When it comes to hormone replacement, menopausal women have many choices, and estrogen and testosterone pellets are growing in popularity. Hormone pellet therapy is a procedure that involves inserting bioidentical hormones – extracted from plants – underneath the skin.
Many women who suffer from hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, lack of sex drive, fatigue, aches and pains, poor memory and concentration, and moodiness and depression said the pellets are a miracle.
The pellets are the size of rice grains and are formulated with the estrogen-like compounds estradiol and estriol, as well as progesterone and testosterone. Estrogen eliminates hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and vaginal dryness. Testosterone increases energy, enthusiasm, and sex drive. The function of the pellets is to act like ovaries.
Insertion is a simple and relatively painless process. A small area on the hip is sterilized and local anesthetic is injected just under the skin. A tiny cut is made and the hormone pellets are inserted under the skin. The incision is closed with adhesive strips. The hormones are gradually released over an extended period of time.
Some women experience relief from their symptoms within a few days while it may take a week or two for others. Pellets typically last between three to four months in women. They dissolve and don’t need to be removed.
Most women have no side effects. However some evidence has shown pellets carry similar side effects as traditional HRTs, including increased bloating, headaches, breast tenderness and anxiety and mood swings.
There are other concerns. Many people worry estrogen will increase the risk of breast cancer. According to many doctors, there is no evidence that estrogen increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. If estrogen does stimulate breast cell growth, it appears that testosterone counteracts that process and may be protective against breast cancer development.
Another concern is blood clots.