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General Questions

Check out our most commonly asked questions

Don't see a particular question on our list?

Feel free to email us at dr@richardchernmd.com or call our support line at (850) 837-1271.

General Office Questions

Our general office hours are from 9-4 Monday through Thursday and 9-12 on Friday but we are more than willing to work outside of these times. If you require an appointment outside of these times please let us know and we will try our best to accommodate you.

Our clinic is a little different than most as we can generally work you into our schedule either the same or next day. Remember, your provider will always take the time to answer every question and address all your concerns during your visit.

Our appointments are generally 30-60 minutes so not showing up to your appointment or cancelling at the last minute is not quite the same as missing a 10 minute visit at your regular doctor. For cancellations and rescheduling we require a minimum of 24 hours advanced notice to avoid a charge. We typically charge the minimum visit fee for no-shows and late cancellations unless the situation was discussed with the provider and a mutual understanding had been reached prior.

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More about Pellet Hormones

We are a BioTE® Certified Practitioner because we trust the pellets as a quality product and see the greatest results for our patients.

For women: usually every 3-4 months. For men: usually every 4-5 months.

They are pure hormone that is not metabolized into by products by going through the liver, stomach or skin. This delivery system allows your body to use the right amount of hormone as the blood flow surrounding the pellets pick up what is needed.

Because they are pure hormone without fillers or synthetic ingredients, they completely dissolve.

That depends on your age, activity level and how much you exercise. Testosterone decreases fat and increases muscle and lean body mass. Testosterone also increases your natural growth hormone production, thereby improving your stamina and increasing muscle mass.

All side effects are temporary and treatable and occur less than 2% of the time, when pelleted correctly.

Effects can be felt starting within 24-72 hours. Optimal effect occurs three weeks after insertion.

Good hormone balance will greatly improve your libido. The addition of testosterone in pellet form can change everything for the better!

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Specifically for Women

Yes! We have had great success, especially with women who have menstrual migraines, and new migraines that appear after age 35.

If you still have a uterus, you will need to be on natural progesterone as well.

Estrogen is the most important hormone for a woman. It protects her against heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s. It also keeps us looking young and healthy.

Testosterone is the third female hormone and is as essential as estrogen and progesterone. We need testosterone to keep our thought process quick and our libido healthy. It improves bone density, muscle mass, strength and prevents some types of depression. It is also the source of energy and solid sleep!

There is less chance of excess hair growth with natural testosterone than with synthetic hormones. Facial hair will grow with testosterone pellets, but normally no more than when you were in your thirties.

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Specifically for Men

No. Metabolites of testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone and estrone cause prostate enlargement and contribute to prostate cancer. Estrone increases and testosterone decreases as men age and gain belly fat. Testosterone pellets are the only replacement that reverses that trend.

Your blood levels of estrone and DHT are checked after treatment to see if they are elevated. Some men still convert to these metabolites even on testosterone pellets. If they are converting, we troubleshoot with natural supplements such as DIM and Saw Palmetto, or an aromatase inhibitor prescription.

Testosterone pellets will make it better, if you do not convert it to DHT; we will treat that if it happens.

Yes, they will. Testicles are suppressed by taking any kind of testosterone and will not make as much testosterone while the pellets are working. This is not permanent and the testicle retains its ability to produce testosterone.

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We’ve all heard of menopause; that dreaded time of life for women when they feel like something or someone else has taken over our bodies.

As early as their 30’s, women can experience mood swings, fatigue, mental fog, depression, weight gain, night sweats and low libido. A decade or so later, hot flashes can begin and the misery steps up a notch!

What about the guys in all of this mess? Why don’t they have to suffer like we do? Don’t they age too?

Well, the answer is ABSOLUTELY! On average, males begin hormone decline at age 35, losing up to 5% of testosterone production per year.

Not necessarily. Testosterone, produced primarily by the male testicles and by the female ovaries, and to a lesser degree by the adrenal glands (yes ladies females make and NEED testosterone!), has many functions in our bodies beyond sexual health. Testosterone is primarily a BRAIN hormone. As we age and testosterone production declines, we feel those brain symptoms!

Do any of these sound familiar? Mental fog, decreased mental clarity and diffculty focusing, memory loss, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, extreme fatigue (especially in the afternoon), just to name a few! Men do not typically lose their sex drive, so don’t use that as a marker for hormone balance! Women AND men experience varying degrees of these symptoms, and it can significantly decrease our overall sense of well-being and wreak havoc on relationships of all kinds! Often, when people seek help from their primary practitioners, they are band-aided with antidepressants, sleeping and anti-anxiety pills and a host of other medications. These drugs have side effects such as weight gain, “zombie like” state, dependency for sleep, decreased sex drive and so forth, not a good remedy! Furthermore, they do not address the root problem that is causing the complaints!

Several studies show bio-identical testosterone protects many disease states! Men with low testosterone are 3 times more likely to get Alzheimer’s dementia, women are at a higher risk. Studies show men over 55 with higher levels of testosterone demonstrated significant reduction in coronary artery disease and heart attacks. Testosterone builds bone by up to 8.3% per year, preventing and reversing osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Low testosterone increases cortisol and insulin levels, which increases fat and the risk of type 2 diabetes! Further, for women, countless studies shows testosterone protects the breasts from cancer. Breast cancer tissue can have both estrogen and insulin receptors, bio-identical testosterone has been shown to down-regulate estrogen receptors in the breasts and decrease insulin levels. The more we study this vital hormone, the more we learn it protects the brain, breasts, bones, heart and decreases the risk of a host of age related disease states!

First of all, seek an expert in hormone balance. If you feel “off,” pay attention to how you feel and think twice about filling the prescriptions given to quell symptoms if they tell you “your hormones are normal”. What is “normal” for the average population in your age group may not be “normal”, or optimal, for you. For instance, we know an optimal testosterone level in males is around 900-1200 (ten times higher than women), a “normal” lab reference range can be anywhere from 200-1200 for men, depending on the reporting lab! Men are typically symptomatic under 600 and women under 80, but that’s in the “normal range!”

Not quite that easy. You also want to consider a natural hormone balance method that keeps your levels in the optimal range 24/7. That is where we see the long term health benefits stated above. Methods that put your hormones on a roller coaster by taking something every day, or a shot every week, although sometimes better than nothing, don’t give us the benefit of balanced hormones 24 hours a day. Additionally, complete thyroid panels and vitamin D3 levels should be checked as there is a synergy between them all. Again, “normal” reference ranges may not be optimal for you.

The message here is, pay attention to how you feel, educate yourself, do your research, and most importantly, find a practitioner who will sit down with you, listen and help you understand what is happening during this time in your life and how to best address it without adding a multitude of unnecessary medications and side effects.

Still have more questions about BioTE®?
Follow this link to the BioTE website for more information.

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