During menopause, some women get uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. The most effective treatment for menopause symptoms for most women is hormone replacement therapy. This involves replacing the hormones progestin and estrogen (in combination or estrogen alone) through a pill, gel, cream, skin patch, or pellet form.
Signs you may need hormone replacement therapy
Symptoms of menopause can affect your quality of life, which makes hormone replacement therapy a significant benefit for most women who:
· Experience hot flashes or other symptoms of menopause
· Lost bone mass and are not benefitting from other treatments
· Experience premature menopause (periods stop before age 40) or lost regular ovary function
Why is Hormone Replacement Therapy Important?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is beneficial to balance out your hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, so your body can function at its best.
It’s essential to get started on a customized hormone replacement therapy plan to stop or minimize the severity of:
Brain fog (poor concentration)
Pain during intercourse
HRT isn’t just about treating symptoms; it’s also important for your bones. The decrease in estrogen you may have can increase your risk of bone loss (osteoporosis). By stabilizing your estrogen levels, your risk of osteoporosis or further bone loss decreases.
How does Hormone Replacement Therapy work?
Hormone replacement therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s personalized to you.
We prescribe hormone creams, patches, injections and pellet therapy.
Once Dr. Brooks gets your lab results back and talks with you about your symptoms, she will tailor your plan to your unique needs. Hormone replacement therapy may involve:
Wearing hormone skin patches
Taking oral hormone medications
Applying a topical estrogen cream
Inserting vaginal hormone suppositories
*Often women will need to take progesterone by mouth or cream in addition to the estrogen pellet
What is Hormone Pellet Therapy?
Pellet therapy, a form of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, is one of the most effective modalities available to deliver bio-identical hormones. The pellets are no larger than a grain of rice and contain bioidentical estrogen or testosterone are placed under the skin in the hip or lower abdomen under a local anesthetic.
Over the next 3-6 months, the pellets deliver consistent, healthy levels of hormones and avoid the ﬂuctuations, or ups and downs, of hormone levels seen with every other method of delivery. This includes not passing through the liver before going to the rest of the body which can result in unwanted risks including an increased risk of blood clots.
Reasons that you might select hormone pellet therapy over the other modes of delivery are:
Convenience because the pellet is inserted under the skin once every three to five months
No chance of the hormone rubbing off on a partner or child
Pellets help achieve higher absorption level of hormones in some people
Most patients experience superior results over traditional methods of hormone replacement therapy and find pellet therapy is much more convenient than applying transdermal patches, messy creams or remembering to take a pill every day.
How quickly will I see results?
Some patients begin to “feel better” within 24-48 hours while others may take a week or two to notice a difference.
How long do the results last?
The pellets usually last between 3 and 5 months in women and 5-6 months in men. High levels of stress, physical activity, some medications and lack of sleep may increase the rate at which the pellet absorb and may require that pellets are inserted sooner in some patients.
How much downtime?
The whole procedure takes less than 5 minutes and patients can return directly to work or their usual daily activity. It is recommended to avoid heavy exercise, pools and hot tubs for about four days to allow the insertion site to heal.
Is Hormone Pellet Therapy safe?
Pellet therapy is a safe, natural alternative to synthetic hormones and is the only form of HRT that closely mimics the natural levels of hormones secreted in the body. With the steady stream of hormones delivered through pellet therapy, mood and energy fluctuations and other symptoms are kept at bay, 24/7.
How long do I need to stay on Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy is designed to be a short-term treatment plan, meaning it isn’t something you need for the rest of your life. Generally, you start HRT during perimenopause and stop after the onset of menopause once symptoms naturally resolve on their own.
Depending on the severity of symptoms, you may stay on hormone replacement therapy for about one to two years. Very few HRT plans last five years or more.