain, hot flushes and sweats, bladder problems and low libido, plus much more. 

Inside the app, you can explore articles, exercises, mindfulness meditations, soundscapes, recipes and join our community with live expert Q&As. You can schedule healthy habits and track your progress.

Do employers cover the cost of Stella?

Yes! You can book a demo by emailing us at hello@onstella.com where we explain our packages and onboarding process. Our clinical team can also run sessions to explain menopause for managers or the whole organisation to raise awareness. Find out more on our For Work page.

Want your workplace to offer Stella? Share our For Work page and ask them to email us for a demo at hello@onstella.com.

How much does Stella cost?

Stella costs £135 for a three-month subscription with our introductory offer, which includes talking to one of our doctors for a 20-minute online appointment every three months, your HRT medication and shipping costs, plus access to the Stella menopause support app. All subscriptions are for a minimum of three months.

What do I need for my doctor’s appointment?

You do not need any additional information for your doctor’s appointment. Our doctors will have read your online assessment answers and may talk through some of your answers with you. If you have any of the following available it will be useful in your appointment:
– Any blood test results relating to your hormones, thyroid health or iron levels
– Any recent scan results which may relate to your current symptoms
– Your medications, or a list of the medications you are currently taking

Are doctor appointments online?

Yes, our doctor appointments are online via a secure video platform where you can see the doctor you are talking to. You do not need any special equipment – you can use your laptop or mobile phone.

When you book your appointment, we will send you a secure video link that takes one click to join.

How long are online doctor appointments?

Our appointments are 20 minutes.

How qualified are your doctors?

Our doctors are general practitioners (GPs), gynaecologists or doctors with experience and additional training in women’s health.

How much does a doctor appointment cost?

Our subscription price is £45 per month and includes talking to one of our doctors for a 20-minute online appointment every three months, your HRT medication and shipping costs, plus access to the Stella menopause support app. All subscriptions are for a minimum of three months.

Should I tell my own doctor about my new medications?

Yes. Let your doctor and any healthcare professionals know about your new prescription so they can update your medical records. This is because it may affect other medications or medical conditions. You will receive a clinical letter from Stella which you can share with your doctor.

Can I get testosterone with Stella?

At the moment, we do not prescribe testosterone. We know this is important for many and are looking to add this to our list of medications as quickly as possible. If you are interested in knowing when you can get testosterone with Stella, email hello@onstella.com and we’ll contact you when it’s available.

Do you prescribe body identical HRT?

We prescribe body identical forms of oestrogen and progesterone first, including gels (Sandrena, Oestrogel) and patches (Evorel, Estradot, Estraderm). We recommend body identical progesterone capsules (Utrogestan).

After an online appointment, you may be offered other options such as combined patches or tablets where the oestrogen is body identical but the progesterone is synthetic. All of the HRT we prescribe is regulated. You can read more here about the types of HRT and the difference between body identical and bioidentical HRT.

How much will my HRT cost?

Our subscription price is £45 per month and includes talking to one of our doctors for a 20-minute online appointment every three months, your HRT medication and shipping costs, plus access to the Stella menopause support app. All subscriptions are for a minimum of three months.

What can I do if I have a question about my order, subscription, prescription or anything else?

You can email us at hello@onstella.com or call 020 801 62064 and we’ll get back to you.

How can I change my medication?

You may need to adjust your medication if it is not working for you, or if side effects persist. To discuss your options, contact our care team at hello@onstella.com or 020 801 62064.

How do I renew my prescription?

Your prescription is for three months. We’ll email you before your prescription runs out and we will book a follow-up consultation. If your treatment is easing your symptoms, we will renew your prescription for another three months. If there are any issues, we will work with you on a new plan.

How long will my prescription last?

Three months.

When will I receive my order?

Within five days.

Do you use discreet packaging?

Yes. Your medication will arrive in a plain box with no description or information indicating what is inside.

Do I need to sign for my parcel?

No. Our package is discreet and fits through your letter box, so you don’t have to worry.

Can I use my NHS prescription pre-payment certificate?

