Published March 28, 2012
Pellet therapy has been around since the 1930s–the concept is probably about the same age as Premarin, but much like other bioidentical hormones, a lack of approval from the FDA has left the public fearful of the consequences of use.
In 2008, the FDA gave its blessing to Slate Pharmaceutical’s Testopel, bioidentical testosterone pellet therapy designed exclusively for men. As many have discovered the ease and effectiveness of this delivery method for testosterone, it has become increasingly popular for men and women.
Testosterone delivered by pellet implant, has been used to treat migraines and menstrual headaches. It may also be an effective treatment for vaginal dryness, incontinence, urinary urgency and frequency. In both men and women, testosterone has been shown to increase energy, relieve depression, increase sense of well-being, relieve anxiety and improve memory and concentration. Testosterone pellets increase lean body mass (muscle strength, bone density) and decrease fat mass. Men and women need adequate levels of testosterone for optimal mental and physical health and for the prevention of chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, which have been associated with low testosterone levels.
In men, testosterone pellet therapy can improve erectile dysfunction (including throwing out your Viagra) and ensure regardless of age, you can keep up with your high-profile job and those youthful co-workers walking through the door. Low testosterone is among the most common issues facing the aging male. It affects multiple aspects of their lives, including sex drive, incontinence and maintenance of muscle mass.
Women often tread carefully at the mere suggestion of testosterone therapy, but just as with men, when testosterone runs low – it affects multiple aspects of life. Testosterone is the hormone that helps women manage their emotions, ensuring the little things, like a sappy commercials, don't evoke uncontrollable tears. Low testosterone often impacts a woman’s weight and sex drive. Without enough testosterone, gaining and sustaining lean body mass can be difficult.
Testosterone is also the hormone of desire and arousal – women experiencing low levels may simply lose their interest in sex.
Insertion is a simple in-office procedure and is less painful than drawing blood. Your doctor applies local anesthesia and makes an incision in the upper hip area, placing the pellet inside, which is smaller than a Tic-Tac and only slightly larger than a grain of rice. No stitches are necessary – the incision is so small, it can be closed up with a piece of tape.
Safety is the most common concern when it comes to new drugs or drugs that a majority of the public is unfamiliar with. In 2009, the Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study analyzing the data from multiple studies of pellet therapy as far back as December of 2003 through April of 2008. The study focused on male subjects and found that 86 percent of the patients were satisfied with the improvement of their symptoms and the ease of insertion. No patient that followed post-insertion directions experienced any adverse side effects, such as infection or pellet extrusion.