Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment using hormones that are identical to the hormones naturally made by your body. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has transformed the healthcare of men and women as they enter the later stages of life. It provides an alternative to hormones that are synthetic, such as injectable testosterone, or hormones concentrated from horse urine (Premarin). Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is made by compounding pharmacists in customized dosages based on the individual needs of the patient as opposed to the narrow choices available with mass-produced, or “one size fits all” hormone therapies.
A more natural approach to hormone therapy often referred to as “natural hormone therapy” has focused attention on bioidentical hormones that are identical in molecular structure to the hormones that the male and female body naturally produces for itself. Although not found in this form in nature, they are derived and made from plant compounds extracted from yams and soy. The result is often the relief from symptoms of hormone deficiency, from insomnia, chronic fatigue, memory loss, and loss of libido.
Blood tests that measure total estradiol or testosterone are used to detect both a deficiency or excess of estrogen or testosterone the body produces as well as to monitor the effects of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. On the other hand, Premarin, the old standby estrogen used for decades, is metabolized into various forms of estrogen that can be dangerous and cannot be measured by standard laboratory tests. Proponents of bioidentical hormones say that an advantage is more precise monitoring of hormone levels and individualized treatment. Other benefits include calmer mood, reduced body fat, increased energy levels, increased sex drive, stronger mental clarity, and improved muscle tone and mass, among others.
Many methods of delivery can be utilized to administer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, however, data shows the most efficient method by way of absorption and availability to deliver hormones in both men and women is by pellet implant. BHRT pellets contain either estradiol or testosterone, which are pressed, or fused into tiny solid cylinders that for reference, are smaller than a tic tac and slightly larger than a grain of rice. They deliver consistent and healthy levels of hormones for 3-5 months in women and 4-6 months in men. Pellets dissolve inside the body on their own and are re-implanted two to four times a year depending on how rapidly the patient metabolizes the hormones. Pellets avoid the fluctuations of hormone levels seen with other methods of delivery, providing more consistent hormone levels over a longer period. Unlike conventional or synthetic hormone replacement therapy, pellets do not increase the risk of blood clots.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy using pellets have a very high success rate, even in patients who have failed other types of hormone therapy, and remain at the top by way of convenience for the patient. When compared to other types of hormone replacement therapy, studies have indicated pellets to be superior for relief of symptoms of menopause and andropause, bone density maintenance, sleep regulation, and improvement in libido, sex drive, sexual performance, and sexual response.
Men and women require adequate levels of testosterone for optimal physical and mental health and for the prevention of chronic illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart attacks, which are all associated with low testosterone levels. In addition to using pellets for hormone maintenance and regulation, testosterone pellets have also been utilized for the treatment of menstrual headaches and migraines, as well as providing relief of vaginal dryness, urinary frequency and urgency, and incontinence. In both men and women, the use of testosterone pellets has been shown to relieve depression and anxiety, improve concentration and memory, increase energy and an overall sense of well-being, and to treat testosterone deficiencies caused by the birth control pill.
Hormone therapy with pellets is not just used for menopause, as women at any age may experience hormone imbalance. Pellets are useful in the treatment of severe PMS, postpartum depression, menstrual headaches, migraine headaches, and sleep disorders.