Hormone Pellets
Frequent Questions

Common questions

Freedom Healthcare is here to help

Data shows hormone replacement therapy with pellet implants is an effective bioidentical hormone replacement method for men and women. FHC practitioners place implants under the skin. These implants consistently release small, physiologic doses of hormones.

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BHRT Pellet Implant History

Hormone replacement, administered through pellet implants, was used with great success in the U.S., Europe and Australia since 1938. In fact, pellets were the popular mode of hormone administration in the U.S. until the 1970s, when oral and topical commercial products were developed. While the demand for pellets diminished in the U.S., pellets continued to be a common method of hormone administration throughout Europe and Australia. In the last 10 years, health professionals have improved this process and attained a better knowledge of the benefits of pellet implants for hormone replacement. These key improvements have increased the popularity of hormone pellet administration in the U.S. once again.

Greater than 70 years of research illustrates the benefits of pellet implants for the administration of hormones in both women and men.

Benefits of hormone pellet implants include:

  • Consistent physiologic levels of hormones
  • Maintenance and improvement of bone density
  • No negative impact on the body’s clotting factors, blood pressure, lipid levels, glucose or liver function

Hormone pellets are known to improve:

  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Libido
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Hot Flashes
  • Mood
  • Depression
  • Joint Aches and Pains
What hormones are available in BHRT pellets?

Estradiol and Testosterone are available in pellet form. Multiple doses are available depending on each patient’s individual needs.

Where do health professionals insert BHRT pellets?

Hormone pellet insertion is a relatively simple in-office procedure done under local anesthesia. After numbing the area, pellet insertion is done subcutaneously (under the fatty lining of the skin), either in the lower abdomen or the upper buttocks through a small incision. A FHC practitioner then seals the incision with surgical glue or sterile-tape strips. The implants under the skin consistently release small, physiologic doses of hormones which produce positive side effects.

How long do BHRT pellets last?

Hormone pellets typically last between three-four months for women and four-five months for men. Women require a smaller, frequent dosage of testosterone in order to avoid excessive blood levels. The exact replacement time depends on how rapidly the hormones metabolize in each individual patient. After the insertion of the pellets, patients should typically avoid vigorous physical activity for two-three days (or as the doctor suggests). Patients may begin to feel symptom relief anywhere between 48 hours to two-three weeks, depending on the individual hormone levels and dosage. Patients do not need a removal procedure for the hormone pellets because they completely dissolve on their own.

How can patients get BHRT pellets?

BHRT pellets require a prescription from a licensed healthcare practitioner. It is important to work with a provider who has an in-depth understanding of BHRT and the pellet implant procedure. The placement of the pellet and the hormone dosage are critical in determining the safety and efficacy of the procedure.

Are there any side-effects?

Generally, there are minimal side-effects with the pellet implant procedure. Side effects can include: minor bleeding, bruising, infection and pellet extrusion. However, negative side effects or complications are rare. Patients may experience side effects from the hormones themselves. These side effects vary for each individual and patients should discuss symptoms with their FHC provider.

How do patients know what hormones they need?

Before starting any hormone replacement therapy, patients should work directly with a knowledgeable provider to have hormone testing done. Hormone testing evaluates an individual’s personal hormone profile. Existing hormone levels and health history will determine the hormone replacement recommendation. After the first insertion of pellets, Freedom Healthcare will reevaluate hormone levels prior to the next treatment. Once providers establish the proper pellet dosage, testing is less frequent.

Can a patient be allergic to the implants?

Rarely, a patient will develop a local zone of redness (three-eight cm) and itching at the site of the testosterone implant. There is minimal or no tenderness and no other sign of infection. Pellet formulations include stearic acid and povidone (PVP). Patients may react to the PVP. Patients who develop a local reaction to the pellets often have low cortisol levels and upon further questioning, may have symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. In these rare cases, FHC health professionals may recommend cortisol testing or 25-50 mg of Benadryl for itching.

How much does this cost?

The cost for the insertion of pellets will vary depending on the dose of the hormone and the number of pellets the patient needs. Pellet insertion takes place two to four times a year, depending on how rapidly a patient metabolizes hormones. Men need a larger dose of testosterone than women, which increases the cost of the hormone treatment.

Will insurance cover the procedure?

Bioidentical hormone pellets are generally not covered by insurance. However, prevention is cost effective especially in comparison to treating diseases of aging.

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