Testosterone Gel Benefits

Testosterone Gel is one of the less invasive methods of TRT. That said, it has strong competition looking at injections, so, which would be better for TRT?

Testosterone is one of the hormones that is part of the androgen family. Dating back to as far as 1935. It was approved for use in 1939 and has been used since to treat conditions such as delayed puberty and other disorders related to testosterone deficiency. [1]

A man with low testosterone frequently experiences a low libido and a decreased sexual desire.

It is also known now that men that do not seek treatment for low testosterone (hypogonadism), can experience a number of other serious effects that can impact the body beyond just their libido such as mental health, bone density, cardiovascular health, and an overall decreased quality of life.

Men with low testosterone levels should consult a doctor and begin TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). Though injections are the most common form of TRT, other needle-free options are available.

There are pros and cons to both injections and testosterone gel, so it all comes down to what is best for you.

In this article, we will be discussing some of the advantages of testosterone gel that you can be sure to look out for if you are considering this form of hormone therapy.

Key Takeaways

  • When trying to decide whether injectable testosterone or testosterone topical gel is best for you, it really comes down to personal preference.
  • Testosterone gel provides an excellent way for testosterone to enter the bloodstream making it a great option for those considering how to administer this hormone.
  • Not only does it provide the same benefits as the injectable form, but it also improves overall quality of life.

Gel Testosterone Therapy 101

Testosterone has come and gone in a variety of forms and methods over the decades. The mainstay of TRT has typically been injections. However in 2000, the first non-injectable and non-patch skin treatment came about: a transdermal testosterone gel.[2]

Many men tend to assume that because injections, which are typically intramuscular (meaning they go into the muscle), are more “serious,” that they must be better.

This is not always the case.

Injectable testosterone goes directly into the muscle, whereas testosterone gel is rubbed on the skin. The gel then enters the bloodstream and from there, disperses to the rest of the body.

Benefits of Testosterone Gel

Testosterone gel appears to be a largely beneficial solution for men with below-normal testosterone levels, and there are not very many arguments about this.

So, let’s look at some of the benefits that come with testosterone gel.

Quick and Easy

Transdermal gel was designed to correct the faults of other, more popular methods of delivering testosterone – namely, injections.

This is an attractive option to those who have a needle phobia or want to avoid the potential side effects from injections.

Testosterone gel is far quicker and easier than injections, much less invasive than needle injections, which can be quite painful, and bypasses any potential skin bruising making it quick and easy.

Can Be Applied to Greater Surface Area

Transdermal testosterone gel can be applied to a greater surface area for more even distribution and greater effectiveness.

You can apply the gel to your shoulder, upper arm, or abdomen (stomach area). This allows for a continuous delivery throughout the day when applies to different areas.

Figure 1: Study showing the relation of Testosterone levels and Testosterone gel administration

This is in contrast to injections which are typically given intramuscularly (into the muscle) on the buttocks.

Injections can also be given subcutaneously (under the skin), but this is not as common.


Studies show that transdermal testosterone is able to provide stable testosterone levels over injections. This is due to the way the testosterone is able to absorbed through various barriers in the skin.[3]

As a result, testosterone levels remain steady with once-daily application as opposed to other methods which require multiple daily doses in one spot.

Keep in mind that you should apply it roughly 2 hours post shower, but not if you plan on swimming.

Easy to Stop

It’s easy to find a replacement for another form of administration due to the short duration of action (typically around 4-5 hours) and the lack of need for a loading dose.

This is advantageous because if there are any negative reactions or it appears that testosterone levels aren’t improving, the therapy can be stopped quickly. This process is much simpler compared to other hormone replacement therapies that requiring tapering off slowly before discontinuing use.

So, which is better, Testosterone Gel or Testosterone Injections?

Since everyone is different, there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach to testosterone therapy. Instead, the best method is always the one that works better for you specifically. That being said, both main methods offer great physiological benefits.

Some Benefits of Testosterone for Men

The goal of testosterone therapy is to restore testosterone levels back to normal range and men will typically see changes within 1-2 weeks with optimal results in roughly 3-6 months. [4]

Absorption is fairly quick and allows testosterone to be

Figure 2: Testosterone levels after Testosterone administration

Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved sex drive
  • Improved lean muscle mass
  • Increased bone density
  • Decreased body fat
  • Cognitive well being
  • More energy and endurance
  • Better sexual function
  • Increased erections and sexual desire

What to expect long-term from Testosterone Gel

If you and your doctor decide that testosterone replacement therapy is right for you, you’ll likely see benefits long-term. But, as with any medication, it is still important that you are aware of the options and the potential risks and side effects that come with testosterone gel.

How fast can I expect to see results from testosterone therapy using gel?

Typically, results should be expected to be seen in as quick as 2 weeks. For optimal results, you should expect to see testosterone levels reach a normal range within 3-6 months. This however varies from person to person.

Are there disadvantages to using Testosterone Topical gel?

One of the biggest disadvantages associated with testosterone gel is an increased risk for skin irritation at the application site. It is roughly seen in about 33% of patients, upon initial start of the treatment and stopped by only a fraction of those who experience skin irritation. [5]

Another being skin to skin contact, which should be avoided. Particularly around pregnant women and young children. Due to testosterone gels being absorbed through the skin, it can be absorbed by skin to skin contact onto others.

It is best to avoid contact with others once the gel is applied. If there is skin to skin contact, it is recommended that you rinse the affected area with soap and water immediately to avoid absorption by the skin.

What are the effects of a missed dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it’s almost time for your next dose, though, skip the missed one and return to your normal schedule. Absorption takes roughly 4 hours, depending on the dose.

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Nieschlag, E., Behre, H. M., & Nieschlag, S. (Eds.). (2012). Testosterone: action, deficiency, substitution. Cambridge University Press.

Wang C, Berman N, Longstreth JA, Chuapoco B, Hull L, Steiner B, Faulkner S, Dudley RE, Swerdloff RS. Pharmacokinetics of transdermal testosterone gel in hypogonadal men: application of gel at one site versus four sites: a General Clinical Research Center Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Mar;85(3):964-9. doi: 10.1210/jcem.85.3.6437. PMID: 10720024.

Nieschlag E, Cüppers HJ, Wiegelmann W, Wickings EJ. Bioavailability and LH-suppressing effect of different testosterone preparations in normal and hypogonadal men. Horm Res. 1976;7(3):138-45. doi: 10.1159/000178721. PMID: 1002121.

Wang C, Nieschlag E, Swerdloff R, Behre HM, Hellstrom WJ, Gooren LJ, Kaufman JM, Legros JJ, Lunenfeld B, Morales A, Morley JE, Schulman C, Thompson IM, Weidner W, Wu FC. Investigation, treatment and monitoring of late-onset hypogonadism in males: ISA, ISSAM, EAU, EAA and ASA recommendations. Eur J Endocrinol. 2008 Nov;159(5):507-14. doi: 10.1530/EJE-08-0601. PMID: 18955511; PMCID: PMC2754376.

Jordan WP Jr. Allergy and topical irritation associated with transdermal testosterone administration: a comparison of scrotal and nonscrotal transdermal systems. Am J Contact Dermat. 1997 Jun;8(2):108-13. PMID: 9153333.


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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