Understanding the Different Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy
In both men and women hormones help regulate almost every function of the body – from energy level and weight gain, to sex drive and sexual performance, as well as hair growth, blood pressure, and much more! And since hormones affect virtually every aspect of health and wellbeing, when hormone production declines or is out of balance a wide variety of health complications can occur.
However, as the role hormones play in optimal health has more recently become understood, many different types and methods of hormone replacement therapy have sprung up. Some of these methods are extremely safe and highly effective – while others can be ineffective and have dangerous side effects, and some (like those seen on late night TV) are downright “quackery”! As a result, patients are often confused about the safety and effectiveness of the different types of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
In this article, our Phoenix, AZ hormone replacement specialists compare and contrast the different types and methods of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Synthetic vs Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Most women are aware that with menopause – around age 50 – the ovaries’ production of estrogen and progesterone decreases. But men’s testosterone production also reduces with age – declining on average about 1% a year after age 30. And up to an estimated 25% of men have low testosterone levels that interfere with their health and sexual vitality. In addition to aging, illness, surgery or certain environmental exposures can also cause hormone decline in women and men.
Initially, hormone replacement therapy used only synthetic hormones which were created in a laboratory. And, unfortunately, to this day many less-informed doctors still prescribe these synthetic hormones. But something as molecularly complex as a human hormone can never be identically duplicated in a lab. So, these synthetic hormones often are less-than-effective and can have dangerous side effects.
More recently, hormone therapy replacement experts, like Dr. Tutera at SottoPelle in Phoenix, AZ, have developed “bioidentical” replacement hormones that are derived from 100% natural sources. Bioidentical hormones exactly replicate the molecular structure of the hormones produced by the body, so they are much safer and more effective than synthetics. Bioidentical hormones are also free of the dangerous side effects of synthetics.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Delivery Systems
While bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) is superior to synthetics, the hormone delivery system that is chosen is also essential to ensure the best administration of missing hormones. Traditionally, pills, creams, patches and injections were used to get the hormones into the body. But a more recent, and much more effective, HRT delivery system is hormone replacement pellets. These tiny pellets are placed beneath the skin only 2 or 3 times a year to naturally replace missing hormones in a consistent time-released fashion, as the body needs them.
HRT Pellets vs Injectable Hormone “Shots”
Hormone injections are not only painful, but they require weekly or bi-weekly “shots”, making them a far less convenient and comfortable delivery method. And the intermittent dosing of injections leads to inconsistent hormone levels – putting the patient on a hormonal roller coaster of “surges” with every shot.
HRT pellets, however, only require insertion 2 or 3 times a year! The area is numbed first, so there is no pain. And a single 5 minute pellet insertion treatment can last up to 6 months.
HRT Pellets vs Oral Hormone Pills
Administering hormones via pill requires that the patient visit the pharmacy every month, and then they have to remember to take their pills every single day. The hormone replacement pills then give the patient a sudden spike or surge in hormones, that then wears off over the rest of the day.
Additionally, hormone pills can cause an upset stomach, result in ulcers in some patients, and even cause liver and/or gallbladder damage with prolonged use.
With HRT pellets, there is nothing to remember to take every day, or to refill every month. And, pellets offer consistent 24/7 delivery – so there are never any hormone surges. Additionally, hormone replacement therapy pellets delivers the hormones “trans-dermally” – bypassing the stomach and intestines – so there is never any risk of stomach upset, GI problems or organ damage.
HRT Pellets vs Transdermal Hormone Patches
Anyone who has worn a hormone patch already knows how inconvenient they are. To begin with, the patch is unsightly, and patches commonly cause skin irritation. Patches also fall off when showering, swimming, running, working out, or even when just perspiring.
And, hormone replacement therapy patches do not provide consistent delivery, since the hormones are strongest with a new patch and become weaker the longer the patch is worn. Clinical studies also have shown that up to 45% of people do not absorb hormones effectively from patches.
HRT pellets, on the other hand, are time-released – so that they constantly and evenly release the bioidentical hormones over several months as the body need them, without “surges”. And, obviously, the tiny pellets are invisible under the skin! With hormone replacement pellets there is nothing to worry about replacing, hiding, or falling off.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Phoenix, AZ
For effectiveness, safety, convenience, and consistency bioidentical hormone pellets are the safest and most effective delivery method.
In addition to being 100% natural, BHRT pellets are “one and done” – lasting up to six months with a single insertion. There are no pills to refill or remember to take, no painful shots, and no patches that fall off and need to be replaced.
SottoPelle Method Bioidentical Hormone Replacement is the most natural and effective – as well as the easiest and most convenient – way to restore balance to your hormones.
If you live in the greater Phoenix, AZ area, contact the doctors at SottoPelle today for a complete hormone workup and diagnosis – and see how HRT pellets can improve your health and energy, increase your sexual desire and performance, and give you back your quality of life! And if you are outside of the Phoenix area, you can use our convenient SottoPelle Physician Finder to locate a provider in your area!