More than a million women in our country go through menopause every year. The symptoms can last for years, and can have a major impact on a woman's quality of life. But some health experts say a new treatment can help.
Laurie Lane said she’s always loved being active. But in her late 50s, she started feeling tired, lacked motivation to work out, and said her joints were in pain.
“I went to my gynecologist and said, 'I have all these symptoms,' and he's like, 'Congratulations, this is menopause!'" she said.
Lane also had other symptoms, like brain fog and hot flashes. She said she struggled for about two years, and it took a toll on her.
“All these things coming at you, it just made you feel not like a whole person," Lane said.
She said a blood test revealed her testosterone was low, which made her a candidate for a procedure at Orlando Health. For the procedure, a low-dose of testosterone is delivered through a pellet injected under the skin during a quick office visit.
"As time goes on, I think you're going to see this become a pseudo-standard of care that will be an option for almost all patients to see if they can improve upon these menopausal symptoms," Dr. Terrence Peppy, the Chief of Obstetrics & Gynecology for Orlando Health Physician Associates, said.
The testosterone procedure is not FDA approved right now, but Dr. Peppy said it's bringing some relief to many of his patients. He said it lasts between 12-16 weeks.
"There's a little bit of risk behind estrogen. There's no risk behind testosterone, so it's a safe hormone. We monitor the dosing level to make sure we're looking for the appropriate range that's therapeutic," Dr. Peppy said.
Lane said she started seeing results within days, and she's back to feeling like herself again.
“I’d say I'm functioning at all cylinders!" she said.
Dr. Peppy said the testosterone procedure isn't typically covered by insurance, and each pellet costs about $350. Since it's effective for 12-16 weeks, he said the treatment ends up being between $80-100 per month.