Women in peri-menopause or menopause talk about Hormone Pellet Therapy like it is the cure-all for staying young and dealing with hormonal changes. I wanted to find out if the claims I heard were true so I did some preliminary research on the internet. Websites from doctors talked about some pretty amazing results so I started thinking – maybe I should do this. As always, when it comes to medical things, I checked with Dr. Steven Krems to ask about the various points that were made. Even though I trust him implicitly, and I knew he was not a big fan of hormone pellet therapy, I almost had the attitude like I found some things online that would make him reconsider. We went through point by point and I’m here to give you the details so you can make your own choice.
What is Hormone Pellet Therapy?
Pellets are a hormone delivery method. Multiple pellets like the ones in the picture above are inserted under the skin approximately every 4 months. They contain either Testosterone or Estradiol (Estrogen). The hormones are then slowly administered to your body over the 4 month period of time.
Why would someone choose Hormone Pellet Therapy?
There are multiple delivery methods of bio-identical hormones to the body – pills, creams, sublingual, patches, pellets, etc… Sometimes, the choice is yours on how you prefer to take the hormone. Other times, there is a preferred delivery method based on how the body processes it. There are a few reasons why someone would choose pellets.
- Their friends are doing it so they do it too.
- They read something online like I did that makes you think pellets are the optimal way to get hormones and you will finally feel better.
- The idea of inject it and forget it is very appealing to someone who is inconsistent with taking medication.
- Testosterone cream can cause hair growth so a pellet seems like a better idea.
Downside to Hormone Pellet Therapy
- Pellets can only deliver testosterone and estradiol. Since most women need more than those 2 hormones, there is a high probability you’ll still be taking something orally or by cream.
- This is the most expensive way to get hormones. One website priced it at $1,650/year compared with $300/year for cream. Hormones are not usually covered by insurance.
- It’s an actual procedure – 3 times a year you have them inserted.
- You will be stuck with a problem if the dose is not right. A friend of mine got her period for 6 weeks straight and there was nothing she could do to stop it.
- Some women go for this treatment and it’s not even needed. Does that matter? You decide – too much estrogen in your system can increase your chance of breast and endometrial cancer. It can also make you gain weight. Too much Estrogen without Progesterone to balance it out causes Estrogen Dominance.
- Estrogen is in our world so you’re ingesting it every day whether you want to or not. You want as little estrogen in you body as possible that will keep you from having symptoms like hot flashes. If your only symptom is vaginal dryness, you would use an intravaginal cream.
Are you using hormone pellet therapy and having a positive or negative experience? Please share in the comments below. Us girls need to stick together with tips and details. The world of bio-identical hormones can be challenging to navigate. Find a great doctor that really listens to you. Read these other posts to get as much info as you can before your appointment, Managing Perimenopause Symptoms and Estrogen Dominance and Balancing Hormones. If you are struggling with something specific, leave a comment. Let’s get some answers!