No, right now our prescriptions are all private. We have worked very hard to keep the costs as low as possible.

What are the risks of HRT?

There are different types of HRT and the type we recommend depends on your symptoms, personal medical history and family medical history. Read more about HRT risks, such as breast cancer, blood clots and strokes.

How long do I need to take HRT for?

There is no maximum age for taking HRT but the balance between benefits and risks changes as you get older. Some people will choose to stop at age 60 but not all people.

Keep up with regular HRT reviews to check your HRT is working for you. Your HRT should be reviewed at least yearly. You should also be reviewed when you reach the age of 60. Read more about when to stop HRT.

Your HRT reviews are part of your subscription.

How long does HRT take to work?

Within the first two weeks you may notice improvements with some symptoms, such as hot flushes. It takes about three months to stabilise your hormones and feel the full effect, so a little patience is needed.

After three months, we will review your medication with you to check you’re on the right dose and formulation. Adjusting your HRT is an important part of the process and that’s why we offer this service as part of your subscription.

Is HRT a contraceptive?

No. HRT is not a contraceptive. Some people who are still having periods may need to use contraception when taking HRT if they don’t want to get pregnant.

You may have a Mirena coil which can be used as a contraceptive as well as providing the progesterone component of your HRT.

Read more about contraception during menopause.

Will HRT affect any of my other medications or medical conditions?

HRT might affect your other medications or medical conditions. This is why we need you to share details of your medical conditions, previous surgeries and medications with us during your online assessment and doctor’s appointment.

We base our prescription recommendations on the information you share to make sure you are prescribed the safest options. We also encourage you to let your doctor and any healthcare professionals know about your new prescription so they can update your medical records.

Will HRT help my low mood?

It can be difficult to know if mood changes are caused by hormonal changes or other stresses in your life. HRT will help manage anxiety and low mood relating to your hormone levels.

If your mood does not improve after taking HRT, health professionals are there to help. We’d recommend discussing your low mood with a health professional as soon as possible, if you haven’t already. This is particularly important if you have any feelings of harming yourself or other.

Getting help
– Contact your GP or NHS 111
– Samaritans Helpline, available 24/7 – call 116123
– Mind – https://www.mind.org.uk/

Emergency help
If you feel that can’t keep yourself or others safe, call 999 or go to A&E as a place of safety and for emergency help. 

Will I lose weight by taking HRT?

There is no evidence that HRT will help you lose weight. Being able to better manage symptoms can mean you find it easier to exercise and improve your nutrition, both of which could help weight management. You can read more here about weight gain during menopause.

The Stella menopause app can help you with the steps you need to manage weight gain during menopause.

Will using vaginal creams and pessaries affect my contraception?

Some vaginal creams and pessaries can affect how well condoms work and this may change the way we give your medication.

Always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication.

Does HRT cause side effects and how long do they last?

Side effects can occur fairly soon after starting HRT and usually wear off within one to three months.

HRT side effects can include headaches, vaginal spotting, nausea, breast tenderness, and tummy (abdominal) pain. Some may notice mild bloating or ankle swelling due to fluid retention in the first few weeks, but this should settle fairly quickly. HRT that is applied to the skin may cause skin reactions. This is more likely with patches, which contain an adhesive.

Always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication, particularly the section on side effects.

Read more about HRT and side effects.

Why do different HRT medications have different doses?

HRT is absorbed differently depending on the type of formulation, such as patches, tablets or gels. For example, a 25mcg oestrogen patch has the equivalent effect as a 0.5mg Sandrena gel sachet.

We will review your medication after the first three months if your symptoms are not improving, and adjust your dose as needed.

How do I choose between gel, patch or tablet form of HRT?

If you are given a choice of medication, that means they are all safe and appropriate for you to use.

We will list the advantages and disadvantages for each option so you can choose which one is right for you. For example, patches can be worn for multiple days and may be more convenient than applying gel daily. They can also be less messy than a gel. On the other hand, gel can be a better option for those with sensitive skin as a patch contains adhesives that may irritate.

Read more about the different types of HRT.

When should I start my HRT?

