This FoxNews article and video discusses the benefits of testosterone pellets in both men and women with low testosterone symptoms. Dr. Landa makes some excellent points and highlights the importance of testosterone in women in her interview with Dr. Manny. One being that women need and benefit from testosterone much in the same way as men. But, she also discusses that the primary purpose of hormone replacement therapy is to improve the quality of life and increase the health span (the years of good quality of life), not just the life span. We could not agree more.
The FoxNews piece specifically discusses therapy with testosterone pellets, but the health benefits of testosterone are the same regardless of the mode of delivery. As we have said in other posts there are advantages and disadvantages to the various forms of therapy whether they be creams, injections, or testosterone pellets. In the end, it is more a matter of personal preference. In men we tend to recommend injections because of the ability to get predictably good blood levels of testosterone. Since women need about one-tenth the testosterone than men getting good blood levels with creams and pellets is easier to obtain.
Pros and Cons of Testosterone Pellets Versus Creams and Injections
The advantages of pellets is very much in the eye of the beholder. What may be an advantage or convenience to one patient may be a disadvantage or inconvenience to another, though there are some universal advantages and disadvantages.
Testosterone creams have the disadvantage of enabling some testosterone to be transferred to another person including children, and also to pets. This transference of testosterone does not occur with pellets or with testosterone injections.
Though weekly testosterone injections might seem painful and inconvenient, in reality there is very little discomfort and dosages can easily be adjusted. In our practice we typically recommend testosterone injections for men and typically a cream for women.
Testosterone pellets need to be implanted every 3 to 4 months, less frequently in some, but it does require an outpatient visit and time away from work. And certainly the procedure is more invasive and more likely to be associated with discomfort than injections. Plus, there’s the added cost of having the procedure and the pellet therapy is more expensive than other forms of testosterone replacement. Also, if the dose is inadequate from pellet therapy then either more pellets must be implanted or supplementation with testosterone creams or injections is needed until its time for the next implantation of pellets when the dosage can then be adjusted.
There is more risk of infection with testosterone pellets than with testosterone injections even though injections are done more frequently. Also, testosterone pellet implantation involves cutting back on your physical activity for a few days, which may or may not be an issue for some.
For the person who does extensive traveling pellet therapy makes more sense as there is no need to remember to take along testosterone cream or injection which can also lead to some questioning when going through airport security since testosterone is a controlled substance.
Pulsatile Hormone Release
Though Dr. Landa and others talk about testosterone pellets releasing testosterone in a pulsatile fashion similar to what the body does, most reports state that testosterone from pellets is released into the body in a steady fashion providing an even flow of it. I’ve tried to find literature that discusses this pulsatile delivery of testosterone from pellets but have not found any.
Hormones in the body are naturally produced and released in pulses with levels of most hormones being elevated in the morning and declining throughout the day. Strenuous exercise is a stimulant for testosterone release too. This pulsatile release prevents tissues from developing tolerance or resistance to hormones over time. So being able to mimic the body’s pattern of pulsatile release would be a big advantage in hormone replacement therapy. Currently, there is not a testosterone treatment that readily achieves that, though testosterone creams come the closest to mimicking the body’s natural on-off production of testosterone.
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