How Long Does TRT Last?

With various types of Testosterone Replacement Therapy on the market, it might seem confusing to choose the best one. Let's discuss the differences, and which is best.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a popular treatment for low testosterone levels, but it’s not an anabolic steroid or a steroid.

It is a form of hormone replacement therapy that involves replacing the testosterone that your body isn’t making naturally due to age or other underlying medical conditions.

It is essentially a shot of youth, bringing your testosterone levels back up to what they were when you were in your 20s.

This can have a profound impact on your quality of life, energy levels, mood, and more.

Unfortunately, as men age, testosterone levels tend to decline, for some more than others. This can lead to a host of issues, such as low energy levels, loss of muscle mass and strength, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and much more.

TRT can help to mitigate these effects and improve your quality of life. However, it is not a cure-all and it does not last forever.

This article aims to dispel some of the many myths floating around about TRT, as well as inform readers of the different types forms of testosterone therapy that exist.

You have options when it comes to treatment!

Key Takeaways

  • Low testosterone levels affect many men as they age. It is not just for the elderly either.
  • TRT is a popular treatment for low testosterone levels, but it’s not a cure-all.
  • Various forms of ways to administer testosterone, which include injections, gels, nasal spray, and even patches.
  • It can help to improve your quality of life, energy levels, mood, and more. However, it does not last forever.

Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy work?

There is a lot of debate surrounding this topic. Some people swear by testosterone replacement therapy, while others claim it does not work.

The truth is, there is a large amount of science-backed evidence that shows testosterone replacement therapy is effective in treating low testosterone levels. A 2016 study found that testosterone replacement therapy improved sexual function, mood, and muscle strength in men with low testosterone levels.[1]

Another study found that testosterone replacement therapy also helped increase lean body mass, bone mineral density, and insulin sensitivity in older men with low testosterone levels.[2]

These are just two of many studies that show the potential benefits of testosterone replacement therapy. However, it is important to remember that TRT is not a cure-all and does not work for everyone. So let’s explore how it works so you can have some information on you before starting.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

As we mentioned above, testosterone, for many men, begins to decline after the age of 30. Studies that have followed men over time have shown this age-related decline to be consistent and an unfortunate part of the aging process for some.[3]

But, much like fuel for a car, when your testosterone levels are low, you’re not going to feel or perform your best.

When your testosterone production starts to slow down, it needs to be replaced.

This is where testosterone replacement therapy comes and shines – a treatment that is able to raise your low testosterone levels to help you feel and perform your best.

TRT is a form of hormone replacement therapy that involves replacing the testosterone (exogenous testosterone) that your body isn’t making naturally (endogenous testosterone).

It is essentially a shot of youth, bringing your testosterone levels back up to what they were when you were in your 20s.

The Goal of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Despite what some people may think, you don’t have to be β€œold” or β€œelderly” to be on testosterone therapy.

So let us address the one thing here:

Testosterone therapy is NOT an anabolic steroid or a “miracle drug” intended help men reach their dream physique for GQ magazine.

It is an FDA-approved form of therapy to help alleviate the issues that are brought on by having a testosterone deficiency due to age or other underlying medical conditions, which according to the American Urology Association (AUA), is any value below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).

The goal of testosterone therapy is simply to bring you back to normal testosterone levels so you can live a fulfilling and quality life.

Types of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Though testosterone replacement therapy is most commonly administered as an injection, there are various routes of administration to choose from. Here are the more common ones.


Testosterone injections are perhaps the most popular form of testosterone replacement therapy because they are the simplest and most effective method to ensure that the right amount of testosterone is being delivered into your system. They also tend to be the most cost-effective form of therapy.

One of the most well known testosterone injections is testosterone cypionate. It is administered as an intramuscular injection, which means it’s injected into a muscle, like your thigh, shoulder, or buttock.


Another common type of testosterone replacement therapy is a transdermal gel, meaning it is applied directly to the skin. AndroGel is the most common one given.

Testosterone gel is absorbed through the skin like a lotion, and once it enters the bloodstream it helps raise your testosterone levels.

The gel comes in a pump bottle, and you’ll use the pump to dispense it onto your shoulder, upper arm, or stomach. You then rub it in until it’s dry.


Similar to gels, testosterone patches are also transdermal, applied directly to the skin. They come in a variety of sizes and are usually placed on the thigh or torso at night.


Testosterone pellets are small little pellets (about the size of a grain of rice) that are inserted under the skin (usually in the hip area) through a small incision. They work by releasing a continuous stream of testosterone into the bloodstream.

Pellets are typically replaced every few months.


Natesto, otherwise known as testosterone nasal gel, is a form of testosterone that you sniff up your nose. It is a bottle that comes with a pump and administered through the nose.

One pump is administered directly into each nostril and testosterone is then absorbed through the lining of the nose into the bloodstream.


