Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) also known as pellet therapy, is a method of delivering hormones with small pellets. The pellets contain hormones derived from natural plant ingredients and are identical to the hormones produced by the human body. These pellets, which are about the size of a rice grain, are inserted into the subcutaneous tissue under the skin generally in the buttock or stomach areas. Hormones are released into the bloodstream in small doses on a daily basis. When stress or exercise wears down the body and more hormones are needed, the body will respond and deliver an additional dose accordingly. This consistent dosing into the blood makes pellet therapy very effective.
Talk to your physician to make sure pellet therapy is right for you. Bioidentical hormones work with your body delivering doses specifically for you. This method allows the lowest dose to be administered for optimal results while avoiding any fluctuations due to mental or physical stress.
From the time of insertion, it can take between 24 and 72 hours for the pellet hormones to adjust to your body and begin to take affect. According to E. Kapetanakis, W.P. Dmowski, F. Auletta and A. Scommegna, most women saw results within a few days. Each pellet can last up to six months and naturally dissolves leaving no residue behind. Added benefits include increased energy as well as heightened sexual libido. Pellet therapy increases bone density and reduces hormone related headaches giving an overall higher quality of life.
Have your hormone levels checked prior to insertion. People can usually tell when it’s time for another pellet by how they feel. If you feel the hormones have worn off before a three-month time period, your blood levels should be rechecked. If it’s been longer than four months, you can get more pellets without another blood test.
Generally, pellets last between four to six months and will need to be re-inserted. Occasionally booster doses are given in between.
Watch for side effects. The plant-derivative based therapy results in very few side effects, most of which are temporary and mild. You may experience breast and nipple tenderness, bloating and possibly a pellet site could get infected or the pellet may dislodge itself from the body. Some women may experience a return of menstrual type bleeding. Usually, this bleeding is easily managed by adjusting the dose of the hormones. The testosterone pellets, in women, have produced occasional incidences of increased or darker hair growth or mild acne. These issues are generally minor and can be easily managed and minimized with hormone adjusting.