What Method Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy Is Best For Me
Injections are the most effective form of testosterone treatment. Theyre better than gels, better than creams, better than patches, and certainly better than pellets.
The reason theyre better is that injections allow for precise dosing in a way that other methods do not.
You need to make sure you get an exact dose created specifically for you, and you need a provider who carefully analyzes your natural levels and adjusts your dosage to treat your unique symptoms.
This is the main reason we almost exclusively recommend injections when it comes to testosterone therapy for women however, sometimes topicals are a viable option.
Since this is a very important question, well look at each method in detail.
Talk to a TRT expert and get back to feeling the way you’re supposed to.Now serving patients in all Texas cities.
Understand The Potential Risks And Consider Alternatives Before Boosting Your Hormones Indefinitely
Millions of American men use a prescription testosterone injection or gel as forms of testosterone replacement therapy to restore normal levels of the manly hormone. The ongoing pharmaceutical marketing blitz promises that low T treatment can make men feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and sexually functional. However, legitimate safety concerns linger. For example, some older men on testosterone replacement therapy could face higher cardiac risks.
“Because of the marketing, men have been flooded with information about the potential benefit of fixing low testosterone, but not with the potential costs,” says Dr. Carl Pallais, an endocrinologist and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Men should be much more mindful of the possible long-term complications.”
Signs of low testosterone
Declining muscle and bone mass Increased body fat
Effect Of Testosterone: Your Testicles May Shrink
This is one of the most common side effects of testosterone replacement theory.
Normally, when your pituitary gland senses that there’s not enough testosterone in the bloodstream, it sends down a hormone called luteinizing hormone to signal your testicles to start producing more testosterone, and a hormone called follicle stimulating hormone to signal sperm production.
When you take outside testosterone, the pituitary gland gets the memo that there’s enough T in your bloodstream, so it stops sending these signals. This essentially puts the testicles to sleep , says Dr. Kaminetsky.
“Most of the size of the testicle is dedicated to making sperm, so when you’re making less sperm, the testicles get smaller,” says Dr. Morgentaler. This also means it can hamper fertility, acting like birth control, so if you’re planning on having kids, testosterone replacement therapy isn’t an option.
6 Things Every Man Should Know About His Penis:
And production doesn’t always go back to normal afterwards, either says Dr. Kaminetsky. A 2017 study in Fertility & Sterility found that increasing age and longer length of T-therapy was linked to less chances of normal sperm recovery.
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Do I Have To Inject Myself On Trt
If you have trouble injecting yourself, GameDay Mens Health offers in-and-out injection appointments to our TRT patients. This is the most common option for many newcomers to TRT since you can just close your eyes and let us do the injection for you.
You may also ask a friend or family member to help with the first few injections if you prefer to do them at home.
In the long-term, it behooves you to become comfortable with doing TRT injections by yourself. Its not always practical to find someone to inject you, especially if you live alone or want to maintain privacy about your TRT.
Just breathe and relax, you got this.
Weeks After Beginning Treatment For Low T
Improved erectile function begins around this time and continues to improve over the next several months. Mental alertness and improved memory are also apparent during this time with continued improvement expected.
A slight decrease in triglycerides and total cholesterol begin, while an increase in full erections and sexual performance are noticeable.
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How Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy Work For Women
The best way to find out if you can benefit from Testosterone Replacement Therapy is to get your hormone levels tested.
We would start with a series of blood tests and consultations to determine your symptoms and see if youre a candidate for TRT.
If TRT turned out to be right for you, we would start you on weekly intramuscular injections. The actual methods we use are exactly the same for women as for men.
Obviously, the doses need to be much smaller for womenabout 10% of the amount we give to men generally.
Dosing determines your clinical response, so you want to be able to use the lowest effective dose at the most efficient intervals.
Intramuscular injections, given weekly, are the most efficient way to ensure you receive the precise amount you need.
Testosterone needs to be injected weekly because it degrades in about 7 days and needs to be replaced.
Therapy begins with a dose based on best practices and our clinical experience. Our clinicians will adjust the dose as needed.
Once your symptoms start to respond and lab values support that observation, well know weve found a good maintenance dose for you, assuming your other hormones arent too high or too low.
Blood samples are taken on a regular basis to see how youre progressing. It can sometimes take a few injections before an optimal level is reached.
Talk to a TRT expert and get back to feeling the way you’re supposed to.Now serving patients in all Texas cities.
What Is Low Testosterone
To understand what low testosterone is, you should first make sure that you have a good understanding of what testosterone is in the first place. Testosterone is a hormone found in both men and women. It is even found in animals. Most people associate testosterone with men, though. This is because testosterone is the hormone associated with the male sex organs. Therefore, low testosterone equates to low male sex hormone levels.
