WHAT ARE PELLETS?
The most common pellets are made up of either estradiol or testosterone. The hormones, estradiol or testosterone, 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 United States, pellets are made by a licensed compounding pharmacist and delivered in sterile glass vials.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM A CANDIDATE FOR PELLETS?
Some of the symptoms you might experience include excessive weight gain, low libido or sex drive, mood swings, insomnia or trouble sleeping, depression, and or irritability. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you could be a candidate for BHRT pellet therapy.
WHY ARE PELLETS OPTIMAL FOR HORMONE REPLACEMENT?
Pellets deliver consistent, healthy levels of hormones for 3-6 months, depending on the dosage. They avoid the fluctuations, or ups and downs, of hormone levels seen with every other method of delivery. It is the fluctuations in hormones that causes many of the unwanted side effects and symptoms a patient experiences. Pellets do not increase the risk of blood clots like conventional or synthetic hormone replacement therapy. In studies, 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, improved libido, sexual response and performance. Even patients who have failed other types of hormone therapy have a very high success rate with pellets. In addition, there is no other method of hormone delivery that is as convenient for the patient as pellets.
WHERE WERE PELLETS FIRST USED FOR HORMONAL REPLACEMENT?
Pellets have been used in both men and women since the late 1920’s. In fact, there is more data to support the use of pellets than any other method of delivery of hormones. Pellets are not patented and not marketed in the United States. They are frequently used in Europe and Australia where pharmaceutical companies produce pellets. Most of the research on pellets is out of England and Australia with some from Germany and the Netherlands. Pellets were frequently used in the United States from about 1940 through the early 80’s, when patented estrogen was marketed to the public. In fact, some of the most exciting data on hormone implants in breast cancer patients is out of the United States. Even in the United States, there are clinics that specialize in the use of pellets for hormone therapy.
HOW AND WHERE DO YOU INSERT PELLETS?
The insertion of pellets is a simple, relatively painless procedure done under local anesthesia. The pellets are usually inserted in the hip for a woman and the flank for men through a small incision which is taped then closed with steri-strips. Experience of the health care professional counts; not only in placing the pellets but in determining the correct dosage of hormones to be used.
WHAT ARE POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS FROM INSERTING HORMONE PELLETS?
Complications from the insertion of pellets include minor bleeding, bruising, discoloration of the skin, infection, and possible extrusion of the pellet. Other than slight bruising or discoloration of the skin these complications are very rare. Extended exposure to moisture (swimming, hot tubs, bathtubs) is avoided for 2 days, and vigorous physical activity is avoided for 48-72 hours in women and up to 4 to 5 days in men.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER PELLET INSERTION?
After pellets are inserted, patients may notice that they have more energy, sleep better and feel happier. Muscle mass and bone density will increase while fatty tissue decreases. Patients may notice increased strength, coordination and physical performance. They may see an improvement in skin tone and hair texture. Concentration and memory may improve as will overall physical and sexual health.