Updated: Jul 6
The topic of hormone replacement therapy often centers around older men or menopausal women. This is because most patients seeking Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) fit into this category. As you get closer to menopause, you may notice symptoms such as pain during sex, urinary problems, and irregular periods. Talk to your doctor or nurse about these symptoms. Prescriptions and treatments can help relieve your symptoms. It's important to know why it's necessary to know what to expect, what your options are so you can get a handle on it. Some require support earlier or later than others. The important part is being aware of the changes in your body and consulting with an experienced provider (like Shannon Shipe, FNP-BC at New South Family Medicine and MedSpa!) to help guide you through the process in a safe and healthy way.
When people start experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, one of the first questions they often have is “why?” It’s in our nature as humans to get to the bottom of things, especially when our health is in question. The truth of the matter is, low testosterone can be caused by a wide variety of things.
Low testosterone is more common than you think, and men often wonder when should they worry? Sometimes, low testosterone can go unnoticed for some time because the person experiencing the symptoms doesn’t know why they may feel tired, experiencing low libido, weight gain, irritability, trouble sleeping, etc. But if you’re experiencing these symptoms, we encourage you to discuss options with your doctor. You have options, and when you’re ready to find out which option is best for you, the team at New South Family Medicine and MedSpa is here to help.
Menopause and Andropause
Both men and women can go through menopause (for women) and andropause (for men). This is the time when the ovaries, testicles, and other endocrine system glands decrease the production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. As these hormones become more unbalanced, you can begin to experience physical, psychological, and cognitive issues that can interfere with your health and well-being.
For women, HRT offers relief from moderate to severe symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and also decreases the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that occurs more commonly in women as they age, especially in the years following menopause. During menopause, women’s bodies produce less estrogen and progesterone, and HRT offers relief by replenishing the supply of these hormones.
For men, testosterone is a vital component of a man’s sex drive, and it also contributes to the amount of muscle mass and bone density. The way that a man’s body stores fat is dictated by testosterone. Testosterone production in men starts to increase at puberty, and it peaks at around age 30.
Regardless of the cause of your low T, there are several options for hormone replacement therapy. If you’re unsure of what method might be best for you, let’s talk about some of the most common therapy options.
Testosterone injections are one simple option for men. You can self-administer every week. However, because the injection regulates your testosterone levels, your symptoms can fluctuate more throughout the course of the injection working in your body.
Patches adhere to your skin daily and add testosterone and/or estrogen into your system via the patch. The patches are only effective when placed in a few areas, and rotating the patches through the effective areas can help lessen side effects such as rashes or redness. Patches are a fairly simple solution, but as they need to be applied every day they require attention and care to your treatment to be successful.
Placing Troches under the tongue is ideal for patients who do not want to mess with injections or find creams to be a hassle.
Advantages to oral troches:
Absorbed directly into the bloodstream and gets in & out of the system quickly
Bypasses the liver
Allows for lower dosing with the same results due to dividing dose up throughout the day (You have to remember to take throughout the day!)
Our FAVORITE/MOST POPULAR method: Pellet insertion option last much longer. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy involves the insertion of pellets under the skin every 3-6 months. They slowly release natural hormones into your bloodstream over a longer period of time. This allows you to live your daily life without worrying about patches, or regular injections and allows you to have longer-term control of your hormone levels.
Hormone Pellet Therapy uses bio-identical hormones that are made by a compounding pharmacist to be identical to the body's own hormones. Hormone pellets are a unique delivery form created to replicate as closely as possible the way in which hormones are naturally released in the body. In a simple, quick office procedure, these rice-grain-sized pellets are inserted under a patient’s skin near the hip area via a trocar.
Delivering hormone replacement therapy in pellet form has multiple benefits:
Closest to nature — Pellets mimic the body’s natural delivery system more closely than any other method.
Consistency — Pellets supply a consistent level of hormones in the bloodstream.
Convenience — Hormone pellets only need to be inserted 2-4 times per year, replacing oral medications that must be taken daily.
Fewer side effects — Pellet therapy bypasses the liver, sending hormones directly into the bloodstream, and avoiding certain side effects of oral medications.
Some patients report feeling symptom relief in as little as two weeks. Now that you understand the connection between hormone pellets and feeling like yourself again, you may want to know whether this treatment is right for you. We can help!
Schedule your NEW PATIENT/LABS appointment to get started.