Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormones control just about all of the processes in our bodies. But as we age, our hormone levels can fluctuate wildly. Some of these changes are due to transitional phases such as menopause; others can be more an individual health issue. At River Oaks Gynecology and Aesthetics, we offer bio-identical hormone replacement therapy using plant-based hormones to return hormone levels to the optimal range for our patients.
What are bio-identical hormones?
Bio-identical hormones are chemically identical to those produced in the body, but they come from plant or animal sources. At River Oaks, we use BioTE® Hormone Pellet Therapy, which uses only plant-based hormones. There are no synthetic hormones in our replacement therapy.
BioTE® pellet therapy is a way to identically replace the hormones men and women lose over the course of our lives. Replacing these hormones with bio-identical hormones can reverse imbalances that can be causing symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats in women and decreased libido and brain fog in men.
Who would be a good candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement?
BioTE® Hormone Pellet Therapy at River Oaks Gynecology and Aesthetics is a way of treating many common and debilitating symptoms that are often misdiagnosed by doctors. Symptoms such as sleep issues, exhaustion, weight loss, and many others can all be linked to hormone imbalance. For many people with these issues, once they begin bio-identical hormone replacement therapy with us their health issues usually show rapid improvement.
How is hormone replacement therapy beneficial for women?
Women have a variety of symptoms that can be triggered by hormone imbalance. These are typical symptoms (although far from an all-inclusive list) that can be improved with BioTE® pellet therapy:
- Painful periods
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Heavy menstrual cramping
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Decreased libido
- Weight gain
- Cold hands and feet
When is hormone replacement for women most beneficial?
The most common time we help our female patients with hormone imbalance is during the three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
How is hormone replacement therapy beneficial for men?
While women may be more identified with hormone imbalances and replacement therapy, men also have a litany of symptoms caused by low testosterone levels. These symptoms can be improved with BioTE® pellet therapy:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Chronic fatigue
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increased body fat
- Decreased bone mass
- Mood changes
- Lower mental capacity
- Brain fog
How is hormonal imbalance diagnosed?
A blood test is the standard method for diagnosing hormone imbalance, as most hormones can be detected in the blood. Your River Oaks gynecologist or your regular doctor will use a blood test to check your estrogen, thyroid, testosterone, and cortisol levels. In addition to a blood test, we also use “How You Feel” because not all people perform and feel best at the same levels
Blood tests and how you feel are usually sufficient to show imbalance, but in some cases, a pelvic exam may be necessary. Other possible tests could use ultrasound, x-rays, MRIs, and sperm counts.
What are my treatment options?
At River Oaks Gynecology and Aesthetics, we use BioTE® Hormone Pellet Therapy for hormone replacement. It delivers bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) very efficiently. Every BHRT pellet is custom-compounded to the patient’s unique physiology. This ensures the most success in achieving hormonal balance in every patient. These pellets are derived from plants, not animals, and they very closely mimic the hormones your body produces.
What is bio-identical hormone therapy?
The BioTE® system delivers bio-identical hormones through pellets. These pellets are inserted in our offices in a simple procedure. Each pellet is about the size of an uncooked grain of rice and is inserted under the skin of your upper buttocks. This method delivers a consistent level of hormone release for the patient. We feel BHRT with pellets is far superior to the other methods of oral hormone pills, vaginal applications, hormone creams, or injections.
What are in the pellets?
Pellets contain estradiol (a form of estrogen) and testosterone, or a combination of both and are usually beneficial for everyone after the age of 30.
Why are pellets a good way to deliver bio-identical hormones?
The traditional delivery methods for hormone replacement have been pills, skin patches, gels, spray foams, or through vaginal tablets, creams, or rings. Pills lose potency through the digestive system, and they bring liver reactions into play. All of the other options involve manual application of some sort. This can be inconsistent if a person forgets an application. The closest thing to the ease of pellet delivery is the transdermal patch. But many women don’t like the patch being there during intimacy.
How are BHRT pellets inserted?
The insertion of your bio-identical hormone pellet couldn’t be any easier. You come to our relaxing offices in the uptown area just south of Memorial Park. We first numb the insertion site (usually the upper buttocks). Next we make a very small incision and insert the tiny pellet. Stitches aren’t necessary; we simply cover the tiny incision with a bandage.
What can I expect after my pellet is inserted?
Your body releases hormones naturally during periods of stress or exercise. The inserted pellet will instantly begin doing the same thing, releasing the bio-identical hormone into your system.
Traditional hormone replacement therapy has always had the downside of creating highs and lows for the patient. BioTE® pellet therapy is much more consistent. How soon you experience improvement varies by the patient, but most patients begin to notice a difference within a couple of days. It can take up to four weeks for the full affect to be felt. From there, improved hormone levels should provide enduring benefits lasting up to six months.
How long do the pellets last?
The BioTE bio-identical pellets we use at River Oaks Gynecology and Aesthetics last from 3-4 months. At that point, you return and we simply insert another pellet.