Hormone Replacement Therapy with Pellets Now Available in Tampa
At BioDesign Wellness, pellet therapy is now offered on our existing menu of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) options. Choices for HRT now include:
- Pellets (mainly for women), surgically inserted just below the skin every three to five months. (Note: While we often recommend a different approach for men, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy through the delivery of pellets placed just below the skinis available.)
- Capsules, taken orally by prescription
- Topical creams
Your choice depends primarily on personal preference. Many women who can benefit from HRT opt for pellets to avoid taking medication daily, but capsules, creams, patches, and injections have their own advantages, as you’ll see later in this post.
Do I Need Hormone Replacement Therapy?
We take a conservative approach to HRT for both women and men. First, we seek to understand and then address any underlying health issues that may be hindering you from feeling your absolute best. Then — and only then — do we consider hormone replacement therapy, and only if a patient is experiencing symptoms indicating that such therapy may be useful, such as the following:
|Symptoms for Women||Symptoms for Men|
|Anxiety||Lost strength or endurance|
|Brain fog (reduced mental clarity/focus)||Brain fog (reduced mental clarity or lack of focus)|
|Dry skin||Less frequent or weaker erections|
|Hair loss||Deterioration of athletic performance or inability to play sports|
|Hot flashes||Feeling tired or falling asleep after meals|
|Loss of libido (sex drive)||Loss of libido (sex drive)|
|Mood swings||Decreased enjoyment of life|
|Restless sleep||Restless sleep|
|Spotting between cycles, heavy bleeding, irregular cycles, painful cycles||Weight gain (inability to lose weight)|
The primary benefits of hormone replacement therapy when done properly using bioidentical hormones, include the following:
- Improved sleep
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased energy
- Improved sexual function
- Enhanced mood
- Increased muscle strength
- Improved body composition
- Improvements in skin tone and hair texture
- Fewer to no hot flashes
- Easier weight management
Testosterone specifically reduces secretion of beta-amyloid cells associated with Alzheimer’s disease and improves cognitive function. Progesterone increases bone mass.
For more about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for men and hormone replacement therapy for women, please read our previous posts on these topics:
- Setting the Record Straight on Testosterone Replacement Therapy
- Part I: Hormone Replacement Therapy is Safe — When Done Right
- Part II: What You Can Expect with Hormone Replacement Therapy
Why Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as endogenous hormones (those found naturally in the human body). As a result, they have the same physiological effects as endogenous hormones.
Many of the studies that highlight the dangers of hormone replacement therapy look at the use of synthetic hormones, such as medroxyprogesterone (Provera) and Premarin (conjugated equine estrogens), which are notbioidentical to human hormones. These pharmaceuticals mimic human hormones and may actually interfere with the body’s natural hormones and hormone receptors, which may increase the risks of serious health conditions.
Bioidentical hormones, used properly, are safe and effective.
Exploring Your Options
If it’s decided that hormone replacement therapy is right for you, we discuss the methods for delivering bioidentical hormones to your body. The table below helps you compare the four methods we offer.
|HRT Delivery method||Advantages||Disadvantages|
Easy dosing adjustments
Support for higher dosing than creams
|Inconvenience of daily medication|
|Topical applications (creams)||Convenience
No need to swallow pills
No pain from injections
Inconsistent dosing (absorption depends on humidity, skin condition, and application site)
Poor support for higher dosing
Care needs to be taken to avoid skin-to-skin contact with others following application
Easy dosing adjustments
|Pellets (for women only)||Convenience
Long-term, time-released hormones
|Doesn’t allow for quick dosing adjustments
Pellets contain hormones (estradiol or testosterone) compressed into tiny cylinders slightly larger than a grain of rice. A small incision is made in the lower abdomen or upper buttocks, the pellet is inserted under the skin, and the incision is closed with sutures or tape strips. Over a period of three to five months, the pellets dissolve, so they don’t need to be removed. You can expect to feel relief from two days to two weeks after the pellets are implanted.
After the pellets are implanted, you must avoid any vigorous physical activity, bathing and swimming for about five days. You can take a shower but avoid scrubbing the area for about a week until the area is fully healed.
Possible adverse side effects for pellet therapy include minor bleeding, bruising, swelling, discoloration, itching, or infection. The possibility also exists of the pellet backing out of the insertion site.
See Your Doctor
If you’re not feeling your best, we encourage you to make an appointment to see a doctor who fully understands the critical role hormones play in overall health, and one who takes an integrative approach to treating patients. Declining hormone levels may or may not be the root cause of why you’re not feeling your best. Any and all causes should be carefully explored and addressed before proceeding with HRT. At BioDesign Wellness Center, we think of hormone replacement therapy as “the cherry on top.”
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post on pellets and hormone replacement therapy is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect current medical thinking or practices. No information contained in this post should be construed as medical advice from the medical staff at BioDesign Wellness Center, Inc., nor is this post intended to be a substitute for medical counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate medical advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed medical professional in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.