Testosterone is predominantly a hormone found in males. This male sex hormone is produced in the testicles of men and is found at extremely low levels in women.
Its production increases in adolescence as a male hits puberty and then decreases each year slightly after early adulthood.
Testosterone plays an important role in the development of the testes and prostate. Besides, it is also known to promote secondary sexual characteristics.
Benefits of Testosterone
The masculine characteristics are all attributes of testosterone, such as deep voice, facial and body hair, libido, and sperm production.
It also plays a vital role in red blood cell production, fat distribution, bone density, increased muscle mass, and endurance.
Therefore, men need to maintain adequate testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels cause decreased sex drive, infertility, reduced muscle mass, depression, and erectile dysfunction.
Forms of Testosterone
You might need testosterone replacement therapy to keep the levels steady in case of low testosterone.
Most commonly, testosterone Cypionate and testosterone Enanthate are given through injection.
Other forms of exogenous testosterone available in the market include gel, patch, and implantable pellets.
It is important to note that oral intake of testosterone is not common as it contributes to liver problems.
How to Use Testosterone
People usually inject testosterone into their bodies either intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
In subcutaneous administration, the testosterone is injected beneath the skin, inside the subcutaneous tissue at a 45° angle.
The intramuscular injection involves administering the testosterone directly into the muscle. One of the major benefits of administering via intramuscular injection is that it allows large doses to be given at once, which helps keeps the testosterone levels stable.
The latter way of injecting often increases the bioavailability. Thus, you will find most people administering the dosage intramuscularly.
How to Self-Inject Testosterone
Administering injections is often risky and challenging if you are a beginner. However, once you get hold of the procedure, there is nothing easy like that!
Read through these steps to get hold of the procedure and start self-injecting testosterone if you are planning to do it!
Get your supplies.
You would need a 20 or 21-gauge needle, a new syringe, an alcohol swab, and a band-aid.
Due to the thicker consistency of testosterone, it will help if you use a needle of the thicker bore.
Wash your hands.
Using soap, rub your palms, the back of your hands, fingers, and thumb thoroughly. Then rinse.
Choose a spot.
The most common sites of intramuscular injection are
- Gluteal muscles in the buttocks
- Thigh muscles
- Deltoid (upper arm)
And the primary sites for subcutaneous injection include
- At or under the belly button level, about two inches away from the navel.
- Back or side of the upper arm.
- Front of the thigh.
You must avoid injecting into the same spot repeatedly.
Prepare a syringe with medication.
Pull the plunger so that the syringe fills with air. Insert the air-filled syringe into the vial.
Empty the air and pull the medication inside the syringe.
Clear any air bubbles you see.
Rub the skin with an alcohol swab and wait for it to dry.
Inject the needle into the chosen spot at a 90° angle in case of intramuscular injection and a 45° angle when administering subcutaneously.
Pull the plunger slowly; If you see blood in the syringe, you might have entered the vein. Withdraw the needle in that case and insert it again.
Push the plunger to insert the medication.
Withdraw the needle slowly and gently apply pressure over the spot.
You might bleed a little. Apply a band-aid if necessary.
Immediately discard the needle and the syringe.
Ensure you dispose of the needle with the protective cover.
If you notice any symptoms after administration, such as redness, bruising, and pain, there is no need to worry. These will go away with time.
If the symptoms worsen and look worrisome, seek advice from your physician.