There is not one way to take hormones. You have a few choices to pick from, and we can help you choose the right method to incorporate into your lifestyle easily. Our most popular method of bio-identical hormone replacement (BHRT) is pellet therapy. Estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone are all available in pellet form. Pellets are simply small implants. Pellet sizes can vary from the tip of a pencil eraser to a little larger than a grain of rice. During a quick office visit, a provider will locally anesthetize the area, so no pain is felt. Once the area is numb, a very small incision is made, and the pellets are inserted just beneath the skin. The pellets are slow timed-release implants that will last 3 to 4 months. By the end of the 4 months, the pellets have been completely absorbed by our body, and it is time for new pellets to be inserted. Many of our patients prefer this method, simply because they come in for a 15-minute procedure just 4 times a year and then don’t have to worry about remembering to take something on a daily basis.
For men, there are two other options when it comes to testosterone replacement therapy. They can choose either creams or injectables. Creams are made by a compounding pharmacy, and dosing is customized specifically to what the patient needs. Creams must be applied every single day. As for injections, testosterone is injected into the thigh muscle, and patients are taught how to self-administer. Administration for injection happens once or twice weekly.
For women, another option you can choose for hormone replacement is creams. Depending on whether or not you still have a menstrual cycle, creams can be applied continuously or following your menstrual cycle. When initially starting on creams, you can expect to apply up to three different creams on a daily basis, one for each hormone. This is so the provider can easily adjust your dosing as needed, depending on your lab results and how you feel. Once your dosing becomes consistent, it may be possible to compound your hormones together to limit the amount you have to apply on a daily basis. Some women prefer this method because it is less “invasive” than pellet therapy. Another benefit is that dosing can easily be adjusted at any time during therapy, depending on how the patient feels.