Hormone Pellet Therapy - What it is and How it Compares to Other Forms of HRT
February 24, 10
By Louis Esquivel
Natural bio identical hormone replacement therapy has become a very popular and effective means of relieving the symptoms of menopause and andropause ( “male menopause” ). Women are typically bothered by hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, fatigue, low libido and brain fog. Men typically experience low energy, irritability, low libido and lack of drive.
Various methods of hormone replacement therapy exist including oral pills, sub lingual (under the tongue), buccal (on the inner cheek), injections and topical creams. Of these methods of hormone delivery, topical creams appear to be the most commonly prescribed method. There are pros and cons of each method and the decision as to which method to use is determined in part by the patients needs, preexisting health conditions or risk factors and other factors your qualified physician may believe are important.
The pellet method is a less common but highly effective method of hormone delivery which has several advantages over all the other above mentioned approaches. Subcutaneous pellet therapy is more common and popular in Europe. It is only relatively new to patients here in the United States. It involves a minor surgical procedure performed in the doctor’s office under a local anesthetic. Specially prepared hormone pellets, about the size of a large grain of rice, are implanted just under the skin. The surgical wound itself is only a few millimeters long and is typically made in the upper-outer buttock area. Wound healing is rapid and in most cases, life as usual goes on after 5 to 7 days of limiting tub bathing, swimming and vigorous physical activity.
So what are the advantages of pellet therapy over all the other methods?
1.) Convenience! Pellet therapy typically lasts for 4 months in females and up to 6 months in males. All the other methods (except injections) must be taken or applied on a daily to twice daily basis.
2.) More consistent levels of hormone. As pellets are a depository of hormone under the skin, your body will dissolve and absorb the amount it needs in a regular steady manner. You maintain a more even level of hormone at all times. Which results in more even relief of the very symptoms we are trying to alleviate in the first place! All the other methods (though again less so for certain types of injections) tend to deliver hormone in a roller coaster manner, with high levels soon after it has been applied or taken and low levels toward the end of the dosage interval.
3.) Bypassing the Liver. All the other methods, except for creams and to an extent the under the tongue methods must first be processed by the liver before they enter the general circulation. It is this so called “first pass” effect that accounts for some of the problems noted with synthetic hormones such as increased risks for blood clots, strokes, heart attacks and increase in lever enzymes.
4.) Greater symptom relief. This is obviously a subjective opinion, but in my experience as well as in the reports from pellet therapy patients who have tried other methods of hormone replacement, this method has by far given the greatest degree of relief and resolution of the various symptoms related to menopause and andropause.