So What's the Deal with Hormone Pellets?

 

At the age of 49, I was pre-menopausal and feeling extremely exhausted all the time. A friend told me that she had felt the same the year before, and she had gotten relief by getting "bioidentical hormone pellets." After speaking with her and doing some very minimal research, I visited the clinic she had recommended.

My blood work was taken, and I was told that I was extremely deficient in estrogen and slightly deficient in testosterone, which wasn't uncommon for a woman my age. The doctor explained that based on my blood work, they would "compound" a pellet specifically for me with the hormones I needed to feel better. The pellet was the size of a grain of rice, would be inserted under the skin of my buttocks through a very small incision, and the hormones in the pellet would be released over the next three months. Lather, rinse, repeat. For three years.

I tell more of my story in this video. Bottom line: Three years after starting BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy), I was diagnosed with estrogen-fed breast cancer at the age of 52. I feel confident that the clinic I went to did not surveil my results appropriately. The result: breast cancer.

If you are considering using hormone pellets, please use my personal experience as a cautionary tale. And please listen to Family Nurse Practitioner Kristina Calligan's counsel on what your doctor should be doing to safely monitor your pellet use. I wish I had known that information. It may have prevented my breast cancer diagnosis.

Written with love by Jan James, Hope After Breast Cancer

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