People have no idea of the role our hormones play in their day-to-day lives. In reality, hormones regulate most of our body systems. When we have an imbalance in our hormones, things can get out of whack. Hormonal imbalance can lead to depression, decreased mental clarity, insomnia, chronic fatigue, loss of muscle mass, and decreased libido among other symptoms.
That’s why we feel balancing your hormones is a critical part of our role at Northwest Women’s Center. We offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy utilizing pellet insertion. Our BioTE hormone replacement system is a comprehensive approach that addresses the issues mentioned above, but also provides additional health benefits, such as cardiac protection and bone and joint protection.
Here’s some additional information about the BioTE Pellet Hormone Replacement Therapy we offer at Northwest Women’s Center.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Women experience a variety of symptoms when their hormone levels become imbalanced:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Cold hand and feet
- Decreased libido
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Men
Although not as well known as hormonal imbalance in women, men also experience symptoms from this. These are consistent with low testosterone levels:
- Loss of muscle mass
- Erectile dysfunction
- Chronic fatigue
- Decreased sex drive
- Increased body fat
- Decreased bone mass
- Mood changes
- Brain fog
Candidate for BioTE Hormone Replacement
Our doctors specialize in hormone replacement at Northwest Women’s Center. He’ll be able to tell if you’re right for these treatments, or if we need to pursue other options. If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms of hormone imbalance, we run a comprehensive blood panel.
But hormone replacement is not right for everyone. In general, if you have or have had breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, blood clots in your legs or lungs, stroke, liver disease, or some forms of vaginal bleeding, you should not have hormone replacement therapy.
Also, if you aren’t having problems with menopausal symptoms and if you started menopause after age 45, you do not need hormone replacement therapy to maintain your health. We can discuss other options for addressing potential osteoporosis and heart disease, if you have some risk factors.
Men with normal levels of testosterone, from 300-900 nanograms per deciliter, don’t benefit from hormone replacement therapy.
What is BioTE Hormone Pellet Therapy?
Versus oral ingestion and other methods, the BioTE system of delivering bioidentical hormones is simple. Our doctors insert a tiny bioidentical hormone pellet, about the size of an uncooked grain of rice, under the skin of the upper buttocks.
The pellet then delivers a consistent level of hormone to the patient through the day, bypassing interaction with the liver that comes with hormones taken orally. Each pellet delivers benefits for 3-4 months.
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
The name bioidentical means these hormones are chemically identical to your body’s natural hormones. The difference is that bioidentical hormones are derived from plant estrogens. The common hormones matched are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
How does BioTE hormone replacement differ from other therapies?
The main difference is the delivery methods used. For women, traditional hormone replacement therapy has involved either low-dose vaginal products or systemic hormone therapy. Low-dose vaginal preparations are available in cream, tablet, or ring form. Systemic estrogen is available in different forms: pill, skin patch, gel, cream, or spray foam.
For men, traditional testosterone replacement is done through injections, skin patches, gels, and mouth patches.
The shortcoming of these delivery methods is consistency in the amount of hormone available to the body. Plus, oral delivery methods involve the digestive system and liver, which can lead to side effects and inconsistent levels of hormone delivery.
With BioTE pellets, we place the tiny pellet and it’s forgotten. It then instantly gets down to the job of delivering bioidentical hormones for 3-4 months.
What happens during the insertion of the Bioidentical Pellet?
The insertion of the BioTE pellet takes only a few minutes in our Dotson Road offices. Our doctors first uses a small amount of local anesthetic to numb the insertion site, usually on the upper buttocks. A tiny incision is then made and the pellet is inserted under it. The incision is covered with a small bandage and the procedure is complete.
How long does it take for the BioTE Bioidentical Hormone Pellet to work?
Every patient’s system is unique, so there is no “set” timeframe for improvement of your symptoms. Most of our patients report an improvement with various symptoms such as hot flashes in as little as 2-4 weeks. Fully realized results could take up to six months.
Risks of BioTE Hormone Replacement Therapy
The risks involved with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are similar to those with traditional hormone replacement. Above we discussed conditions that would make you ineligible for bioidentical replacement therapy.
Otherwise, research has shown hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk for certain conditions and diseases:
- Blood clots
- Gallbladder disease
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
When some patients first have their pellet inserted, they may experience these initial side effects:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Increased facial hair in women