Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) using pellets has become a popular treatment for hormone imbalance.
The pellets are implanted under the skin and release hormones into the bloodstream gradually over time. They provide a steady stream of hormones that can help to restore balance and improve symptoms.
But what happens if you decide you want to stop taking pellets? Can they be removed once they have been implanted?
How long have hormone pellets been in use?
Hormone pellets have been used as a medical treatment since 1939. They were originally developed as a way to treat hypothyroidism and are still used for this purpose today. In the 1960s, researchers began using pellets to treat menopausal symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes caused by hormonal imbalance in women.
Since then, research into the use of pellets for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has increased and they have become a popular treatment option.
How do BHRT pellets work?
Pellets are small cylinders (about the size of a grain of rice) that contain hormones in a solid form. They are made from estrogen or testosterone and can be used to treat both men and women.
In men, pellets can be used for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), while in women estrogen or testosterone pellets are typically used to treat symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
How are BHRT pellets implanted?
The BHRT pellets are implanted under the skin in a surgical procedure (a small incision) that takes just a few minutes. The pellets are typically placed into the fat tissue of your hip or upper buttocks.
What are the risks involved in this procedure?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with implanting BHRT pellets. These include infection, bleeding, scarring, and damage to the surrounding tissue. If the implantation site becomes infected, the pellets may be expelled with the infection.
You should not take a bath, get in a hot tub, or go swimming (in a pool, river, or at the beach) for at least two weeks after the pellets are implanted. You should discuss these risks with your doctor before deciding whether or not to have the implant procedure.
Can BHRT pellets be removed?
No. Once implanted, pellets are not meant to be removed. They dissolve over time and release hormones into the bloodstream gradually. We understand one advantage of pellets is that they don’t have to be taken daily like pills and that makes them convenient. But once they are placed under the skin, you are stuck with them for 3-4 months.
What alternatives are there to pellet therapy?
Besides pellets, there are other ways to take hormones. For example, patients can take oral medications, or our preferred form of treatment, hormone injections. In fact, at Hormones by Design, we specialize in crafting a unique hormone injection for each of our female patients.
Injections are created and administered every 3-4 weeks. Dosage for each patient is based on their lab work and most importantly, their symptoms. This dose can be adjusted up or down as needed at EVERY visit…unlike dosing with pellets. Our most recent location in New Braunfels is now specializing in hormone injections as well.
In short, pellets can be a convenient choice for some patients. However here at Hormones by Design, we recommend our uniquely crafted hormone injection therapy. We want to listen to you and help you through all the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Call 830-627-7979 today to schedule your appointment in our newest location, New Braunfels, Texas.