Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Bioidentical (HRT)

Hormone Replacement Therapy

There are many myths regarding bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. This article is intended to answer the most frequently asked questions regarding bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Do Bioidentical Hormones Help With Belly Fat?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy help get rid of belly fat, which may reduce risks associated with heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Women receiving bioidentical estrogens benefit from alleviating menopausal side effects, including depression and insomnia. Men receiving bioidentical testosterone will benefit more from increased lean muscle mass and reduced belly fat. Belly fat is also referred to as visceral fat, which is the fat that lives in your gut and is not amenable to surgical removal. Unfortunately, this belly fat is inflammatory and associated with metabolic diseases that affect insulin resistance, diabetes, and even vascular health, such as heart disease. The good news is that testosterone directly lowers cortisol, reducing this harmful belly fat.

Does Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Make You Look Younger?

HRT can help you maintain a more youthful body composition by supplementing your body’s natural hormone levels. While this effect is particularly evident in men, research suggests that women can also benefit. HRT in men drastically improves lean muscle mass and reduces belly fat, making you look healthier, fit, and younger. HRT in women specifically affects your skin, helping it look softer and smoother, resulting in a younger look.

How Can I Avoid Weight Gain During Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

HRT will directly increase your growth hormone production, which, as the name implies, stimulates the growth of cells. Naturally, all cells will grow to some degree, although the everyday experience is a gain in muscle mass and reduction in fat. Yet, improving dietary choices, increasing physical activity, getting more sleep, managing stress levels effectively, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol will help limit weight gain to muscle rather than fat cells.

How Often Do I Come In For My Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Patients will need to replace their HRT pellets approximately 3 x per year in women and twice a year in men.

Do Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Pellets Leave A Scar?

HRT pellets have been used for many years and are generally considered a safe delivery method. Complications are usually mild and temporary. These may include temporary redness and a few days of soreness, but scarring is minimal. Remember that the pellets are introduced using a narrow trocar through a small stab.

Can Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Pellets Cause Nerve Damage?

HRT pellets are not associated with an increased risk of nerve damage. Because implanting of the hormone pellet is limited to a small stab incision under the skin, significant nerve injury risk is not observed. However, it is conceivable that there may be some temporary numbness if a small sensory nerve is irritated during implantation.

How Do I Stop Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Pellets?

If you decide to stop your HRT therapy, you should do it gradually and under a doctor’s care. Your doctor recommends a series of doses that successively lower and tapers off over time, so the shock to your system is not drastic. Weaning off bioidentical hormones is safer than synthetic hormones as your physiological hormone production is less drastically altered. Testosterone HRT will take several weeks or even longer taper in levels making the transition safe and smooth.

Why Am I Gaining Weight On Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Weight gain with HRT is usually a temporary phenomenon related to the engorgement of muscle cells resulting from water retention. This effect resolves over the first two months, with patients observing overall weight loss after losing belly fat.

How Do They Put Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Pellets In?

To insert hormone pellets, a healthcare professional will numb the skin and make a small incision, usually into the hip area. They will then insert one or more hormone pellets underneath the skin. They will close the incision with surgical tape, called Steri-Strips, a simple stitch, or both.

What Is The Most Effective Form Of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Injection or implantation of HRT is the most effective form compared to transdermal or oral administration for combating the loss of muscle and bone and increasing belly fat in men.

What Will I Notice First With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Soon after beginning HRT, you will likely notice change in your libido and sleep. Rapidly, your genitals, will become more engorged and feel larger, especially when aroused. You may find that different sex acts or different parts of your body bring you erotic pleasure. Another early effect of HRT is improvement in your sleep that results from increased growth hormone levels and decreased cortisol. 

How Do You Prepare For Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Pellet Therapy?

We recommend that all patients stop taking blood thinners (aspirin, ibuprofen, multivitamins) two weeks before their insertion. If your physician has instructed that you take any of these daily, you should consult with them. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy does not require mandatory stoppage of the above blood thinners, but they are associated with increased bruising.

Can You Exercise After Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Pellet Insertion?

Avoid vigorous exercise for 72 hours to reduce the chance of bruising, drainage, infection, or delayed wound healing. Walking and easy stair climbing is fine. Avoid running, biking, volleyball, racquet games, and aerobic exercise for five days.

How Long Are You Sore After Bioidentical HRT Pellet?

You may have mild redness or bruising around the small incision for 72 hours. Mild discomfort lasting for one week following the procedure is also normal.

Is Bioidentical HRT Pellet Therapy FDA-Approved?

N bioidentical HRT via pellets (hormones injected under the skin) currently has FDA approval. This is because pellets delivered of bioidentical hormones can vary between brands, and controlled studies have not been presented to the FDA. However, clinically, the steady and consistent release of bioidentical hormones has been observed in both inpatient testaments and measured laboratory levels.

How Much Does Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Cost?

HRT pellet implantation costs vary based on the dose of hormones required. The typical price for women is between $500 and 750, and for men, between $1000 and 1200. Remember, men require more hormone amounts but also require less frequent dosing.

Who Is A Candidate For Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Pellet?

Good candidates for hormone replacement therapy are women going through menopause or men who feel lower energy and lack of libido.

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