Every woman between her 40s and 50s goes through menopause. For some women, it's a smooth and short transition with minor symptoms. Others suffer a string of symptoms that cause discomfort that can last up to eight years.
In severe cases, the disruption to everyday life is debilitating. If you're one of those women, taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), also called menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), may be beneficial in easing the severity of your symptoms.
HRT is delivered in various forms: pills, injections, creams, gels, skin patches, vaginal suppositories or rings, and pellet implants. If you're unfamiliar with pellet therapy, read on to find out how hormone pellet therapy can provide safe and effective relief of menopausal symptoms.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is the time in a woman's life that marks the end of her menstrual cycle. It occurs when a woman's ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This happens naturally, usually after age 45, although the average age of menopause is 51. If you have not had a period for 12 months, you have likely reached menopause.
Before that happens, women go through perimenopause. Most symptoms occur during perimenopause when hormones are fluctuating wildly.
Some women go through early menopause and may experience these symptoms as young as 40. If you are between the ages of 45 and 55 and experiencing any of the following symptoms, have your doctor run a hormone test:
- Hot flashes.
- Night sweats.
- Mood swings.
- Heart palpitations.
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances.
- Forgetfulness and poor concentration.
- Weight gain, especially around the belly.
- Loss of breast fullness.
- Hair loss.
- Irregular periods.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Reduced sex drive.
Should You Take Hormone Replacement Therapy During Menopause?
As you approach menopause, your ovaries start making less estrogen and progesterone. HRT replaces those hormones to bring balance back to the body. Every woman's experience of menopause is unique. Some experience mild symptoms and don't need HRT intervention, or they may prefer to use natural or herbal remedies.
If, however, you find your symptoms hard to manage or they persist post-menopause, consider starting a course of hormone replacement therapy treatment. In most cases, HRT successfully counteracts symptoms and will allow you to lead a normal, healthy life.
HRT is also strongly recommended for women who start menopause early. Premature menopause is when your final period occurs before age 40. Early menopause is when your periods stop before age 45.
If you're going through premature menopause, whether naturally or because your ovaries were surgically removed, it's advisable to take HRT until you reach the age of 51. An early loss of estrogen places you at risk of certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, and dementia.
What Are Bioidentical Hormones and Pellet Therapy?
Most female hormone replacement therapies are made from synthetic materials. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plants, like soy and wild yams, and more closely match the body's natural hormones. For instance, phytoestrogens found in plants are similar to the estrogen produced in the female body.
Hormone pellet therapy refers to the way the hormones are delivered to the body — in pellet form rather than a pill, cream, patch, or injection.
Conventional HRT in pill form has been linked to blood clots, and long-term estrogen-only therapies can increase the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in pellet form is considered a safer and more effective option for women suffering from a hormonal imbalance.
Female hormone therapy doesn't only involve estrogen and progesterone. Women can also opt for testosterone pellet treatment. Testosterone helps with the following:
- Reduces overall body fat and increases lean muscle, making weight management easier.
- Maintains higher bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis later in life.
- Stabilizes your mood.
- Increases your sex drive.
Because your hormones fluctuate during perimenopause, your HRT program needs to be monitored. At the biostation, we'll work with you on a personalized hormone therapy program and adjust your treatment as your hormone levels change.
How Does Hormone Pellet Therapy Work?
Bioidentical hormones, like other types of HRT, can be delivered in all the usual forms like pills or creams. Choosing it in pellet form is the most convenient. The pellet is implanted under the skin, usually in the hip area. Don't worry! It's not as scary as it sounds. It's a simple procedure that can be done under local anesthetic in your doctor's office.
The size of the pellet is no larger than a grain of rice, and you won't even notice it's there. Once inserted, the body slowly metabolizes the pellet and releases a steady dose of hormones — much like your body would normally do.
One pellet lasts up to six months, depending on your body chemistry and how fast or slow your body metabolizes it. Because it dissolves, there's no need for removal. If further treatment is needed, a new pellet is inserted.
BHRT in pellet form is growing in popularity because it's not synthetic and offers convenience. There's no need to remember to take a pill or apply a cream every day.
Is Hormone Pellet Therapy Safe?
Controversy continues to reign over the risks associated with HRT, so you may be wondering if hormone pellet therapy is safe.
The most significant danger is with estrogen-only treatments, which put women at a higher risk of breast cancer and other conditions. At the biostation, we administer a combination of estrogen and progesterone that reduces that risk. Testosterone treatment lowers these risks even further, as no estrogen is delivered to the body.
Whichever treatment you choose, regular checkups are advised so that we can closely monitor your hormone levels to ensure they are appropriately balanced. Furthermore, the implanted pellets cause no harm to the body. The pellets are made of the actual hormone that is compounded and shaped into a small pellet. No other material is used to encase it.
Menopause Doesn't Have To Mean Misery
The end of the reproductive years is a normal part of womanhood, but it's harder on some women than others. If you are struggling to cope with your symptoms, don't suffer in silence. Help is available. To find out more about hormone pellet therapy or request a consultation with one of our medical doctors, email us firstname.lastname@example.org.