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What is bio-identical hormone therapy?
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is an alternative to synthetic hormone replacement therapies. Bio-identical hormones are natural, plant-based substances that metabolize in our bodies the way nature intended. They come in various forms such as creams, capsules, troches, injections, and pellets.
What are bio-identical hormone pellets, and how do they work?
Bio-identical hormone pellets are larger than a grain of rice but smaller than a Tic-Tac. During a sterile procedure, a practitioner applies a local anesthetic, makes a small incision, then inserts the pellets into the fatty tissue just under the skin-typically in the flank or upper buttocks. The incision is usually closed without the need for stitches. The pellets release the hormones into the bloodstream. This steady stream of hormones helps keep symptoms such as mood and energy fluctuations at bay.
Hormone pellets have been used to treat hormone imbalances since the 1930s and have been heavily researched.
Who can benefit from bio-identical hormone replacement therapy?
As we age, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone naturally decline. In fact, for many women, hormone imbalances kick in 5-10 years before menopause. Men may notice a reduction of testosterone around age 35.
Common symptoms may include:
- Lack of motivation and feel more tired than usual.
- Weight gain for now reason-especially belly fat!
- Increased mood swings.
- Feeling more anxious or depressed
- Struggle with brain fog and insomnia
- Decreased sexual desire
How do other bio-identical replacement options-creams, capsules, pills, injections-compare to pellets?
Pros for pellets are that they offer a more consistent stream of hormones and you only have to replace them 2-3 times a year. Other forms have to be used daily or weekly. Cons for pellets could be cost, the body could extrude or “reject” them, and if the dose is not quite right for you they can’t be removed.
How soon will the effects be felt from bio-identical hormone replacement therapy?
It depends on the person, but women tend to feel the difference within 72 hours and 1 week. Men have reported feeling the benefits within 1-2 weeks.
Will insurance cover bio-identical hormone replacement therapy?
Desire to Live Now does not accept insurance, but we can provide the paperwork necessary for you to file for reimbursement yourself. You will have to ask your insurance company if they will reimburse or not.
How long can patients expect to be on bio-identical horone replacement therapy?
There is no firm answer. It depends if you are experiencing a temporary imbalance and your body is still able to make hormones. Then the answer is as soon as your body is able to balance and replenish hormones on its own, you will no longer need replacement therapy.
If your body does not make hormones any longer due to circumstances like surgery or age, then you may continue for as long as you like the benefits.
Are there any health conditions that would rule out a person from getting bio-identical hormone replacement?
Yes. A person qualifies for BHRT based on their medical history and physical assessment by the medical provider. Common reasons to rule out BHRT but are not limited to are:
- Women who are pregnant, actively trying to get pregnant or breast feeding.
- Women who are estrogen or progesterone receptive positive cancer survivors or have a strong family history of these types of cancers.
- Men who are prostate cancer survivors.