Although the female body also makes testosterone, it does so at much smaller levels to function properly. Similarly, the male body also makes the hormone associated with the female sex organs known as estrogen, just at much lower levels to function properly.
Because the male sex organs produce testosterone at such high levels to function, especially post-puberty, suffering from low testosterone levels affect the health and function of a mans sex organs. As a result, men that suffer from low testosterone levels often experience low sex drive and sperm levels.
Low testosterone levels can also negatively affect a mans bone and muscle mass, the way a man stores fat in his body, and even a mans red blood cell production. Thus, suffering from low testosterone is an issue that should be addressed immediately.
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The Rest Of Your Gear
Its important to have everything prepped and ready before you start your self-injection. You dont want to be mid-shot and realize you need something handy. Youll want to have the following things within arms reach.
- Your testosterone or medicine vial
- Needles and syringes
- Alcohol swabs. Youll want to sterilize and disinfect the rubber top of the medication vial and your injection site
- Gauze or a cotton ball, for applying gentle pressure to the injection site immediately afterward for a few seconds
- Band-Aids, in case theres any blood
- A sharps container. This is a puncture-proof container for safe needle disposalSoap, so you can wash your hands thoroughly
Testosterone Injections Benefits Timeline
It helps to have a visual in terms of how quickly do testosterone injections work, and the timeline below best illustrates when many of the benefits of treatment for Low T will begin to be noticeable in ones life.
How soon do testosterone injections work? Here is the testosterone benefits timeline:
Within a few days of beginning testosterone injections:
- Improved insulin sensitivity
3 weeks after treatment begins:
- Improved sex drive, sexual thoughts, fantasy, satisfaction, and libido
- Reduced anxiety, aggression, and improved sociability
- Better quality of life perceived
- Reduced inflammation in the body between weeks 3 and 12
4 weeks after the start of testosterone injections:
- Improved lipid profile decrease in triglycerides and total cholesterol
- Increase in full erections and sexual performance
6 weeks after beginning treatment for Low T
3 months from onset of testosterone treatment:
- Better glycemic control 3 12 months
- Improved erythropoiesis formation of red blood cells
- Increased exercise capacity is shown in men with chronic heart failure
- Noticeable change in lean body mass, fat mass, and muscle strength by month 3 4
6 months into treatment with testosterone:
- Increased bone density
These testosterone injections results can be truly life-changing for someone who experienced debilitating symptoms associated with Low T.
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How Long Am I Likely To Be On Treatment
The only clear consensus is that theres really no clear consensus on the length of time you should undergo testosterone replacement treatment, which is why its crucial that you talk with your bioidentical hormone doctor and devise a treatment plan thats right for you.
Generally speaking, testosterone therapy is an ongoing treatment that continues long-term, if not indefinitely. As with most chronic conditions, stopping therapy could see your symptoms returning as testosterone levels once again fall below healthy levels.
This doesnt mean youre on your own. Over the course of treatment, your hormone doctor will schedule regular check-ups in order to properly monitor your progress, and adjust this accordingly. These are usually held every 3 months to start, though they may become more spread out over time as signs and symptoms level out, and your health improves.
This is why youll find that the ongoing costs of testosterone therapy fall over time.
How Fast Does Testosterone Gel/cream Start To Work
We know that most are eager to see and feel positive changes, which is why the question when will I see results from testosterone? is the most frequently asked.
Those patients who choose not to use injections tend to opt for testosterone gel or cream. The timeline for the gel/cream to work is roughly the same as with the testosterone injection results timeline. The benefits may come a bit slower because, unlike testosterone injections where the entire dosage is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, there is no way of knowing exactly how much testosterone is absorbed through the skin.
The initial benefits of improved sex drive, better perception of quality of life, and reduced anxiety will most likely still occur during the first month just perhaps not to the same degree. Some men and women do feel the effects of testosterone quicker with the gel or cream. There is no way of knowing until the treatment is started. Each persons body processes the various forms of testosterone in a unique way.
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Treating Low Testosterone Levels In Males
Doctors may recommend testosterone injections to treat males with low testosterone levels. Low testosterone production by the testicles is called hypogonadism.
Low testosterone can have negative effects. The symptoms of low testosterone in males include a lower sperm count, a decrease in bone or muscle mass, increased body fat, and erectile dysfunction. Normal total testosterone levels in the bloodstream in healthy adult males are 2801,100 nanograms per deciliter .
When treating hypogonadism, testosterone therapy can have the
- increased lean muscle mass and strength
Results Vary From Person To Person
Most individuals will start to notice significant changes within 4 to 6 weeks of beginning treatment with testosterone injections, but some changes may actually be felt and seen much earlier. The next section will feature a timeline of what to expect, and when but please remember this is a generalization and each persons results may differ.
