Menopause and Safe Hormone Replacement

Everyday 3500 women enter menopause. Natural menopause usually occurs between the ages of 43 and 55, which means we could live half our life in menopause! Our hormone levels can start dropping 15 years before that, so we should not wait until we actually stop having menstrual cycles to seek treatment. And 20% of men are in andropause by the age of 50. The symptoms are not fun!!

Menopause impacts 25 million women worldwide each year. Most of you know the flashes, night sweats, mood swings or depression, sleep problems, fatigue and no sex drive. Those are just the ones I hear most commonly. Menopause is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and osteoporosis. Men with low testosterone have the same risks and experience fatigue, depression, moodiness, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction and low libido.

We need estrogen! It has 400 functions in the female body. Estrogen deficiency is a state of accelerated aging.  In a 2013 study, researchers estimated that over the past decade 18,600-91,600 postmenopausal women, ages 50-59 who have had hysterectomies may have died prematurely because they were not given estrogen!


Well, in 1991 a large trial called the Women's Health Initiative was begun by the U.S. National Institute of Health. The study was stopped early due to a 41% increase in stroke, 29% increase in heart attacks, 26% increase in breast cancer and a 100% increase in the rate of blood clots. So all doctors were cautioned about hormone replacement in menopause, and to use the lowest dose possible to control symptoms and to only continue treatment for 5 years at the most. There were HUGE flaws in this study. The estrogen being given to women was synthetic, made from pregnant horse urine. These compounds have about 40 different estrogens, none of which bind to the estrogen receptors in our body correctly. Furthermore, some of these women were treated with artificial progesterone as well (progestins or medroxyprogesterone). Women on these synthetic progesterones had the highest rates of breast cancer. If you're taking Premarin or Prempro or other synthetic hormones, then you are exposing yourself to these risks. Just because they are FDA approved, doesn't mean they are safe!

Fortunately we have very safe, effective ad convenient alternatives to synthetic hormones. Bio-identical hormones are not only "natural"; bio-identical means they are EXACTLY like the hormones we used to produce. They bind to our bodies' hormone receptors EXACTLY like the hormones we used to produce. They DO NOT increase our risk of cancer, stroke, blood clots nor heart attacks. As a matter of fact, bio-identical hormones are protective against these things! Specifically testosterone replacement does not cause prostate cancer in men! The French Cohort Study published in 2002 followed 3,175 postmenopausal women taking bio-identical hormones for 9 years, proving there was no increased risk of breast cancer. There are many more studies out there proving the same facts. Most of us have heard about bio-identical creams, which are very safe. But at least in Arkansas, bio-identical hormone pellets are not as widely known about. In Texas, pellets are standard of care.  I personally have had pellets for almost 4 years. I love them! 

The process is simple. You come in for an office visit with me and I take a complete medical history. You have a panel of lab drawn. When that lab is available in about a week, it is entered into the HTCA computer formula, along with your medical history and symptoms. A dose of hormones is then generated which I can adjust as I need to. The prescription is then sent to Well's Pharmacy who ships your pellets that have been calculated specifically for you. The pellets, which are the size of a grain of rice and smaller, are then inserted by me into the fat of your bottom in a quick, painless in- office procedure. It truly takes all of 2-3 minutes to insert them. Your pellets will last 4-6 months and gradually dissolve. When symptoms return, you know it's time to tell me you are ready to be repelleted. Bio-identical hormone pellets are safe, convenient and effective, not to mention healthy! And although this blog has mostly focused on menopause, pellets are very popular in men as well!

You can read more on my website at
Give us a call today and get your appointment set up to start feeling better. 501-228-6237

Anne R Trussell MD
Sei Bella Med Spa

#menopause #andropause #bioidenticalhormones #bioidenticalpellets #bhrt #htca #lowT #hormonepellets #hormonereplacementtherapy

Literature sources:
de Lignieres, B., et al "Combines hormone replacement therapy and the risk of breast cancer in a French cohort study of 3175 women." Climacteric, 2002 Dec; 5(4):332-40

Friedman, 2013

Bain J, Maturitas 2010; (66):16-22 Kaufmann JM, J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2001;26:833-78

North American Menopause Society

Birge,S, "The use if estrogen in older women," Clini Geriatr Med 2008: 19(3):617-27

Studd, J.W.W., Cardozo, L.Stanzyck, & Thom

Sarrel, et al, "The mortality toll of estrogen avoidance: An analysis of excess deaths among hysterectomized women aged 50-59 years." American Journal Public Health 2013: July 18