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Testosterone Injections vs Gels and Creams: What You Need To Know

Testosterone Injections vs Gels and Creams: What You Need To Know

By Mike Kocsis | 3 minutes read | Last updated: June 30, 2022
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

    Evidence Based Research

    Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can be administered in several different ways but it’s most commonly administered through injections, gels and creams.

    Before undergoing TRT it can be helpful to understand the difference between injection, gel, and cream administration. That’s why we’ve put together this article explaining the pros and cons of each method to help you make an informed decision when it comes to getting TRT.

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    Transdermal Gels and Creams

    Gels and creams are one of the most popular methods for treating low testosterone. They are reliable and are among the simplest methods to self-administer.

    Transdermal gels and creams are typically applied to the skin first thing in the morning. Areas of application include; shoulders, upper arms and scrotum. Gels and creams tend to come in concentrations of 1,2,5 and 10%.

    Pros

    • Easy to use and apply
    • Pain-free
    • Absorption through the skin causes testosterone levels to fluctuate, thereby closely mimicking the body’s own production
    • No scabbing and scarring as you may experience with repeated injections.

    Cons

    • Absorption through the skin may be inefficient due to factors like sweat and food consumption
    • May produce oily skin due to elevation of DHT
    • Unable to wash or engage in vigorous exercise for several hours after application
    • Risk of transferal when coming into contact with others.

    Testosterone Injections

    Testosterone injections are another form of commonly prescribed treatment for low testosterone. Doctors favour it for its ability to provide predictable and stable levels of testosterone in the body

    The efficacy of treatment depends on the type of testosterone preparation used, e.g. Sustanon, and injection frequency. Testosterone injections are administered in one of two ways; Subcutaneously (SubQ) – i.e. through fat or intramuscular (IM).

    Testosterone injections vs Gels and Creams

    Pros

    • Injections go directly into the bloodstream, minimising loss through absorption
    • Provide a stable predictable level of testosterone
    • Doesn’t stop you from exercising

    Cons

    • Requires practice to master correct injection technique and loading syringes with testosterone
    • Using needles can be daunting (needle phobia)
    • Having to store and dispose of vials and syringes correctly

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    Final Thoughts

    Ultimately, it’s not so much a question of testosterone injections vs gels and creams. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to Testosterone Replacement Therapy but what we can say is that each method is effective at improving low testosterone symptoms in their own right. The answer to which method is best for you comes down to your specific circumstances.

    The use of gels and creams is an easy option with minimal hassle however, it does come with its drawbacks. Heavy sweating and friction can interfere with the gels and creams’ absorption. Similarly, there is a high risk of transferral of the preparation when coming into contact with others. This can be particularly troublesome if you’re in contact with pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant.

    Testosterone injections are arguably the most reliable form of treatment. They offer predictable levels of blood testosterone and have minimal interference with your lifestyle. But they are not for the faint-hearted and many reject them outright due to needle phobia.

    Remember, always consult a doctor before purchasing any medication or beginning any treatment. If you think you’re suffering from low testosterone, don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you.

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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

    We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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    Last update: June 30th, 2022
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