Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Bioidentical hormone pellets have been used with great success in the U.S., Europe, and Australia since 1938. In fact, pellet implants were a very popular mode of hormone administration in the U.S. until the 1970s, when many oral and topical commercial products were developed. While the demand for pellets diminished in the U.S., pellet implants continued to be a very popular mode of hormone administration throughout Europe and Australia. In the last 10 years, due to advances in processes and a better understanding of the benefits of pellet implants, this mode of hormone therapy has once again grown in popularity in the U.S.
70+ years of research have illustrated the benefits of bioidentical hormone pellet implants in both women and men. Pellets deliver consistent, physiologic levels of hormones. Pellet dosing is individualized and calculated for each person for optimal results. Pellets bypass the liver and don’t negatively impact clotting factors, blood pressure, lipid levels, glucose, or liver function.
Pellets have consistently been shown to improve:
- Weight loss
- Muscle building
- Cardiovascular health and heart protection
- Sex drive
- Sexual function (which is often significantly increased in both men and women)
Effects of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Data supports that hormone replacement therapy with pellet implants is the most effective and bioidentical method at providing hormone support for both men and women. Implants, placed under the skin, consistently improve hormonal imbalance by releasing small, physiologic doses of hormones and providing optimal therapy.
What are Pellets?
Fused pellet implants are compounded using biologically identical hormones. Pellets are made up of either estradiol or testosterone and sometimes DHEA, Progesterone, and Pregnenolone. The hormones are pressed or fused into very small solid cylinders. These pellets are larger than a grain of rice and smaller than a ‘Tic Tac’. In the U.S., most pellets are made by compounding pharmacists and are delivered in sterile glass vials. There are also ‘FDA approved’ 75 mg testosterone pellets (often used in urology offices).
Pellets avoid the fluctuations of hormone levels seen with every other method of delivery. Estrogen delivered by subcutaneous pellets, maintain the normal ratio of estradiol to estrone. This is important for optimal health and disease prevention. Pellets do not increase the risk of blood clots, unlike conventional or synthetic hormone replacement therapy.
When compared to conventional hormone replacement therapy, pellets have been shown to be superior for relief of menopausal symptoms, maintenance of bone density, restoration of sleep patterns, and improvement in sex drive, libido, sexual response, and performance. Testosterone delivered by pellet has been used to treat migraine and menstrual headaches. It can also help with vaginal dryness, incontinence, urinary urgency, and frequency.
In both men and women, testosterone has been shown to increase energy, relieve depression, increase the sense of well-being, relieve anxiety, and improve memory and concentration. Testosterone, delivered by pellet, increases lean body mass (muscle strength, bone density) and decreases fat mass. Men and women need adequate levels of testosterone for optimal mental and physical health and for the prevention of chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, which are associated with low testosterone levels.
Even patients who have failed other types of hormone therapy have a very high success rate with pellets. There is no other “method of hormone delivery” that is as convenient for patients as these implants.
How and Where Are Pellets Inserted?
Pellet insertion is a relatively simple in-office procedure done with local anesthesia. The pellets are inserted subcutaneously (under the fatty lining of skin), in the upper buttocks through a very small incision (the size of an eraser head). The incision is then closed with sterile tape strips. Typically, patients cannot feel the implants under their skin.
How Do Pellets Work?
The hormones are released into circulation via capillaries that form around the pellets. When your heart rate rises with stress, movement, or exercise, hormones are released in greater quantity, providing greater support for what you are doing or experiencing. When your heart rate is lower with sleep and rest, less hormone is released, which provides good sleep and calmness. Not only are pellets giving you more help when you need it, but they also provide the correct amount of hormone. You can avoid forgetting to take your daily hormone pills, taking the same dose daily even if you need more with stress, and often not absorbing other methods of hormone therapy.
Side Effects or Complications
Complications from the insertion of pellets include minor bleeding, bruising, or infection at the insertion site (infection is extremely rare). Testosterone stimulates the bone marrow and increases the production of red blood cells. A low testosterone level in older men is a cause of anemia. Testosterone, delivered by pellets or other methods, can cause an elevation in the red blood cells. After the insertion of the pellets, vigorous physical activity should be avoided 48 hours for women and up to five days for men.
Do Men Need Hormone Therapy?
Testosterone levels begin to decline in men beginning in their early 30’s. Most men maintain adequate levels of testosterone into their mid-40’s to mid-’50s, some into their late '70’s to early ’80s. Men should be tested when they begin to show signs of testosterone deficiency. Even men in their 30’s can be testosterone deficient and show signs of bone loss, fatigue, depression, erectile dysfunction, difficulty sleeping, body pain, mental decline, irritability, weight gain, and hair loss.
Most men need to be tested around 50 years of age. Men can enjoy the benefits of testosterone therapy for most of their lives.
Get Balanced Today!
Hormone Pellet Therapy is available at all OnePeak Medical Clinic locations.