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There are many ways to administer testosterone replacement therapy. And today the most commonly prescribed methods are testosterone injections and gels or creams.

Before undergoing TRT it’s important to understand the distinction between these two methods. You should also understand the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision on treatment.

Transdermal Gels and Creams

Gels and creams are one of the most popular methods for treating low testosterone. And many doctors swear by its ability to raise testosterone.

And the reason they’re so popular is because they’re simple to use. They are typically applied to the skin first thing in the morning. Areas of application include; shoulders, upper arms and scrotum. Gels and creams tends to come in concentrations of 1,2,5 and 10%.

Pros

  • Easy to use and apply
  • Pain-free
  • Absorption through skin causes testosterone levels to fluctuate, thereby closely mimicking the body’s own production

Cons

  • Absorption through 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

Testosterone Injections

Testosterone injections are another form of commonly prescribed treatment for low testosterone. Doctors like it for its ability to provide predictable and stable levels of blood testosterone.

How effective treatment is 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 loads syringes with testosterone
  • Using needles can be daunting (needle phobia)
  • Vials and syringes need to be disposed properly and stored correctly

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it’s not so much a question of testosterone injections vs gels and creams. The real question is: Which one is right for you? The answer depends on your individual circumstances.

The use of gels and creams is a plug and play option with minimal hassle. However, it does come with caveats. Heavy sweating with gels and creams interfere with their absorption. Similarly, there is a high risk of transferral of the preparation when coming into contact with others.

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 of heart  and many reject them outright due to needle phobia.

Remember, any decision on treatment should always be taken under the supervision of a qualified doctor. If you think you’re suffering from low testosterone, don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you.

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.

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 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: April 15th, 2021

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