When choosing a treatment to increase testosterone, doctors often prescribe testosterone injections. With this testosterone therapy, the hormone is injected directly into muscles, through which it enters the blood. This type of testosterone therapy is usually given in low doses and the duration of treatment varies depending on who is being treated and what results the patient wants. Testosterone shots are given anywhere from every month to every week. Doctors can administer the injections, but it’s very common for patients to learn how to self-administer the shots. It is important that the testosterone injections are administered correctly and a doctor monitors hormone levels regularly.
Pros and cons of injections
Testosterone shots are often seen as one of the most effective ways to increase testosterone as the hormone is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. One downside, however, is that it often produces higher levels of the hormone shortly after the injection which decreases steadily until the next injection. Doctors might prescribe testosterone injections only every three or four weeks and many times patients can feel a noticeable difference after the first week or two. This might lead to the patient “crashing” due to highly decreased levels of the hormone two or three weeks after the testosterone injection.
How to self-administer
If the patient decides to self-administer the testosterone shots, following a few easy steps can ensure the injection is done correctly. First, choose a large muscle such as the thigh, buttocks or upper arm for the site of injection and wipe the area down thoroughly with an alcohol wipe. Once you have drawn up the prescribed amount of testosterone into the syringe, inject the needle into the muscle. In rare cases, blood may appear if the needle touches a vein. If this happens, carefully remove the needle from the injection-point.
Side effects of injections
There are various side-effects to understand when considering testosterone shots. Common ones include pain at the injection site, mood swings, headache, testicular shrinkage and male breast swelling. Injections can also aggravate existing sleep apnea or cause an increase in red blood cells that can lead to heart attack. An increase in testosterone can sometimes cause the male body to produce too much estrogen, which can be combated by an estrogen blocker. If the patient were to stop having testosterone shots, they could also face decreased sexual ability, a loss of bone density and muscle mass, mood changes, and slower memory and thought processing.
The cost of testosterone shots varies from patient to patient and doctor to doctor. Costs can range anywhere from $200 to $400 depending on the doctor and potency. Expenses can often be offset by insurance.