Getting ready to self-inject your testosterone, but not sure where and how to start? Don’t know whether it is safe or not, where’s the best place to inject yourself?
Getting poked by a needle is not a pleasent experience. Most people experience anxiety whenever needles are involved.
This innate anxiety helps us to avoid getting accidentally poked, but it can also be troublesome when injections are necessary for administering medication.
Self-injections can be a convenient solution. You can give yourself your medication on your own schedule without having to stay in a hospital or go to your doctor’s office every week.
On the other hand, self-injections can be enough to prevent someone from trying a medication that could make their life better.
This kind of anxiety is understandable and can be hard to conquer. Therefore, in this article, we are providing you with all information you to find the Best Place To Inject Testosterone Safely.
Step 1: Prepare
Know Your Syringe
The tip is the area of the syringe where the needle attaches.
The barrel is the tube that’s open at one and narrows into the hollow tip at the other end.
The plunger is the rod that sits within the barrel and operates like a piston; you can pull or push it to help get solutions into and out of the barrel.
Pick the Right Needle and Syringe
Some medications may require different sizes of needles for drawing up medication and for administering it. Keep an inventory of the supplies you have at home and give your pharmacist a heads up when you have a week’s supply of medication or equipment left.
Needle diameter is measured by gauge numbers, which indicates the bore of a needle’s lumen. The higher the gauge number, the smaller or thinner the hole; the lower the gauge number, the bigger or thicker the hole.
Higher gauge needles can reduce pain when injecting, but larger needles are required for injecting larger volumes of oil-based substances (like testosterone) into the muscle.
The last thing you’ll need to know about needles is the length of the needle itself. This number is listed after the gauge number. For example, a 25G ½ indicates that this is a 25 gauge needle that is a half-inch long.
Needles are meant to be used once and should be immediately placed into a sharps container after use.
Using blunt needles makes injections more painful and can also injure the skin and muscle.
Use a sterile, single-use needle when administering testosterone to avoid infections.
Never share needles, syringes, vials or ampules with anyone else. Doing so will help you avoid any risk of blood borne diseases such as hepatitis C, and HIV.
Injectable testosterone is fairly viscous and oily compared to other injectable medications. So, you need to use a thicker-bore needle (20 or 21-gauge) to draw up your dose.
Use an 18-gauge needle to draw up your testosterone from the vial then switching to a thinner needle (22-25 gauge) to inject the medication into your muscle. This will make the injection less painful.
Be Prepared and Have the Needed Equipements in Hand
Talk to your pharmacist about the correct length and gauge of needles to accurately and safely administer your injection.
Each time you prepare to give yourself an injection make sure to arrange all the supplies you will need within arm’s reach.
This will not only ensure that you don’t forget a step but will also make the process more streamlined and less chaotic.
Set your table with the following supplies:
- Alcohol swab
- Needle(s) / Pen needle
- Medication vial or pen
- Cotton ball
- Band aid
- Sharps container
Familarize Yourself With the Injection Process
Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider to familarize you with the injection process. They will be more than happy to help you get oriented and more comfortable with the equipment you are given and injection techniques.
This can get used to using the equipment that you will be using and will ensure that you are injecting the correct amount of medication. Plus, you can work out some first-time jitters before being on your own.
Identify the Concentration of Your Testosterone injections
Injectable testosterone comes in multiple concentrations. So, before injecting, make sure that your intended dosage takes into account the concentration of the testosterone serum. Usually, testosterone comes in a concentration of either 100 mg/ml or 200 mg/ml.
Step 2: Get Ready for the Injection
Wash Your Hands
To reduce the risk of infection, it’s important to keep your hands clean.
Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water and dry them well.
Draw Up the Right Dose
Your doctor will have given you a recommended dose – determine the volume of your dose in relation to the concentration of your testosterone.
To draw up your dose, first draw air into your syringe equal to the volume of your dosage. Then, wipe the top of the medication bottle with an alcohol wipe, insert your needle through the lid and into the medication. Turn the bottle upside down and draw out the exact dosage of testosterone.
Aspirate the Syringe
Injecting air bubbles into the body can cause serious complications such as embolism. Therefore, it’s important to ensure there are no air bubbles in the syringe when you inject the testosterone.
Hold the syringe with its needle uncapped and pointing up in front of you. Look for air bubbles in the syringe. Flick the side of the syringe to get these bubbles to rise to the top.
When your dosage is bubble-free, slowly depress the plunger to force the air at the top of the syringe out. Stop when you see a tiny drop of medication come out of the tip of the syringe. Be careful not to squirt or spray a significant portion of your dosage onto the floor.
Prepare the Injection Sites
Testosterone injections are typically intramuscular.
Take a sterile alcohol pad and wipe the immediate area around where you intend to inject.
Scrubbing at your skin with the swab will just spread bacteria around. So, do not do that.
Allow your skin about 30-60 seconds to dry before you inject.
Subcutaneous Testosterone injections
Subcutaneous shots go right under the skin, making it easier to self-administer.
Subcutaneous shots go directly into the fatty tissue beneath the dermal and epidermal layers of the skin.
Subcutaneous tissue of the abdomen or outer upper thigh are the best sites for injection.
- Less painful
- No risk of muscle damage
- No risk of hitting any nerves or blood vessels
- Slow absorption
- No risk of muscle damage
- Higher risk of infection compared to intramuscular injections because of being less vascularized
- You cannot put a lot of fluid into one area
Site and Technique of Injection
* The skin on the belly is the best place to do the subcutaneous injection.
