If you have read many of my posts you should hopefully realize by now the important differences between bio-identical and synthetic hormones. If not, I suggest reading this post first.
Once you have made the decision to treat your hormonal imbalance with bio-identical hormones, the next decision that needs to be made between you and your practitioner is what delivery method(s) to use. There are actually several delivery methods and each comes with it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Today I am going to discuss one method in detail. This method is not well understood by many prospective patients in America, despite the fact that is has been used since the 1930’s, is used extensively in Europe, and has more research backing it that any other modality. I am speaking of Pellet Therapy.
What are Pellets?
Pellets are derived from natural plant sources and then modified at the molecular level to perfectly match what your body naturally produces. These pure bio-identical hormones are then crystallized and compressed into tiny cylinders about the size of a grain of rice. Pellets are available as Testosterone and Estrogen and can be administered for both men and women.
How are Pellets Administered?
Pellets are inserted through a very quick and simple in-office procedure. When you come in to “get pelleted”, we will administer local anesthesia to the area where we will be inserting the pellets, which is in the subcutaneous area of the upper buttock. After you are numb, a very tiny incision is made to allow the insertion of the pellets. The process is extremely quick and usually only takes a couple of minutes. The incision is so small that it requires no sutures. Sterile tape and a bandage is applied to the area. There is absolutely no downtime and you can return to your daily routine.
How do Pellets Work in the Body?
After insertion, capillaries begin to form around the pellets. As blood flows over the pellets, it absorbs the hormones. Pellets are “cardiac driven”, meaning that as your heart rate increases, more hormone will be released as the body needs it. Unlike other therapies, which are all time released, pellets are the only delivery method that actually mimics the testicles and ovaries. Over time the pellets will be completely used and dissolved by the body. There is nothing to remove.
What are the Advantages of Pellet Therapy?
Since the delivery of hormones from pellets are cardiac driven, there is a steady, physiological dose of hormone being delivered to the body. This prevents the “roller coaster” effect of some other delivery methods. For example, in men, after a testosterone injection their testosterone levels will be high, but by the end of that cycle his levels will be very low prior to the next injection. For some people, these highs and lows are something that they would like to eliminate…pellets are the perfect option.
Pellets have a much longer time in between doses. On average, pellets in a female will last 3-4 months, and in men, 4-6 months. For many, it is much more convenient to come in to get pelleted once every 3-6 months, rather than weekly injections, or applying creams daily.
The dosing is always the same. Once we have the right dose dialed in, which is usually on the 1st or 2nd insertion, we can keep you consistently at your optimal levels! However, with some other modalities, particularly creams, there can be inconsistencies with the dosing. Another possible concern with creams is the possibility of transference onto others.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will you know when you need to be re-pelleted?
We set the dose for your pellets, however, you actually set the frequency. That may sounds odd, but the frequency is actually based on how you feel. Once you begin to feel your symptoms return we can get you re-pelleted. The first symptoms that went away when you started the treatment will usually be the first to return. After a few insertions we will know what your typical time frame is and can schedule ahead of time if you prefer.
Does the insertion hurt?
There is only very mild discomfort during the numbing injection. We also take great lengths to reduce the discomfort of the Lidocaine injection by adding Sodium Bicarb, which helps to take the sting out of the Lidocaine.
You mentioned Estrogen and Testosterone. Do they make Progesterone pellets?
No, however for our patients we prescribe bio-identical progesterone that can be used in conjunction with the pellets. Oral progesterone is most commonly used with the pellets and taken at night since it helps with sleep.
How often do you need to check your blood work?
After your first pelleting you will need to get followup labs – in 6 weeks for women and 4 weeks for men. After that you will only need basic labs every 6 months.
How long before I feel results?
For some they will feel the benefits in 1 week. For most they will feel it within 1 month. Though much less common, in some cases it may not be until their second pelleting.
How big are the pellets?
The testosterone pellets are about the size of a grain of rice, and the estrogen pellets are even smaller.
Are the pellets Bio-Identical?
Absolutely, the pellets are made of compressed pure bio-identical estrogen or testosterone.
How Can I Get My Hormones Optimized with Pellets?
At the Dr. Shel Wellness & Medical Spa we are proud to offer pellets as an option for achieving optimal hormone balance. To find out if you would benefit from hormone optimization, or to ask any questions about this or any of our other service, please feel free to request a Complimentary Consultation with one of our wellness consultants. We would love the opportunity to get to know you and present you with some options for your consideration. To request a Free Consultation, simply call our office at (281) 313-7435 or use our Online Request Form.