Hormone Pellets 101
What are Hormone Pellets and when are they Used?
Almost everyone has heard of hormone replacement therapy, abbreviated as HRT. The goal of HRT is to deliver regular doses of hormones to the body to boost hormone levels in individuals due to menopause or Andropause, or in individuals who, for other reasons, have low levels of testosterone and/or estrogen.
There are several methods used by physicians to deliver these hormones:
*Tablets placed under the tongue
*Patches that adhere to the skin
*Creams and gels
Drawbacks to Conventional Hormone Treatment
There are drawbacks to pills, tablets, creams and gels: first, the lack of “even” release of hormones when one ingests a pill or tablet or places cream or gel on the skin to absorb hormones. As an immediate spike followed by a drop creates a “roller coaster” effect on the patient. Chemicals on hormone parches, made with rubber and other materials, can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Further, pill-delivered estrogen, even bio identical estrogen, can increase the risk for blood clots and heart attacks.
However, hormone pellets, planted under the skin, are superior because they give a high and steady hormone level for 3-6 months. Data has been collected that supports pellet implants as the most effective hormone delivery method for both men and women, as pellets release small doses which provides optimal therapy.
What is in the Hormone Pellets?
Pellets are composed of either estrogen or testosterone fused into tiny solid cylinders, mid-way between the size of a grain of rice and a Tic-tac. Hormone pellets are prepared by a compound pharmacy and delivered in sterile glass jars. Progesterone is not delivered in pellet form because a progesterone pellet would be very large, and therefore, uncomfortable when placed under the skin in the hip area.
The benefit of pellets is that they deliver a consistent, healthy level of hormones for a period of months, avoiding the ups and downs of hormone levels seen with the other methods; it maintains the normal balance of estradiol to estrone (the “bad” version of estrogen that increases in post-menopausal women while estradiol simultaneously decreases). Unlike pills and synthetic hormones, bio identical hormone pellets do not increase the risk of blood clots, which can lead to heart attack.
Studies have shown that pellets, compared with conventional HRT, deliver superior relief of menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, disturbed sleep, poor libido and irritability.
Testosterone is also delivered by pellet implant and has been used in both men and women. Pellet delivered testosterone will also increase lean body mass, including bone density and muscle strength while simultaneously decrease and chronic diseases of aging such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, both of which are linked to low testosterone levels.
Last, pellet HRT is extremely convenient. No need to remember to take the pill, to put on the cream, to hassle with patches that never seen to fit well after showering or bathing. Pellets have been used since the 1930’s, and there is more data supporting the use of pellet-delivered HRT than any other HRT delivery system.
How are the pellets inserted?
Pellets can be inserted in the upper buttocks though a tiny incision which is then covered with a steri-strip. Local anesthesia is used prior to insertion and you’ll feel almost nothing at all during the 3-minute procedure other than perhaps a little pressure when the pellets are inserted though the trocar. Other than some bruising and possibly some minor discomfort afterwards, there are very rarely any complications from this simple procedure. After insertion, we suggest you avoid physical activity for 48 hours, and taking a bath or going swimming for 5 days.
If pellets have been available since 1930’s, why have I never heard of them?
Primarily because pellets aren’t patented-i.e., the pharmaceutical companies do not profit from HRT via hormone pellets in the same why they profit from Estratest, Premarin, Provera, or PremPro.
Will I feel better immediately?
In general, most patients will notice positive changes within 2-3 weeks. Diet and lifestyle are also critical for optimal health, combined with bio identical HRT.
When do you remove the pellets?
The pellets last between 3-6 months in because they are completely absorbed they do not need to be removed. The next dose is simply inserted as was the first, and so on.
Will I be monitored while using the pellets?
Absolutely. An initial blood analysis is performed to gather information about your current hormone levels, in order for Dr. Matez to create the correct balance between the testosterone and estrogen pellets and the progesterone he will prescribe for you. Once the pellets are inserted, regular blood work will be performed to analyze our status and make sure the pellets are working as they should.
Case Study: Marked Reduction of Cancer In Users Of Pellets
Boca Raton Center for Age Management
200 Glades Road Suite 3
Boca Raton, FL 33432