Menopause in a woman’s life is undoubtedly a difficult period, which is mainly accompanied by not the most pleasant symptoms and a depressive state. This natural process entails hormonal changes and restructuring of the reproductive system, which gradually reduces its activity. To minimize discomfort in the climacteric and support a female’s body throughout this challenging time, experts around the world agree on the unconditional use of HRT when the general health of a woman allows it.
Hormone replacement therapy is the gold standard for treating the typical manifestations of the climax. This method of cure has long proven its right to primacy and is successfully used by numerous menopausal women in the civilized world. But despite this, not all females can feel on themselves all the healing effects of HRT implants.
A menopausal woman should not resort to hormonal drugs if her health history has at least one of the items listed below. Namely, she had/has problems with:
- predisposition to bleeding.
Also, a significant contraindication to starting HRT is past or current diseases of any type of cancer. This is especially true for cancer of the uterus or breast, ovaries.
Hormone Replacement Therapy Implants Overview
Hormone replacement therapy – HRT has been used since the 1960s. With the passage of time and numerous clinical trials conducted, the quality and effect of therapy have improved significantly every year. Treatment is carried out by introducing into the menopausal female body the sex hormones it lacks, namely estrogen and progesterone.
At the moment, there are many ways to use hormonal drugs, one of which is an HRT implant.
Hormone Implant for Menopause Introduction
Progress does not stand still, and more and more new ways of the beneficial use of hormonal drugs become possible. So, at the moment, one of the most progressive and walking toe-to-toe with modern realities by using HRT is a hormone-containing implant. What hormone is in the implant and what exactly is this capsule?
This pellet-like HRT implant usually contains a single hormone – estrogen or testosterone. This tiny capsule is sewn into the fatty layer under a woman’s skin. Most often, the abdomen or buttocks are chosen for this.
HRT Implant Dosage
Tiny crystalline capsules of the main sex hormones that are lodged under the skin, namely estrogen and testosterone, come in different dosages. They have the size of a rice grain, namely 3-9 mm. For estradiol, typical doses are 25, 50, and 75 mg. It should be noted that as a rule, HRT implant pellets of 50 mg are most often used. It is connected with the fact that it provokes the appearance of side effects extremely rarely.
The hormone testosterone subcutaneous capsule has a standard dose of 100 mg. Only a qualified specialist can decide on the reasonable use of HRT implants. Normally, they are used when other methods of taking hormonal drugs have failed.
Duration of Therapeutic Effect Of HRT Implants
HRT implants operate continuously over a 6-8 month period. These slow disintegrating capsules have a lasting positive effect on the condition of the menopausal woman. Every six months, the female must undergo blood screening, which will show the existing level of estradiol. Normally, it should fluctuate between 300-600 pmol.
There are mandatory rules in the course of using the HRT implant. For example, blood for analysis must be donated no later than 2 weeks before the planned implantation of the next sex hormone capsule. The good news is that a doctor won’t have to remove the previous pellet, since it is soluble in essence.
Insertion of the Hormone Capsule Under the Skin
The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. Under sterile conditions, the doctor makes a shallow incision (typically up to 1 cm) in the abdomen or upper outer quadrant of the buttock. The HRT implant is placed there using an “introducer”, a special device. No seams are required. A sterile bandage is applied to the place of the manipulation. It should stay dry for 48 hours.
If the patient observes blood marks on the dressing, the specialist can stitch up the wound with dissolving sutures. After a 7-day period, the body itself will get rid of them. In cases where there is discomfort from the incision, the woman has the right to use pain relievers.
courtesy of ACPHARM
Indications for Use Of Hormone Replacement Therapy Implants
As mentioned above, HRT implants are used less frequently than other methods of taking hormonal drugs. But, this in no way lessens their generally accepted evidence-based effectiveness. For objective reasons, most often, hormone-containing capsules are prescribed by doctors to women who have undergone a hysterectomy, as well as to those females who have both ovaries removed. Estradiol and testosterone implants are the most effective method for these patients.
No less serious indications for the use of HRT implant are the following conditions:
- menopausal hormonal depression;
- loss of libido;
- loss of energy;
- loss of bone density;
- inadequate response to oral estrogen medications.
Professor John Studd, in his study of the level of estradiol for bone density, noted that a gradual increase in the latter is directly related to the level of estradiol, which was achieved after a course of hormone therapy. From the stated above, it follows that HRT implants are almost an ideal solution to the problem of fragility of bones in women of menopausal age. With an increase in the dosage of the hormonal implant, the percentage of bone density in the lumbar spine also increases.
Typical symptoms of the menopausal period (hot flashes, sweating, nervousness, headaches, etc.) usually subside after 14-16 days, that is, about two weeks after the therapy beginning. In turn, as the date of the necessary replacement of the HRT implant approaches, the symptoms will return and can be quite pronounced. This can begin to happen starting from the 5th month of using the hormone capsule.
Patients who have a uterus should not take estradiol mono-drugs. This is fraught with the risk of endometrial cancer. In this regard, such females must not apply to only a mono estradiol HRT implant. Therapy should include oral administration of progesterone or additional implantation of a separate capsule of the latter. It should be noted that this way of hormonal cure will have a beneficial effect on women with hormone-dependent depression.
Side Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy Implants
Hormone replacement therapy is to be considered the most effective method when it comes to treating the symptoms and signs of menopause. This opinion is shared by most experts around the world. But despite the generally positive picture, this type of therapy, and in particular HRT implant, have a list of side effects.