Select a location on your belly that is at least 2 inches from your belly button, then pinch an inch of skin and fatty tissue between your fingers.
Keep your skin pinched, insert the needle into the skin. Press down on the plunger to inject the insulin into the pinched skin. Keep the needle in your skin for 10 seconds after the medication has injected. Then release your pinched skin and pull out the needle.
Intramuscular Testosterone injection
An intramuscular shot is an injection of medicine into a muscle. Some medications such as the injectable formulations of testosterone need to be injected into a muscle to efficiently work.
- Intramuscular shots are believed to be superior to subcutaneous injection as muscle fibers have a greater blood supply compared to the subcutaneous tissues
- Lower incidence of immediate injection site reactions
- Minimal skin irritation caused by the medication
- Absorption of testosterone is determined by the bulk of your muscle and its vascularity
- Intramuscular injections can be slightly more painful
- Risk of accidentally hitting nerves such as sciatic nerve
Best Place To Inject
There are three relatively easy and accessible sites for intramuscular injection:
- Glutes (upper back portion of the thigh, ie, the butt cheek):
- They are the safest place to inject testosterone safely.
- If you imagine that your buttock is divided into four quarters, then pick the upper outer quarter. i.e. a site either in the top left corner of the left glute or the top right corner of the right glute
- These sites are the access to muscle tissue and allow you to avoid injuring nerves and blood vessels in other parts of the glute
- your quads are the next safest area to inject after the glutes
- You need to inject into your outer thigh, half way between your knee and the top of your leg
- Spread the skin between your thumb and index finger to make the skin taught
- The upper part of the arms
- Intramuscular injection of testosterone in the deltoids carries more risk compared to the glutes and quades due to the relative smaller size of the muscle
Step 3: Injection
How To Inject?
Hold your loaded syringe like a dart at a 90-degree angle above the sterile injection site.
Plunge it into the flesh. Before depressing the plunger, draw back on it slightly. If you draw blood into the syringe, remove the needle and choose a different spot, as this means you’ve hit a vein.
Inject the medication in a steady, controlled pace.
- Once you have injected the full medication, pull the needle out slowly.
- Press around the injection site with a sterile cotton swab to prevent the emerging needle from pulling on the skin and causing unnecessary pain.
- Assess the entry point for bleeding, and apply a sterile Band-Aid if needed.
- Needle Disposal
- Throw the needle in your sharps container.
- You can get a sharps container from any nearby pharmacy, but if you can’t locate one.
- When your sharps container is filled, you can return it to the pharmacy for proper disposal.
- Wash your hands again, store your medication and equipment in a secure place
- If, after injection, you experience redness, swelling, or discomfort beyond that of normal soreness at the site of injection, call and ask for medical attention.
Store your medication at the recommended temperature because it can damaged by sunlight 
Check the expiration date on the bottle.
Keep all of your meds, needles and syringes out of reach of children.
Do not modify your dosage without consulting your healthcare provider.
With either intramuscular or subcutaneous, rotating injection sites is important. With any injection, there’s trauma to the tissue so if you go back into the same area, that would be painful.
So, If you’re doing intramuscular injections in your thigh, do the right thigh first, then the left thigh. Rotate between your left and right glute as well, and same for the right and left deltoids.
In case of subcutaneous injections, try using the opposite side of your belly or rotating around your belly button like a clock. Rotating injection sites helps to ensure your medication is absorbed into your body and to reduce skin damage.
Talk With Your Doctor
Talk with your doctor about your anxiety for self-injections is an important step to making this process doable.
Most patients feel anxious when it comes to inject themselves with needles. Therefore, expressing that anxiety can help both you and your healthcare provider find the best course of action for your physical and mental health.
Best Time of the Day to Inject testosterone
Given the diurenal rythm of testosterone. We would say that the morning would be traditionally is the best time for testosterone injections.
However, there is no scientific evidence that strongly support the best timing for testosterone injections. Therefore, we recommend you to be consistent in the timing of injection. Whether, it is morning or evening or afternoon, just be consistent.
Is Self-injection Safe?
Self-injection is completely safe when it is properly prescribed, under the supervision and guidence of your doctor.
Shared needles, self-prescribed testosterone without consulting with your doctor are the things that make self-injection unsafe. As long as your course of treatment is guided by your doctor, you’re good.
Testosterone Can Be Tough To Inject
Testosterone can be tougher to inject than other substances such as insulin. This is because testosterone is held within oil which makes it more viscious and thicker.
Therefore, you may need two needles: a low gauge for the vial of medicine and a higher gauge for your body.
How To Control Your Anxiety During Injection?
It’s not hard as long as you are doing it in a proper way.
The biggest fear is usually the pain associated with the needle’s insertion.
Here are few tips for patients who are too anxious:
- Numb the injection site. You can do this by placing ice there for one or two minutes prior to injection.
- Take deep breaths to avoid anxiety.
- Use something like Buzzy:
- It’s a device that has an attached freezer pack and a vibration motor and you position it right above the injection site.
- Your body feels both the coldness and a vibration; the cool sensation helps block pain while the vibration occupies the brain so it can’t focus on the fear of the shot.
Once the medicine is drawn into the syringe with the # 18 needle, when should the needle be changed to a #22-23?
You draw with the 18, replace the plastic cap, remove the 18, attach the 23, remove plastic cap, and inject hygienically