This week we are going to follow up our Note on the recent testosterone shortage with an explanation of what hormone pellet therapy is.

As you may know, I’m a big believer in pellet therapy as a way of replacing your hormones. And after last week’s email on the testosterone shortage, we have gotten a lot of emails about pellets as an option.

Pellet therapy was actually the first form of hormone therapy many years ago.

Pellets look a lot like tic tacs or beads. They are small compacted bio- identical hormones (testosterone and estradiol) that are made from plants (Yams).

They are not synthetic.

Pellet Procedure

The procedure is in your hip area, where we would give you your intramuscular testosterone shot.

We numb the area up, do a tiny poke incision, and then slide a trocar (which looks like a straw) underneath the skin about an inch to an inch and a half in the subcutaneous fat. We pull the middle part of the trocar out and feed the pellets in, and then pull the whole trocar out and put a Steri-Strip over it.

It takes only a minute or two to get the pellets in.

For men the pellets last around 6 months, and for women they last around 4 months.

I love pellets for the even release of the hormone. Your levels aren’t going to go up and down. In my opinion, it’s the best way to get hormone replacement.

The beauty of it is that when you’re sleeping and not needing to draw on the testosterone, it doesn’t draw on it. When you’re active or during exercise, it draws from the testosterone.

It’s the most physiological way of doing hormone replacement.

*Women on pellets still have to take an oral progesterone. The pellets are only testosterone pellets and estradiol pellets.

Is there downtime? 

There is no downtime. We tell patients to keep the area dry the rest of that day, and to not do any heavy lifting with the lower half of your body for the next 3 days or so. For example, I tell people to not do heavy squats, or ride bikes for long distances if they’re a biker for a couple of days.

You might have a small bruise and some soreness where we put the pellets in for a few days.