Injections – Injections are by far the most common and universal method of testosterone replacement therapy. One of the biggest advantages of using injections is the ability for you to take higher doses while maintaining high absorption rates. As well as not having to worry about dosing every day, which may help with your anxiety.
In the case of MTF trans women, there is some difference in what type of estrogen you take. However, for trans men, injections are the absolute standard. Injections are used in the vast majority of countries as the standard of treatment. Some negatives of using injections are the higher peaks that it can bring, while in other methods of administrations the levels are more stable. Negative side effects of testosterone amplify during high peaks; dosing more frequently may make you feel better with the more consistent hormonal levels in your body. For instance, dosing 100mg every week may make you feel better than dosing 200mg every other week, while still maintaining the same amount of overall testosterone. Peaks of testosterone tend to be the first days after your injection while the lowest levels are right before you inject again. Common dosing can range from 50mg to 200mg weekly.
The two main ways you administer your injections are subcutaneous and intramuscular. If you are more skittish around injections, subcutaneous may be the way to go. Subcutaneous only involves injecting into fat which means you need a smaller, thinner needle. Both intramuscularly and subcutaneous are viable injection techniques, both of which give you the same levels. However, it does take longer to get to higher levels using subcutaneously.
Video reference for how to inject
Gels – Gels are another option available, however, they are not commonplace. Using gel in certain areas in conjunction with injections may give you better masculinization in certain areas. The type of gel you are using affects how much of it you need. Generally, you want to be dosing in the range of 25 – 100 mg, but you should follow package instructions. Dosing every day or every other day is very common when using gels.
Gels themselves can be much more expensive and run out much quicker than injections. The amount in a single unit of gel may only last you a couple of days to a week if you are using higher amounts. You might need to frequently buy new gel to continue the application. Which in the end, may make your overall testosterone regime much more expensive than it would be on injections.
To continue, the use of gels on certain areas in conjunction with injections is becoming a commonality. For those who desire significant bottom growth, using DHT compound or testosterone compound cream on your clitoris may increase the amount of clitoral growth you achieve. Using testosterone gel on your clitoris is dangerous, you need to make sure that if you are going to be using gel on your genitals that it is safe. Gels often include alcohol and using that onto your clitoris will increase the chances of getting a UTI (urinary tract infection) and the results will be unpleasant.
It is important to remember that when using gels you need to make sure the gel is fully absorbed before other people, animals or water could rub it off. In the case of animals, testosterone gel can be fatal if you are not careful.
Patches – Patches are similar to gels in how your body absorbs them. Both gels and patches fit into the category of transdermal, absorbed by the skin. For trans men who are not interested in getting injections or are scared of needles, patches may be an appealing option. Patches are a stable and effective method of testosterone replacement therapy. However, patches do have trouble with absorption depending on who is using them. For some, they work well and give you the correct amount of testosterone, but others may have trouble absorbing the amounts that they need.
Patches can only have so much testosterone in each of them. Patches may only give 20mg of testosterone each (androderm), so for you to get the amount needed for a higher or full dose of testosterone you may need to use many patches at once.
In addition to you needing to use multiple patches, patches can have problems with them falling off or causing skin issues. Specifically, in reference to skin problems, gels can be a good substitute. However, if you are having trouble with patches staying on, patch adhesive is available and should help them not fall off.
Of course, when you are needing to use multiple patches at once the overall price of your regime will increase. Patches can cost anywhere from $75 – 250 USD each month, making them one of the most expensive methods of testosterone.
Pellets – Testosterone pellets are a type of administration of hormone that is surgically implanted into your skin to deliver smaller pellets of hormones into the bloodstream. The cost of the pellets is cheap but how you get pellets into your skin is not. Anesthesia is used in this procedure so you don’t feel the incisions being made. Not only that but not every doctor is able to perform this procedure, so finding a specialist in your area might be difficult or impossible.
The use of pellets will give the longest and most consistent amount of hormone levels. Pellets are similar to injections in that you are given a large amount and the hormones slowly drip into your bloodstream. However, injections only last a week or two while pellets can last multiple months. Commonly, pellets are used anywhere from 3-12 month intervals, not having to worry about your dosage for up to a year can be an appealing attribute. The cost of having the pellets installed can be anywhere from $350-1500 USD.
Pellets can also be useful in the aspect of being able to hold a lower dosage. In other methods, such as patches, holding a lower dose of testosterone over a long period of time can be challenging. Pellets are able to hold a lower dosage of testosterone for long periods of time very easily.
Overall, pellets are able to hold lower dosages over a very long period of time while maintaining consistent levels. The caveat is that you have to replace them every 3-12 months and the cost of maintaining them is on the higher side.
Image of testosterone therapies – https://bmc1.utm.utoronto.ca/~kelly/transprimarycare/gp-mascht.html