Menopause may signal a woman’s ascent into her golden years, but the process of getting there is rarely pleasant. Menopausal women may experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, fatigue — the list goes on and on. For some women, these symptoms can be incredibly disruptive to their everyday lives.
Fortunately, there are options for relief available. Some women find that increased physical activity and a modification in eating habits alone can alleviate menopausal symptoms. Others may have a tougher road ahead. For that, they can turn to medicinal routes for relief, such as bioidentical hormone pellets.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
When symptoms of menopause are severe enough to detract from a woman’s quality of life, her doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy as a means of providing relief. When a woman goes through menopause, her ovaries make low levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This results in menopausal symptoms such as changes in libido, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes.
Hormone replacement therapy seeks to introduce “replacement” hormones of these types in the body. The hope is that the symptoms will lessen with the introduction of these outside hormones.
Before prescribing hormone replacement therapy, most doctors will advise their patients to undergo topical hormone treatments or other relief therapies. For example, if a woman experience vaginal dryness, your doctor may prescribe a topical hormone cream. But more severe symptoms like hot flashes usually respond best to hormone replacement therapy.
What Are Bioidentical Hormone Pellets?
Bioidentical hormone pellets in hormone replacement therapy is rapidly gaining traction as a viable alternative to traditional synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Some people believe that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a safer alternative than synthetic hormones, though there is currently no scientific consensus supporting this theory.
Synthetic hormone therapy became widely derided in the early 2000’s after a large study linked synthetic hormone replacement therapy with increased cancer and stroke risk in women. Bioidentical hormones differ from synthetic hormones in that they replicate the molecular structure of hormones which naturally occur in the human body.
How Do Bioidentical Hormone Pellets Differ?
There are many hormone replacement treatments available for menopausal women. The most common estrogen replacement therapy is distributed as a pill. The pill has its advantages, in that it is easy to remember to take a pill regularly. There are common side effects reported, however, such as nausea and headaches. The hormones distributed in pill form are distributed all at once and may be affected by the natural functioning of the liver.
The transdermal patch method is a more gradual method of hormone distribution. It releases the hormone over a length of time. There is a risk of skin irritation, and women in warmer climates may find that sweat inhibits the proper adhesion of the patch. A transdermal gel will bypass this problem of perspiration.
Hormone injection is another method which often allows for the gradual distribution of hormones. It is given 1-2 times a month usually, and recipients often report spikes in menopausal symptoms or other adverse reactions in the days following the treatment.
Bioidentical hormone pellets differ from these treatments in that they require the least amount of maintenance. The pellets are placed under the recipient’s skin a few times a year and gradually release the hormones. They’re thought to help protect patients from the “roller coaster ride” associated with other hormone replacement therapies.
Are Bioidentical Hormone Pellets a Good Fit for You?
It depends! Are your menopausal symptoms decreasing your quality of life to a significant degree? Hormone replacement therapy has increased the quality of life for menopausal and post-menopausal women across the globe.
If your symptoms are severe enough where you are considering hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormone pellets may be a reliable and low-maintenance option of distributing a regular dose of hormone replacement. They require little thought on your part between subcutaneous insertions and you can reliably skip the “roller coaster” that other treatments may put you on.
It is important to work with your doctor to create a realistic and sustainable treatment plan. If you are experiencing just one or two mild symptoms of menopause, perhaps topical treatments may fix your problem. Otherwise, hormone replacement therapy may be your ticket to a happier, healthier menopause.
Menopause is never going to be a perfect, symptom-free ride into a woman’s golden years, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, either. Women experiencing hot flashes, extreme vaginal dryness, and other life-altering symptoms should approach their doctor with questions concerning hormone replacement therapy.