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Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy

What Is Subcutaneous Hormone Pellet Implantation?

By January 5, 2023January 10th, 2023No Comments

So you’ve been struggling with menopause symptoms for months and years but are still unsure how to get rid of them. Eating healthily and exercising help sometimes, but those annoying hot flashes and night sweats keep returning and worsening.

It would be best if you had a treatment that eliminates the problems from the root.

As a subtype of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), subcutaneous hormone pellet implantation is a tried-and-tested method to improve menopause symptoms.


Hormones That Get “Under the Skin” – Learn Subcutaneous Hormone Pellet Implantation

What Is Subcutaneous Hormone Pellet Implantation?

Subcutaneous hormone pellet implantation is a minimally invasive procedure that inserts hormone pellets into the body. As the name suggests, the pellets go subcutaneously (under the skin) through an incision, slowly dissolving and releasing hormones into the body.


Why Subcutaneous Hormone Pellet Implantation?

Personalization and Time-release

Subcutaneous hormone pellet implantation is not the first and only technique to administer hormones. Implantation is a relatively new procedure compared to other, more traditional methods, including oral pills, injections, patches, creams, gels, and sprays.

Because of this reason, implantation carries several advantages that surpass other methods. First, the hormone pellets – about the size of a grain of rice – used in this procedure contain a personalized dose that can be adjusted during treatment.

Second, unlike oral pills or injections, which deliver a high amount of hormones into the bloodstream and may potentially cause unwanted reactions, pellets release hormones gradually, typically in 3 months, until they completely dissolve.


Safety, Adherence, and Bioavailability

Since most well-studied side effects of hormone therapy are due to long-term use or an excessive and dangerous dose, subcutaneous hormone pellet implantation is a superior alternative in terms of safety and adherence.

The types of hormones used in implantation are also different. While synthetic hormones cannot be absorbed entirely, the bioidentical hormones in pellets, structurally based on human hormones, have far higher bioavailability, meaning better absorption.


How Is Subcutaneous Hormone Pellet Implantation Done?

What to Expect


Subcutaneous hormone pellet implantation is done through a minimally invasive surgical procedure. But unlike other techniques that get under your skin, implantation is more uncomplicated and causes fewer adverse effects afterward.

Most importantly, implantation can be painless and doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable about “going under the knife.”

First, you don’t undergo this procedure in an operating room, where the surroundings can get on your nerves. Instead, you get your hormones in a healthcare clinic that provides hormone therapy. Second, implantation is carried out at the hip area, so you won’t see the procedure being performed, which further helps relieve the anxiety.


How It Is Done

A healthcare provider will use local anesthesia to numb the skin before making a tiny incision into the hip area, typically no larger than 1 cm. The pellets will then be implanted under the skin, one or more at a time. Finally, Steri-Strips, a kind of adhesive tape, will be used to close the incision in place of stitches or staples.

You might experience bruising, swelling, and redness at the incision site that lasts a few days to a few weeks. The outer bandage may also have some pinkish discoloration. These responses, however, are normal. Most people need only 5 to 7 days to recover from the procedure without any activity limitations.


Is Subcutaneous Hormone Pellet Implantation Safe?


Yes, subcutaneous hormone pellet implantation is safe. Because the pellets used in the therapy are bioidentical and natural-based, you can absorb the hormones better while avoiding the side effects of synthetic hormones produced in a lab.

The pellets are also custom-made for you, based on a blood test done before the procedure to determine your current hormone levels. This personalization is especially beneficial regarding safety, as most side effects are due to excessive doses.


Side Effects

However, being safe doesn’t mean the therapy doesn’t cause side effects. Hormone pellet implantation may, at a low rate, cause some unwanted adverse effects, such as:

  • Temporary changes in menstruation
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps or bloating
  • Skin discoloration at the incision site
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Unwanted weight changes


FDA Regulations on Subcutaneous Hormone Pellet Implantation

Currently, compounded bioidentical hormones used in hormone replacement therapy have not been approved by the FDA. Instead, the agency only recognizes FDA-approved drugs that have been reviewed for safety and efficacy.

However, compounded bioidentical hormones can play an essential role in those patients whose medical conditions cannot be treated by an FDA-approved drug. Some compounders also believe bioidentical products are superior to FDA-approved drugs by claiming that they are more natural, more accessible, safer, or better for patients.

Also, although not yet approved by the FDA, compounded bioidentical hormones are continuously monitored. The agency requires compounders and healthcare providers to report any adverse events caused by hormone therapy to protect patients from the risks associated with drugs not produced following quality standards.


Who Can Take Subcutaneous Hormone Pellet Implantation?


Because hormone pellets are effective in managing conditions related to menopause, many people can benefit from this procedure.


People With Menopause Symptoms

Subcutaneous hormone pellet implantation restores optimal hormone levels and helps treat hormone deficiency – the root cause of all menopause symptoms.


People With Bone Loss Risks

Doctors usually prescribe other medications specifically for preventing or treating bone loss. However, hormone pellets may help if you can’t tolerate other treatments.


People With Early Menopause

Pellet implantation can help decrease your risk of certain health conditions due to early menopause, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, and dementia.


People With Hormone Deficiency

Those who underwent ovary removal surgery may need to take hormones to compensate for the hormone loss, as the ovaries are where hormones are produced.

In conclusion, subcutaneous hormone pellet implantation is a safe and effective treatment that helps treat and manage the deteriorating symptoms of menopause. Although this procedure is minimally invasive, patients who underwent pellet implantation can expect to recover quickly and see the results within three months.


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