Estrogen pellets that are embedded under the skin can provoke the following negative phenomena:
- painful sensations in the mammary glands;
- leg cramps;
- accumulation of fluid in the tissues, which can lead to the appearance of edema.
It should be noted that the described above is not manifested in all patients undergoing therapy with estradiol hormonal subcutaneous capsules.
HRT implant, contrary to popular belief, does not in any way affect the weight of a menopausal woman. However, if the dosage is not chosen correctly (too high for a long period of time), it can increase the risk of stroke, breast or ovarian cancer, or blood clots appearance. That is why you should, first of all, carefully choose a specialist and, of course, weigh the pros and cons before starting HRT therapy with an estradiol implant. Women receiving HRT are advised to have their breasts checked regularly, that is, to have a mammogram.
Pros and Cons Of HRT Implant Usage
Like any other type of drug therapy, HRT implant treatment has its own weighty pros and cons. Before starting to discuss the possibility of using hormone-containing pellets, you should familiarize yourself with them. So, here they are:
|Objective simplicity in application|
If a woman decides to undergo HRT implant therapy, after a short and painless operation (typically 5-10 minutes), she can forget about the symptoms of menopause for the next 6 months. The slow-release capsule will do everything by itself. You don’t need to worry about anything.
Due to the fact that the pellet literally becomes a part of the woman’s body, the supply of the hormone into the bloodstream is the most predictable, physiological, and constant throughout the entire period of its action, that is, 6-12 months, depending on the dosage and severity of the symptoms of the climacteric. This will help successfully avoid significant fluctuations in hormone levels and may assist the menopausal female to feel better all the time.
Elimination of the human factor
Any of the other existing methods of hormone replacement therapy (tablets, patches, creams, gels, and injections) undoubtedly have a positive effect on the female’s menopausal body. Although there is an unconditional “BUT”. All of these methods of taking hormones depend on the punctuality and meticulousness of the patient. This means that they only work if the person does not forget to take them on time. Indeed, even a slight deviation from the dosage schedule can jeopardize the positive dynamics of the cure. HRT implants alleviate this risk by eliminating a human factor from the equation, potentially allowing greater therapeutic benefits from the remedy.
Notwithstanding the fact that medical intervention for HRT implants in a woman’s body is scanty, as well as the size of the incision after it, it is still a surgical procedure. This means that the patient may feel discomfort after surgery or even pain, which will require pain relievers. Moreover, although the risk of wound infection is minimal, it does exist. Therefore, you should follow all the instructions of a specialist.
Restrictions after the procedure
Immediately after the insertion of the HRT implant under the skin, the female is contraindicated in excessive physical activity, which can limit the implementation of her daily routine, for example. In addition, the implantation site must not be exposed to water for at least two days after the procedure. There are reports that women developed swelling, bruising, or redness at the incision site after surgery.
Impossibility of removing the HRT implant
A menopausal female should be aware that after a doctor inserts pellets under her skin, it will not be possible to extract it. The patient will have to carry it in herself, even if there is no positive effect from the drug. This is extremely rare but possible. On top of the estradiol capsule, it is possible to insert the progesterone pellet.
HRT implants have a rather high cost compared to other methods of using hormone replacement therapy. This should be taken into account when making the final decision on the choice of treatment for menopausal syndrome.
The procedure of implantation of the HRT implant subcutaneously is a quick and painless surgical procedure. It takes no more than 10 minutes. A small incision remains on the body, which quickly heals.
The introduction of an estradiol capsule under the skin is an effective method of dealing with severe manifestations of menopause. In the long term, the cumulative effect of this method of hormone replacement therapy is extremely beneficial for the bone density of menopausal women. This, in turn, is a good solution to the problem of the appearance of osteoporosis, which is a typical characteristic of postmenopausal women. An excellent therapeutic effect is provided by the HRT implant on women suffering from hormonal depression in menopause.
If the correct dosage is not followed or the general rules for using subcutaneous hormone-containing capsules are neglected, side effects may occur. The most common of which are headache, breast swelling, nausea, and even vomiting. Be sure to contact your GP in case you are feeling bad. In case the negative phenomena are severe, immediately call an emergency.
🔎 What are HRT implants?
Hormone implants are a form of hormone replacement therapy – a treatment for the symptoms of menopause. They are small pellets that are inserted into the fat under the skin (usually the tummy).
⏳ How long does HRT implant last?
HRT implant absorbed, releasing the hormones slowly over a 4 -6 month period.
💎 What do HRT implants do to the body?
HRT implants can also reduce a woman’s risk of developing osteoporosis and cancer of the colon and rectum. However, long-term use is rarely recommended, and bone density will decrease rapidly after HRT is stopped.
👩 How do HRT implants make you feel?
It usually takes a few weeks before you will feel the initial benefits of HRT implants and up to three months to feel the full effects. It may also take your body time to get used to HRT implants. When treatment begins you may experience side effects such as breast tenderness, nausea and leg cramps.
🧏♀️ Do HRT implants change your face?
Overall, you may gain or lose weight once you begin hormone therapy, depending on your diet, lifestyle, genetics and muscle mass. Your eyes and face will begin to develop a more feminine appearance as the fat under the skin increases and shifts.
⭐ Can I stay on HRT implants for life?
There’s no limit on how long you can take HRT implants, but talk to a GP about how long they recommend you take the treatment. Most women stop treatment once their menopausal symptoms pass, which is usually after a few years.
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I thought hormone implant for menopause was something serious and scary. I thought it was an operation. I realized that I was wrong about this.