The first time you take HRT, take it within five days of starting your period. If you don’t have periods, you can start your HRT at any time.

What happens if I forget to take my HRT?

If you miss a dose of your HRT, read the information leaflet that came with your medication to find out when to take your next dose.

Contact your doctor if you experience any spotting or breakthrough bleeding after you have missed a dose of your HRT.

Should I be worried about my vaginal bleeding or spotting since starting HRT?

A bit of spotting or irregular bleeding is common in the first three months of taking HRT. Make a note of the date, duration and severity and let us know during your three-month review appointment.

Talk to your doctor if you have new heavy bleeding, bleeding after sex, or blood in your urine. Also, talk to your doctor if you experience any unexpected vaginal bleeding when using vaginal creams or pessaries.

Why would I need urgent medical attention after starting HRT?

We are not an emergency service and you need to seek urgent medical attention if you experience the following while taking HRT:
– Sudden severe chest pain (even if not radiating to left arm)
– Sudden breathlessness or cough with blood-stained sputum
– Unexplained swelling or severe pain in the calf of one leg
– Severe abdominal pain
– Severe prolonged headache (particularly if this is your first one), if it’s getting progressively worse, or if you are experiencing loss of vision
– Change in speech or new weakness/numbness affecting one side or part of the body

Your doctor will be able to advise you on further actions and whether you need to stop HRT or not.

Is HRT available over the counter?

Some types of HRT are available over the counter in pharmacies. At the moment this only includes one vaginal cream, which we offer if you are eligible. You can read more here about over-the-counter HRT.

Can an app help menopause symptoms?

Yes, it can. Research shows that apps can help tremendously – 80% of medical studies found apps had a positive impact on targeted medical outcomes or behaviour (source).

What is the Stella app?

Stella is a menopause support app that helps you manage your symptoms including sleep issues, mood changes, weight gain, hot flushes and sweats, brain fog, bladder problems and low libido, plus much more. Stella helps you understand how to improve your health now and in later life.

When you subscribe to Stella, you get a personalised plan for your specific symptoms, a real-life coach and progress tracking. You get access to hundreds of menopause-specific articles, including stories from women just like you sharing what worked for them and their experiences. You can also watch yoga, strength-training and cardio videos or, if you want to relax or regain focus, discover our guided meditations, sleep stories and soundscapes. If you want to overhaul your nutrition, choose from our bank of menopause-friendly recipes.

Does the Stella app work?

Yes. Research shows that 75% of women who complete a Stella plan report improved symptoms and 80% say they feel better. Stella is recommended by menopause specialists.

How do I subscribe to the Stella app?

Begin your free menopause assessment to find out more about the Stella app and how to subscribe. Enter a voucher code if you have one, or click “I don’t have a code” if you do not have one.

You can also get Stella through benefit platforms including BenefitHub, Betterspace, Heka and YuLife.

What symptoms does the Stella app support?

Stella supports nearly all of the 34 recognised symptoms of menopause, across sleep, mood, sex and relationships, weight gain, pelvic floor and hot flushes/night sweats, plus much more.

Are Stella app coaches real?

Our coaches give 1:1 support and group coaching to motivate and encourage you. They do not provide medical advice. 

They will signpost you to resources and check in with your progress. Stella users who interact with their coach are three times more likely to complete their plan.

How much time does a plan take on the Stella app?

The time spent using Stella is at the complete discretion of each person. You can spend as little time as you want (maybe reading a few articles) or as much time as you want (deep diving into your plan’s recommended new habits and resources).

Each week a new session unlocks and it takes about 15 minutes to read it. Stella was designed to deliver value while fitting into even the busiest lifestyle, making sure that all sessions and habits can be actioned without compromising on accuracy or quality.

How can I track my progress in the Stella app?

Stella uses an end-of-plan symptom check-in questionnaire, so you can track your progress. The questions and scoring are based on the Green Climacteric Score.

How do I join your online events?

We hold regular events online that you can join for free, including expert Q&As. If you’ve subscribed, you will receive a weekly newsletter that will share the upcoming scheduled events.