Although this is less common, there are buccal (cheek) pellets available. It is a tablet that is chewed and sticks to the gum surface in the mouth that administers a slow release of testosterone throughout the day.

How Long Do I need to be on Testosterone Therapy?

This is a common question, and the unfortunate answer is that there’s no β€œright” answer.

It really depends on each individual man and his own body chemistry and needs. This is why it is crucial to speak with a hormone specialist doctor.

Usually, 3-4 weeks is all it takes for men to start feeling better and seeing results. However, keep in mind that some studies suggest maximum effects may not be reached until slightly later on.[4]

However, because testosterone is not long-lasting and is metabolized quickly by the body, it is generally a treatment that is on-going for a long period of time, and often lifelong.

Just remember, you will never be alone throughout this treatment journey.

What Happens if I stop Testosterone Therapy?

Every few months, you’ll meet with your doctor to have your testosterone levels checked and see how you’re doing. If everything is going well and your testosterone levels are where they should be, then you’ll just continue on testosterone therapy as usual.

Since the lowering of testosterone is a chronic condition, stopping testosterone would mean that your symptoms will just come back. So even if you don’t feel like you need it anymore, it’s important to discuss with your doctor any concerns in order to maintain your quality of life.

Of course, there may be a time when testosterone therapy is no longer right for you. If this is the case, your doctor will work with you to find the best way to transition off testosterone.

For some men, this may mean a slow taper off of testosterone over a few months. For others, it may mean switching to another type of hormone therapy that can better address your needs.

It’s also important to note that even if you do stop testosterone therapy, you may still need to take medication to manage any underlying conditions that led to low testosterone in the first place.

Where Can I Find Testosterone?

With the numerous types and delivery methods of testosterone replacement therapy currently available, one key point to remember is that there is no such thing as a β€œone size fits all” solution.

Only use testosterone from a reputable clinic and that is prescribed by a doctor.

Many of the testosterone products that are marketed online are not FDA-approved and may be counterfeit, contaminated, or otherwise unsafe. In fact, the FDA has issued multiple warnings about the risks of using testosterone products that are not properly regulated.

Testosterone replacement therapy is a big decision. But it can be an incredibly life-changing one. With the right treatment plan, you can finally start feeling like yourself again.

How long does testosterone stay in the system?

Due to the shot lifespan of testosterone in the body, it stays in the body for a few weeks after long-term use. Depending on the route of administration, it can be shorter. Consult with you physician to find out more information about the length of time to be on testosterone.

How long do you need to be on testosterone?

It varies by individual, but most men on testosterone will need to be on it lifelong in order to maintain and reduce the risk of serious complications that come from having low testosterone levels – such as decrease bone mineral density.

Can I take supplements to help increase testosterone naturally?

Yes. You can certainly naturally increase testosterone but for men with very low testosterone levels, natural ways is often not enough and testosterone replacement therapy is the best option.

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Almehmadi Y, Yassin AA, Nettleship JE, Saad F. Testosterone replacement therapy improves the health-related quality of life of men diagnosed with late-onset hypogonadism. Arab J Urol. 2016 Mar;14(1):31-6. doi: 10.1016/j.aju.2015.10.002. Epub 2015 Nov 27. PMID: 26966591; PMCID: PMC4767784.

Emmelot-Vonk MH, Verhaar HJ, Nakhai Pour HR, Aleman A, Lock TM, Bosch JL, Grobbee DE, van der Schouw YT. Effect of testosterone supplementation on functional mobility, cognition, and other parameters in older men: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2008 Jan 2;299(1):39-52. doi: 10.1001/jama.2007.51. Erratum in: JAMA. 2008 Feb 13;299(6):634. PMID: 18167405.

Feldman HA, Longcope C, Derby CA, Johannes CB, Araujo AB, Coviello AD, Bremner WJ, McKinlay JB. Age trends in the level of serum testosterone and other hormones in middle-aged men: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts male aging study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Feb;87(2):589-98. doi: 10.1210/jcem.87.2.8201. PMID: 11836290.

Saad F, Aversa A, Isidori AM, Zafalon L, Zitzmann M, Gooren L. Onset of effects of testosterone treatment and time span until maximum effects are achieved. Eur J Endocrinol. 2011 Nov;165(5):675-85. doi: 10.1530/EJE-11-0221. Epub 2011 Jul 13. PMID: 21753068; PMCID: PMC3188848.


Jimmy Diaz M.S.

Jimmy Diaz M.S. | Writer

Jimmy is a Clinical Scientist from Los Angeles with a background in Chemistry and Reproductive Clinical Science. He is an adrenaline junkie who loves water, winter and wind sports. He is dedicated to advancing the field of reproductive science and providing the best patient care while also exploring new experiences and challenging himself.

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