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Hormone Pellet Therapy: Procedure, Advantages, Side Effects

What is Hormone Pellet Therapy?

Hormone pellet therapy is a method in which hormone implants are put under the skin to replace hormones. These pellets release bioidentical hormones from plants.

It is a method of replacing and releasing hormones in males and females either with forms of estrogen and progesterone or a mixture of hormones.

Hormone Pellet Therapy

Hormone pellet therapy is used by females during menopause to relieve symptoms. It is used by transgender people to suppress or enhance certain sex characteristics.

What are Hormone Pellets?

Hormone pellets are inserted by people to release bioidentical hormones. These are the hormones that are identical to the hormones the human body produces.

Hormone pellets contain a mix of hormones and are also known as compounded bioidentical hormone pellets. Due to the lack of safety and effectiveness of these pellets, they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.(1)

In bioidentical compounded hormones estradiol, estrone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and testosterone may be included. These pellets can be made in the laboratory according to the doctor’s prescription.

Hormone Pellet Therapy Procedure

A healthcare professional considers factors such as hormone levels and body mass index to work out the dose of hormone to insert into the pellet.

To insert the pellet, the area is numbed and a small incision is made. It is usually done in the hip region. One or more pellets are then inserted under the skin. After inserting the pellet, the incised area is stitched. The person needs to follow the instruction given by the healthcare professional.

These pellets provide a constant supply of hormones for 3 months.

A person who wants to use compounded bioidentical hormone would need to undergo a salivary test to check for hormone levels. However, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, salivary testing is not an accurate method for testing hormone levels.(2)

Advantages of Hormone Pellet Therapy

There is very less evidence supporting the benefits of hormone pellet therapy.

Following are the benefits suggested by the providers giving hormone pellet therapy:(3)

  • It helps in relieving menopause symptoms
  • It helps in improving low sex drive
  • It improves energy and mood
  • It helps in reducing body fat
  • It helps in protecting against health conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis

Its method of pellet delivery may be helpful in the following ways:(4)

  • Hormones are directly absorbed into the bloodstream avoiding the liver and gastrointestinal system
  • Helping in controlling the release of hormones helping the body absorb it
  • Providing continuous availability of hormones
  • Use of topical gels, creams, and lotions may not be needed

According to an article, bioidentical hormones have a molecular structure that is identical to the hormones naturally present in the body.(5) There is anecdotal evidence that compounded hormones can be helpful in providing individual treatments specific to a person’s symptoms or hormone levels.

There are other FDA-approved hormone therapies that include:

  • Systemic Estrogen Therapy: It is given either with or without progestin and is a good treatment for night sweats and hot flashes.
  • Systemic and Local Estrogen: This therapy is helpful in relieving vaginal dryness.
  • Systemic Estrogen: It protects against bone loss and prevents osteoporosis in early menopause.
  • Combined Hormone Therapy: This therapy helps in lowering the risk of colon cancer.

Side Effects of Hormone Pellet Therapy

The side effects of hormone pellet therapy may depend on the level and type of hormone.

Commonly the side effect is observed in people with long-term and high doses of testosterone. High levels of testosterone in females may lead to:

  • High level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Irritability

Drug labels containing the hormone estradiol list the following adverse effects: (6)

Hormone pellet therapy is a type of hormone replacement technique in which pellets are used to provide hormones. There is very little evidence supporting its benefits and also is not approved by the FDA. Still, there is anecdotal evidence of it providing relief from menopausal symptoms.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 12, 2023

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