Bioidentical Testosterone Implants
Dr. Lebowitz is a leading practitioner of bioidentical testosterone implant therapy for women. Since 2005, she has treated 1,000 patients-her own and referrals from other doctors-with this safe and highly effective form of hormone replacement that has been in use since the 1930s. Stated simply, testosterone implants alleviate a great many symptoms and conditions that typically begin in midlife-as early as the pre-menopause years-and may help ward off many of the ailments and diseases of agingWhy Testosterone?
Testosterone is a basic human hormone with anti-inflammatory and immunity-building powers, and with receptors in every cell of the body. It is misleadingly referred to as the male hormone. While men have 10 times more testosterone in their system than women do, women produce 10 times more testosterone than estrogen during their prime reproductive years-their twenties into their thirties, when their health is optimal. Testosterone gradually declines starting later in the thirties and in the forties. That is often when women begin feeling sluggish and tired, when they begin gaining weight and losing their libido.The Benefits
Dr. Lebowitz discusses testosterone's benefits for women in this youtube video (Dr. Lebowitz on benefits of testosterone pellets for women). Here, as well, is a rundown in writing:
Some hormones in pill form can cause liver damage and increase clotting factors. As for testosterone creams and gels, they can create erratic daily swings in hormone levels. That is because testosterone has a short half life and when applied to the skin causes a spike, followed by a quick drop. Pellet implants, by contrast, derived from yams and soy, get slowly absorbed over a period of months, providing the highest consistency of delivery.The Procedure
After numbing the area with lidocaine, one or two testosterone pellets, slightly larger than a grain of rice, are inserted into the fatty tissue of the hip in a quick and all but painless outpatient procedure (lasting less than one minute) in Dr. Lebowitz's office. No sutures are needed. The area is closed with adhesive and heals within a week, with many women resuming most normal activities within a couple of days. The pellets dissolve slowly over an average of three to four months, time-releasing small amounts of testosterone into the blood stream--speeding up during strenuous activities and slowing down during quiet times. In effect, the pellet implants mimic past ovarian function.Estrogen Conversion
Testosterone is a precursor of estrogen, so minute amounts may be converted to minute amounts of estrogen. For this reason, an aromatase inhibitor (which prevents any estrogen formation) is added to the pellet of breast cancer survivors.Countering the Misconceptions
In woman-size doses, testosterone will not cause aggression-in fact it has been shown to encourage clear thinking and reasonableness. Nor will it produce male traits such as a deepening voice. In a few cases, it may cause slight acne and inappropriate hair growth, both of which can be remedied by lowering the dose. (For this reason, we tend to be conservative with initial doses.)Insurance Coverage
Since testosterone for women is given off-label, at the doctor's discretion, the pellets are not reimbursable from medical insurers. However, some insurers reimburse for the procedure.