Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) offers significant benefits for both women and men. Today, there are lots of ways to get those hormones — so many, in fact, that selecting the best method can be confusing.
At Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness, our team offers several methods of HRT, along with the guidance to help you decide which method is right for you. This post offers a brief guide to the most common HRT delivery methods offered at our practices in Boonton, Pompton Plains, and Jersey City, New Jersey, to help you make an informed decision.
HRT is used in both women and men to supplement hormones naturally produced by your body. Our team offers multiple options for HRT, including the following six.
One of the main advantages of pills is that pretty much everyone is used to this form of medication, and in terms of estrogen and progesterone, there are decades of safe and effective use to rely on. Testosterone usually is not given in pill form.
Pills must be taken every day, ideally at the same time, in order to get their benefits. That daily schedule can be an inconvenience to many people, and some people just prefer not to take pills.
Injections deliver the hormone directly to the muscle tissue, enabling your body to absorb it without needing to go through your digestive tract or skin. They also allow for dose adjustments from one treatment to the next, which can be important, especially at the beginning of therapy.
Gels are applied directly to your skin, typically once a day. The dose — or amount of gel you apply to your skin — is measured out just like any other delivery method. Some gels come in pump dispensers where each pump is equal to your dose. Like pills, gels need to be used every day to be effective.
HRT patches work in a similar way as nicotine patches used to help people quit smoking. The patches are placed on your skin (usually your arm) or, for testosterone, on your gum inside your mouth. The patch releases a steady stream of hormones over time.
Oral patches (the ones on your gums) need to be used twice a day. Skin patches are replaced once a day or every few days, depending on which hormone is being used.
Both estrogen and testosterone are available in implants. For estrogen, the implant is typically placed in the arm, just below the skin surface. Testosterone is delivered in small pellets that are placed in the soft tissues near your hip or buttocks. Insertion is performed during a simple in-office procedure using a local anesthetic.
Both types of implants release a steady dose of hormones over time. This method is more convenient than pills or injections and doesn’t irritate the skin as gels or patches can. Arm implants need to be replaced every three years, while testosterone pellets typically last for about four months.
One of the benefits of working with a skilled HRT specialist is having lots of options to choose from. It’s certainly possible to find your ideal method right away, but don’t be concerned if your first choice doesn’t work out. Plenty of people try more than one method before they discover what works best for them.
To find out more about HRT, call or book an appointment online and learn how the team at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness can help.