There are many myths about the various forms of testosterone replacement therapy especially pellet therapy, which is an alternative delivery method for testosterone and estradiol. Other forms of therapy include the use of testosterone creams or injectibles, and estradiol pills or creams. If you are on one of those treatments and happy with your results – great! Pellets are a great alternative testosterone replacement therapy for those who either:
- like the convenience of having hormones last 4 to 6 months with one simple procedure instead of biweekly injections or daily pills or creams
- do not like injections
- do not like applying creams or taking an estradiol pill every day; or
- not having the expected results from your current regime or having side effects.
15 Myths (Misunderstandings) About Testosterone Replacement Therapy with Pellets
1. It will hurt!
The testosterone pellet insertion procedure is quick and painless. The only part you feel is the initial injection of a shot of lidocaine to numb the area. Most people compare the feeling to a B12 shot. After the lidocaine, the area of insertion is completely numb and you don’t feel a thing.
2. Women can’t take testosterone!
Not true! Testosterone is a major hormone in both men and women. While it’s true men have a much higher level of testosterone in their body, the ovaries produce both estrogen AND testosterone. They are both involved with the growth, development, and maintenance of tissue in the body. Testosterone helps keep mood, energy levels, sex drive, and bodily functions working smoothly in women. Testosterone ensures lean muscle and strength, energy, and skin elasticity. It also helps protect the heart in both men and women. Check out WebMD’s article on testosterone levels in women.
3. Testosterone will make me break out
Acne can occur with testosterone therapy as it makes your skin more oily. It’s great for aging skin but not if it causes breakouts. This is dose-related and only happens with a few people. Acne produced by testosterone can be easily remedied by a provider as long as you let them know about it!
4. Testosterone will make me angry all the time!
This myth comes from the use of and abuse of illegal steroids. Bioidentical testosterone is a natural anti-depressant and generally has a positive effect on moods. Many people report they are a ‘nicer’ person and they feel better and more calm.
However, we have seen that testosterone therapy can cause irritability in some women and an increase in aggressiveness. Again, this is a dose related issue and is usually short-lasting. The remedy is to reduce the dose or titrate the dose over a period of time.
5. Won’t I get big and bulky all the time?
Testosterone replacement therapy will not cause big, bulky muscles. In fact, it takes a lot of steroids and working out to achieve this “bulky” look. Bodybuilders often follow a very strict regimen with many long hours in the gym and often high doses of various steroids.
Testosterone, properly prescribed and monitored, will result in lean muscle, less fat, and faster recovery from exercise. In fact, you are more likely to slim down on your workout routine than bulk up.
6. Testosterone will make my voice deeper!
A lot of people remember how their voice changed during puberty and worry they are going to experience a big change while on testosterone. However, chances are if you’ve gone through puberty already your voice is as deep as it’s going to get!
7. I will lose my hair!
Don’t worry – testosterone therapy will NOT make you lose your hair. Hair loss is due to the shrinking of hair follicles and your sensitivity of your hair follicles is determined by genetics and not testosterone.
8. Testosterone pellets aren’t safe
Not true at all! In fact, the ingredients in pellets are FDA approved and the process of making the pellets is regulated by the State Pharmacy Board. In addition, the distribution of pellets is regulated by the DEA and respective State Pharmacy Boards. This guarantees your pellets are carefully crafted and checked by trusted sources to ensure you get a safe hormone replacement. Bioidentical testosterone either in pellets, injectibles or creams match the body’s natural production of testosterone.
9. But what about increased heart attack in men?
*The truth is that testosterone has consistently been shown to protect against heart disease, prostate cancer, diabetes, plaque formation of the brain and loss of energy, libido, and muscle. Sometimes poorly constructed studies are done that are then publicized by the sensation seeking news media. They do not publish the countless positive studies. Check out our blog on the topic here.
10. I heard that testosterone pellets weren’t natural.
Only if you don’t consider yams natural! The pellets are made from wild yams and soy which have the highest concentrate of any substance. There are no known allergens to the wild yam and soy because once the hormones are made they are no longer part of the yam/soy plant. They are pure and considered bioidentical to what our bodies produce.
11. The procedure takes forever
Worried about taking a whole day off to get the procedure done? No need. Our skilled and certified providers insert the pellets in as little as 3 to 10 minutes. Women take less time as fewer pellets are inserted. The entire visit takes approximately 30 minutes to review labs and aftercare.
12. It costs too much money
Pellet prices are the approximate same as injections, pills, and creams for the period of time covered. They may be slightly more if your cardiac output is great and slightly less if your cardiac output is low. They are convenient in terms of life savings and have fewer side effects. At Natural Bio Health, we list all our program prices for men and women with full program descriptions on our site.
13. The downtime is too long
The pellet procedure is simple. Women have a three day bandage to cover the area over the small insertion to ensure sterility. Women generally feel nothing after the procedure. Men have a seven day bandage to ensure sterility. The area of the procedure will feel like a bruise for a week. Men will have a bump like area where the pellets reside. There is no downtime except no cycling or lunges for three days for women and seven days for men. No hot tub or lake swimming while the bandage is on. After the bandage comes off, you can resume all activity!
14. These pellets will stay imprisoned in my body
The pellets are 100% pure hormones and get completely dissolved into the blood stream over a period of time, generally from 4 to 6 months. Only pure, bioidentical hormones are put in a small fatty area and the body uses them up over time.
15. I can’t take pellets because I’m already taking cream/pills/shots
Pellets are an alternative to taking testosterone injections or creams and an alternative to taking estradiol pills or creams. We have used these other forms of hormones for years andy they usually work fine. You now have another option – pellets. You can change at any time or change back any time.
Reference: Conaway, E. “Bioidentical Hormones: An Evidence-Based Review for Primary Care Providers”. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2011, Vol. 111, 153-164.