The information highlighted in this article is a guideline of what to expect but is not set in stone. Some people may experience certain results at a faster pace while others may find it takes a little longer to see positive changes. How quickly testosterone therapy works for each person is also, in part, dependent on the steps taken to assist the process by making subtle changes in ones lifestyle. Getting proper sleep, eating well, and exercising will all help improve the effectiveness of testosterone treatment.
Most patients asking how soon testosterone injections work are anticipating tangible results they can see, whether in energy, muscle growth, reduction of stiffness and joint pains, or improved libido. The first result is not one that can be seen, but it is the most important as this is the body achieving balance with testosterone levels becoming normalized within a few days of the first injection.
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Before Taking This Medicine
You should not receive testosterone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
if you are bedridden or otherwise debilitated or
if you take a blood thinner .
This medicine can harm an unborn baby. Do not use testosterone if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use effective birth control while you are receiving this medicine.
It is not known whether testosterone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breastfeed while using this medicine.
Ready Your Mind And Equipment
Lets run through a few common questions you may be having to help dispel some common misconceptions about self-injections.
First, is self-injection safe?
Self-injection, done properlymeaning with a prescribed substance, under the direction of a physicianis completely safe. Blackmarket needles, self-sourced substances, and using your own needles these are things that make self-injection unsafe. As long as your course of treatment is guided by a physician, youre good.
Is it hard to inject yourself?
Its not difficult. The initial shot will be the hardest, but the rest will be smooth sailing. The biggest fear here is the pain associated with the needle and a phobia of needles themselves. When Ive got a patient struggling with self-injections, I advise them to:
How do you get over a fear of injecting yourself?
Its really about getting through the first shot. Before any patient who needs to self-inject tries on his or her own, we do a test run together with me in the room. That helps them see how easy this is and that they can definitely do it on their own.
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How Do I Take Testosterone Replacement Therapy
TRT comes in several different forms. Each has pros and cons.
Patches. These are easy to apply. But patches can cause skin rashes and may have to be applied more than once a day.
Gels. You rub gels into the skin daily. They are convenient to use. But you have to be careful that no one comes into contact with the treated area for several hours after you’ve applied it. Otherwise they could get testosterone in their system. A nasal gel is now available that eliminates the risk of exposure to others.
Buccal patch. You put this on your upper gum twice a day. These patches are convenient but can cause irritation or gum disease.
Injections. Injections are given anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks apart. They are inexpensive compared to other treatments. But injections may not provide steady benefits. Your testosterone levels will go back down between doses.
Subcutaneous pellets. Your doctor inserts these under your skin every 3 to 6 months. They are very convenient once they’re put in, but they require minor surgery for each dose.
Common Questions Associated With Trt/injections
How Does My Doctor Determine if I Have Low T?
A simple blood test will be performed by medical professionals/doctors. The results will often be known in about 20 minutes or less, and if the testosterone levels in the body are not within normal range, testosterone replacement therapy will be recommended.
Get in touch with a primary care physician to see if youre at risk for low testosterone.
What Are The Benefits of TRT?
Benefits of the therapy vary upon the pre-therapy symptoms, but they may include:
- Increased energy
What Are The Risks of TRT?
Some patients may experience one or more of the following side effects:
- Increase in red blood cells may lead to blood clots or heart attacks.
- Prostate effects, especially in those who are more than 50 years of age.
- Skin reactions such as oily skin, increased body hair, and acne.
- Infertility due to some experiencing lower production in sperm.
- Sleep apnea may worsen in those who already have this present.
- Fluid retention in those who have a history of heart failure or kidney disease.
Is TRT Covered by Insurance?
Some health insurance may be accepted for certain treatments. However, to learn more about the cost of testosterone replacement therapy with Dr. Ben Evans, be sure to schedule an appointment with him today.
What are the Advantages of Injections over Gels/Pills/Patches?
When Will TRT Not Work For Me?
Those who already have these problems listed below should NOT receive testosterone injections, due to it causing more problems:
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Choosing An Injection Site
For intramuscular injections, youll want to inject into your gluteal muscle , your thigh muscle, or your shoulder muscle. With subcutaneous injections, youll want to inject into your stomach area or your shoulder.
Your ultimate goal, regardless whether youre going with IM or SubQ, is to avoid any arteries or veins with the needle. With IM injections, that means always choosing a spot within the upper outer thighyour inner thigh is too vascular. As to where to inject within the glute, the answer is the same: the upper outer portion of your glute.
With either IM or SubQ, rotating injection sites helps. With any injection, theres trauma to the tissue so if you go back into the same area, that pain will increase. If youre doing IM injections in your thigh, do the right thigh first, then the left thigh. Rotate between your left and right glute.
If youre doing SubQ injections into your abdomen, draw an imaginary square around your belly button and rotate injections at the corners of that square.