What are Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Pellets?
Pellets are tiny pieces of all-natural material derived from plants – yams or soybeans. Pellets are about the size of a grain of rice. They are built by a special pharmacy according to your doctor’s prescription to contain bioidentical hormones in precise amounts and ratios. Those pellets are then implanted under your skin in a simple office procedure. Once in place, the pellets start releasing the bioidentical hormones in a pattern that is similar to your body’s natural hormone production. Depending on the hormone types and doses, pellets work for 3 – 6 months. They slowly and gradually dissolve releasing the hormones. Once they are gone, they leave no residue behind and can be easily replaced by new pellets to maintain your hormone levels and balance.
Who are pellets for?
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help both women and men of virtually any age. It is indicated when natural hormonal levels decrease and go out of balance due to normal aging or other causes such as surgery, medical conditions and medications.
Typical symptoms and conditions improved by Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy using pellets are
- Symptoms of menopause and andropause
- Low sex drive
- Low energy
- Weight gain
- Insomnia and other sleeping disorders
- Loss of focus and concentration
- Mood swings
- Menstrual or migraine headaches
- Hormone deficiency caused by birth control
History of pellets
With their ever-growing popularity, it may seem that pellets are a new invention. In reality, they are not! Bioidentical hormone replacement pellets were developed in Europe in 1930’s and first used to relieve the symptoms of women who underwent radical hysterectomy. Later their use was expanded to include women going through menopause and other types of hormonal imbalance, and men. This means the pellets have been around for over 80 years with an outstanding safety record!
Hormones in the pellets
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement pellets most commonly contain pure pharmaceutical-grade estradiol and/or testosterone identical to your own hormones in their chemical structure and in exact ratios your body needs. Other hormones that can be used in the pellet form are progesterone, pregnanolone and DHEA.
How pellets are inserted
Pellet insertion procedure is performed at the office. It is quick and virtually painless taking about 15 minutes. The doctor will thoroughly clean the skin in the upper portion of your buttocks with an antiseptic solution to make sure everything stays sterile and no bacteria that cause infection can get inside. She will then inject local anesthetic with a tiny needle to numb the area of pellet insertion. That’s the only tiny pinprick you will feel. Then your doctor will make a small, less than ¼ inch hole in your skin and place a pellet under your skin through that hole using a special device. The device looks like a syringe with a needle, just bigger than regular syringes. Doctor will just hold pressure in the area for about 5 minutes to make sure the pellet settles in place and there is no bleeding. Finally she’ll cover that small hole in your skin with a sticky strip that will keep it closed while your skin heals. Your skin will heal quickly, and in a couple of weeks you may not even see the spot where the pellet was inserted. You will receive detailed care instructions what to do and not to do while you skin at the pellet insertion site is healing.
Pros and cons of pellets
Like most treatments in medicine, pellet therapy has its advantages and disadvantages. You’ll be carefully evaluated by our doctor to make sure there are many pros than cons before offering you the pellet option. You’ll be able to make an informed decision at that time but here is what you should know as you consider Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy using pellets.
- Pellets release hormones in a way that best mimics natural hormone release by the ovaries and testes.
- Pellets are made of all-natural plant-derived material that completely dissolves in your body as a pellet finishes its job.
- Pellets have an outstanding safety record and are not linked to cancer or other side effects.
- Pellets offer the convenience of living your life naturally and not worrying of frequent hormone injections, pills or messy creams.
- You will not forget to take your hormones and miss a dose which can happen with other treatment methods.
- Pellets are designed to provide long-term hormone replacement therapy and are not considered removable. Once inserted, they will keep releasing bioidentical hormones until they completely dissolve under your skin in 3-6 months. For that reason, pellet therapy should be provided only by a trained professional experienced in determining the proper hormone doses and ratios for each patient.
- Pellet insertion is an office procedure that can cause mild discomfort during the procedure itself and some inconvenience while the pellet insertion site heals.
- Pellet insertion involves breaking the skin, so there is a slight chance of infection and bleeding. Extrusion of pellets and bruising are also possible. Pellet insertion complications are exceedingly rare, however.
- You may feel some discomfort for a few days after pellet insertion as your body adjusts to the new hormonal balance. This discomfort, however, can happen, however, in other hormone replacement methods.
The biggest advantage of pellets is that they provide optimal hormonal levels for weeks and months, something that cannot be achieved with other methods.
When should pellet hormone therapy begin?
Pellets are most commonly used as women approach and enter menopause and men enter andropause. The benefits of pellet therapy, however, are not limited to menopause and andropause. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy using pellets can help with hormonal deficiency and imbalance symptoms at any age and for any reason such as surgery, medications and medical conditions. Once we test your hormonal balance levels we’ll be able to tell you whether you may benefit from pellet therapy.
How soon will I feel the effects of pellet therapy?
You may feel more energy and better mood as quickly as in a few hours. Your sex drive may also improve quickly. It may take up to 3 weeks to begin fully enjoying the full benefits of pellet therapy. Your body needs time to adjust to the new hormonal levels, and everyone’s body responds to therapy differently. Some effects of the therapy such as increased muscle mass, decreased body fat and stronger bones may take a while to develop. We’ll be monitoring your hormonal levels and balance to be sure you are getting maximum benefits from pellet treatment.