What’s the difference between testosterone injections and testosterone gels? Both are widely used in testosterone replacement therapy, but the two delivery methods differ in their application and their effects on the body.
If you are interested in low testosterone treatment, understanding the difference between injections, gels or patches will help you decide which treatment method is right for you.
What is testosterone?
What is testosterone? Testosterone is hormone responsible for sexual desire, physical energy, and much more, produced in the testicles (testes).
Testosterone’s primary function in men and women is to control the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics, such as muscle mass and strength, bone density, hair growth and vocal pitch.
Testosterone helps regulate other sex hormones as well as red blood cell production and mental alertness. Testosterone has additional functions outside of the reproductive system and can be converted into oestrogen or dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which have their own effects on the body.
How does testosterone work in the male body?
The hormone testosterone is responsible for regulating the male reproductive system and development of male secondary sex characteristics. This hormone plays a key role in maintaining muscle mass, bone density, and red blood cell production.
Testosterone has also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and can help with mood swings, increased energy levels, and improved sexual performance.
Normal testosterone levels vary from person to person but generally range from 300-1,000 ng/dL (nanograms per decilitre) depending on age.
When the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone or when a person’s normal testosterone levels are disrupted due to injury or disease, testosterone replacement therapy may be necessary to maintain normal physiological function.
Symptoms of Low testosterone levels
As study show many men suffer from low testosterone symptoms, the symptoms vary but there is common theme including:
Decreased muscle mass, this can be incredibly distressing for men who have been working out and dieting to build muscle, but yet it seems like their bodies refuse to respond. Other common symptom such as experience low sex drive, fatigue, weight gain and erectile dysfunctional.
In elderly men testosterone levels deficiency can affect memory and cause mood swings, depression and irritability. It is possible to test testosterone levels at home
What causes low testosterone levels? The main cause of low testosterone levels is age, but other factors like obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic illness, and treatments for prostate cancer can also lower levels. Low testosterone can also be caused by a condition called Klinefelter syndrome, in which males are born with an extra X chromosome.
As a result of the extra X chromosome, these males have less muscular body mass and lower levels of hormones than normal males. Some common symptoms of low testosterone hormone deficiency are fatigue, low libido (sex drive), difficulty concentrating or remembering things as well as loss of body hair and infertility in men.
Treatments options include testosterone replacement therapy – either through injections every one to two weeks or via a gel that is applied daily to the skin.
The different types of testosterone therapy
Among the most commonly prescribed testosterone levels treatments in the US is a topical gel. By applying the gel daily, the testosterone gel diffuses into the bloodstream. However, the gel can also be transferred to other people. Women and children are particularly at risk from this, and this should be taken into consideration.
In addition to testosterone creams, patches also deliver testosterone transdermally (through the skin). Patches need to be applied daily, so it’s imperative that you follow the instructions. Among those who reported burning at the patch site of Androderm patches and 12-18% who had burn-like blisters, 56% reported burning.
Finally, testosterone can be administered through injections. Some professionals will administer these injections on-site at their office, but there are often oral versions available to be taken at home, too. Low testosterone injections have little in the way of side effects and are by far the most common form of hormone replacement therapy worldwide.
The superiority of injections becomes apparent when you factor in studies that find that the levels of total testosterone and free testosterone are both greater in men receiving injections than those using the transdermal gel or patches.
Testosterone Supplement Boosters
The best way to increase your T-levels is by using a natural supplement dosage as a booster, these supplements have been shown to be safe for most people with no reported side effects and most effective in men with stable levels of testosterone and do not require high dosage.
How to choose the best testosterone therapy for you?
Your doctor will work with you to decide which form of hormone replacement therapy would work best, but you can make this decision-making process easier by learning the pros and cons of each method.
Keep these things in mind as you are taking undertaking testosterone treatment replacement therapy.
Increasing the dosage frequency makes patients less compliant.
In simple terms, the more you have to remind yourself to do something, the more likely you are to forget to do it at some point. Low compliance leads to decreased effectiveness of treatment, so both gels and patches must be applied daily, or even more frequently. On the other hand, testosterone injections might be administered less often.
All methods can be administered conveniently in the privacy of your own home.
If your doctor prescribes testosterone patches, gels, or injections, you can administer them in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Testosterone injections result in higher levels of free testosterone and total testosterone throughout the entire day.
Testosterone gel and patches are both transdermal delivery methods. It means that testosterone has to cross through the skin, fat, muscle, and blood vessels in your body before it can be absorbed into your system. Some of these barriers can be bypassed with testosterone injections.
Applying transdermal methods puts women and children at risk of exposure.
Use testosterone gel or patches with caution around women and children. Testosterone injections may reduce this risk.
Serum testosterone levels decline with men age 0.6–2.6% annually, causing hypogonadal levels in roughly 20% of males over 50, 30% of men over 70, and 50% of men over 80. 17–16. A more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment approach for androgen deficiency was adopted with increased success compared with the initial study of patients.
Recent studies show testosterone injections is used by 38% of men aged 65 to 62 and the amount used for testosterone injections is up by 174 % between 2007 and 2013. Its widespread usage requires the knowledge of its long-lasting benefits and negative consequences.
Making your decision
If you’re considering testosterone treatment therapy, it’s important to understand the different types of treatment so that you can make an informed decision. Testosterone therapy works by supplying the body with the amount of testosterone it needs to function normally. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor and undertake the necessary tests to identify your testosterone levels and which testosterone replacement therapy makes sense in your case in order to maximize the benefits of the total testosterone therapy.