As men grow older, their testosterone levels progressively become lower and lower. This may leave them feeling tired, irritable, and alarmed by the way their bodies are changing. But aging men aren’t the only ones who can experience hormonal issues; primary hypogonadism, pituitary gland and hypothalamus dysfunction, and even obesity can all have a profound impact on testosterone production and affect men who are young and otherwise healthy.
If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms that could be a result of low testosterone, you could potentially benefit from testosterone replacement therapy. But you might not know which administration method you should try first.
Testosterone replacement therapy can come in several formats, including gels, creams, patches, and intramuscular injections. Although all of these formats can be effective, they aren’t perfect. You may not like the smell of gels or creams, and you may need to apply them several times per day to get the intended effects. Patches may only need to be applied once per day, but it can be hard to integrate them into your daily routine due to their sensitivity to moisture and heat. Meanwhile, injections need to be regular if they are to have any effect, and many people dislike needles. In light of these potential drawbacks, a growing number of men are choosing testosterone pellet therapy to effectively and comfortably address their hormone levels.
What Are the Benefits of Testosterone Pellet Therapy?
Testosterone pellets have a number of advantages that other forms of testosterone replacement therapy do not. Unlike with injections, or gels, pellet therapy allows you to experience the benefits of consistent testosterone supplementation for up to four months without having to constantly remember to take a dose of hormones.
Testosterone pellets allow you to receive a consistent hormone dose over time, preventing the unpleasant feelings which might result from fluctuating testosterone levels. In contrast, fast-acting formats like injectable testosterone can sometimes lead to your testosterone levels spiking immediately after the injection and begin falling soon afterward. Formats like testosterone patches may not cause spiking levels of testosterone, but they can cause irritation and may loosen or fall off if you exercise or sweat heavily. Meanwhile, some find that creams and gels feel uncomfortable and they can be less effective if applied immediately after you bathe. This means that pellet therapy may be preferable for both efficacy and tolerability reasons, which could make a big difference for you.
Despite the benefits of testosterone pellet therapy, the prospect of getting something implanted under your skin may be concerning. But the implantation process is nowhere near as invasive or risky as you might suspect.
What Is the Implantation Process Like?
It’s entirely reasonable to be hesitant about looking into testosterone pellet therapy because of concerns you may have about getting pellets implanted into your body. However, pellet implantation is a simple outpatient procedure that only takes a few minutes when you visit the right practitioner. You won’t need to take any time off of work to recover, nor will you need to get stitches. More importantly, your life will start to improve as the testosterone is released, and you won’t need to change your daily routine as a consequence of the implantation.
Your practitioner will be able to answer any questions you have about the process in greater detail, but the basics are fairly simple. Before you can start pellet therapy, your practitioner will work with you to customize your treatment plan by measuring your testosterone levels and calculating how much testosterone is necessary to enhance those levels and alleviate your symptoms. Calibrating the dosage of testosterone is critical because each person has unique needs that must be taken into account to optimize treatment efficacy. Most men will need to have fewer than 12 pellets implanted. Each pellet is approximately 3mm by 9mm, or about the size of a grain of rice, and they typically cause no discomfort during or after implantation.
The pellet implantation procedure itself takes less than ten minutes. Your practitioner will sterilize an area above your hip on your backside, around the fat deposit which is on top of your gluteus major muscle. Don’t worry—you’ll get a shot of lidocaine to numb the area. A small incision will then be made and your practitioner will inject the pellets with a special syringe. Finally, Steri-Strips and a bandage will be applied to the incision site, and you’ll be free to go.
What to Expect After Testosterone Pellet Implantation
Your newly implanted pellets take a little while to start dispensing testosterone, but within a week you will likely start to see results such as higher energy levels, improved libido, and stabilized mood. A few weeks into your therapy, your practitioner may request to test your testosterone levels again to make sure that everything is in order. Most men who get testosterone pellet therapy don’t need to have their dose adjusted after implantation, so if you’re feeling good and your practitioner thinks that you’re doing well, you can expect to continue to enjoy the therapy’s beneficial effects for as long as the pellets stay active.
Once you’ve had your pellets implanted for a few months, it’ll be time to decide whether to get a new set of pellets implanted. Most pellets are fully dissolved after about four to five months, though it may take slightly longer or shorter for some people. If you want to keep experiencing your newly energized body and mind, you can reach out to your practitioner again to get the process restarted. Many men feel so positively about experiencing the benefits of testosterone therapy that they opt to be implanted with new pellets for years on end—a testament to its power to change people’s lives for the better.
BodyLogicMD can help you get started with testosterone pellet therapy with expert care from a highly-trained practitioner who specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and integrative medicine. The practitioners within the BodyLogicMD network are among the top medical professionals in the country and specially certified to help you address low testosterone levels and improve your quality of life. Get started on a customized treatment plan designed to fit your lifestyle and help you reach optimal wellness — contact a local practitioner to schedule your first appointment or take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz today.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.