Why Injections for Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Posted: June 9, 2020
Testosterone replacement therapy is a common treatment for hypogonadism, also known as low T. Symptoms of low testosterone can leave you battling many unwanted symptoms like low libido, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, and even depression. Our provider may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy if you experience these symptoms and a blood test shows that you have lower than normal testosterone levels. This can help bring your testosterone levels back into a healthy range and reduce symptoms that hold you back from achieving your health goals. There are several forms of testosterone replacement therapy. However, our team prefers testosterone replacement injections to help you improve your overall health.
Types of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Over the years, medical professionals have developed many different ways to administer testosterone replacement therapy. Some common forms of testosterone include:
- Testosterone replacement injections
- Creams and gels
- Testosterone patches
Testosterone replacement therapy may also come in synthetic or bioidentical forms. Synthetic testosterone may have more side effects because it’s chemically different from the testosterone your body naturally produces. These versions are man-made in a lab to mimic testosterone. By contrast, bioidentical testosterone is made from plants like soy or yams to be identical to testosterone molecules that you naturally find in the human body.
Treating Low T with Testosterone Replacement Injections
Our physicians use injectable testosterone replacement therapy for many reasons. Generally, this involves an injection once every seven days to help bring your testosterone up to baseline levels. Testosterone injections are effective and fast-acting, as they’re given straight to your muscle tissues. This means your blood stream can absorb your testosterone replacement therapy quickly. This may lead to you feeling the benefits of your testosterone replacement therapy faster.
Also, testosterone replacement injections have no risk of spreading testosterone to those around you. While testosterone helps treat symptoms for low T, it can also cause complications if someone accidentally comes into contact with it. This is especially true for women and children. Other forms like gels or creams stay on your skin and can transfer testosterone to others. This can lead to negative health consequences for other people. By contrast, injections leave no residue that could be potentially harmful to those who touch you.
In addition, injectable testosterone replacement therapy gives our providers greater control over your testosterone replacement dosage. Other forms of testosterone can make it more difficult to get an exact dose. Also, options like pellets generally can’t be readily adjusted. With testosterone replacement injections, however, your doctor can adjust your dose easily, as you receive an injection once every seven days. This allows our providers to have additional control to help you achieve testosterone levels in healthy ranges.
Research Shows that Injectable Testosterone Replacement Therapy Offers Other Benefits
Studies also show that injectable testosterone replacement therapy may have additional benefits. One study found that testosterone injections may help maximize musculoskeletal benefits for those on TRT compared to other forms. Additionally, there may be fewer cardiovascular risks with injectable testosterone compared to oral or transdermal testosterone.
Another study found that testosterone replacement injections offered higher free and total testosterone levels compared to other forms. Researchers also found that injectable testosterone replacement therapy offered higher increases in hemoglobin, hemocrit, and estradiol. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs to your tissues. Hemocrit is the percentage of red blood cells in your blood. Increases in estradiol may help with erectile function, sex drive, fat distribution, and other factors of your overall health. Therefore, testosterone injections may offer many benefits for men suffering from hypogonadism.
Drawbacks of Other Forms of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Other forms of testosterone replacement therapy can also work to improve testosterone levels for those suffering from low T. However, they also come with several drawbacks. Therefore, our providers offer testosterone injections to help minimize these disadvantages so your treatment plan is convenient, affordable, and adjustable to your specific needs. Here are some issues with other types of testosterone replacement therapy:
Creams and Gels
Cream and gel forms of testosterone involve putting your testosterone medication on your skin. However, many of these creams and gels must be applied at around the same time every day to be effective. This, plus the mess left behind is often inconvenient for those with low T. Additionally, it may take longer for your body to absorb testosterone from creams and gels, which may mean waiting longer to feel the effects.
Another issue patients often notice with creams and gels is that they can take a while to dry. Sometimes as long as an hour. This can put those around you at a higher risk of transference. If someone accidentally touches you in the area where you applied testosterone cream or gel, they may suffer negative health effects.
Also, creams and gels can make it difficult to control doses for your testosterone replacement therapy. Unlike testosterone replacement injections, creams and gels can be difficult to get a precise dose each time. Therefore, you may not be able to get the exact dose of testosterone you need to bring your levels into healthy ranges.
Another common form of testosterone replacement therapy is the testosterone patch. This involves placing a sticky patch on your skin. You generally keep these patches on for 24 hours and must apply them around the same time each day. Similar to creams and gels, your body may absorb the testosterone in patches more slowly than injections.
Many low T patients also find that this form of testosterone replacement therapy is quite inconvenient. First, you must wear the patch for all activities, including when you shower or swim. Also, it can be difficult to get testosterone patches to adhere to your skin properly. Typically, you must choose a spot on your body that isn’t oily or hairy. If you sweat heavily in that area, you may find it difficult to keep it on your skin. With this form, you should also try not to apply it to skin over a bone, such as on your shoulder, or in an area where it might be under a lot of pressure when you’re sitting or sleeping. By contrast, testosterone replacement injections involve a quick shot so you don’t have to worry about keeping something stuck to your skin.
Many people with low T choose testosterone pellets to avoid dealing with creams, gels, and patches. This form of testosterone replacement therapy involves a procedure, generally every 90 days, where a doctor makes a small incision and inserts pellets that release testosterone over time. However, there are a few downsides to this option. For example, there’s a risk for infection or scars at the incision site for your pellet insertion. Your body may also reject the pellets as a foreign body. However, one of the main issues with testosterone pellets is that you typically can’t adjust your dose until it’s time for your next insertion. Testosterone injections, on the other hand, allow your doctor to easily and precisely adjust your dose every time you need an injection to help reduce low T symptoms. Therefore, our providers prefer injectable testosterone replacement therapy to help you feel your best.
At Low T Center, our goal is to provide you with affordable, convenient, individualized healthcare. Our providers work with you to create a customized treatment plan that fits with your lifestyle and helps you feel like yourself again. Schedule an appointment today to take the first step toward achieving your health goals.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.