Testosterone shots are one type of hormone therapy. Their primary use is to treat sexual dysfunction in men and postmenopausal symptoms in women with low testosterone levels. Transgender men and nonbinary people may benefit from testosterone injections as part of masculinizing therapy.
Many individuals believe that testosterone shots are safe, yet they can have harmful consequences. The side effects may differ depending on the reason for the injections.
Although testosterone injections can help with low testosterone caused by medical conditions, the FDA does not recommend using testosterone to treat normal aging-related testosterone declines since it may increase the risk of certain health problems.
Continue reading to discover more about testosterone shots, such as their applications, safety, and potential side effects.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that is found in both humans and animals. In men, the testicles are the principal generator of testosterone. Women’s ovaries generate testosterone as well, albeit in much lesser amounts.
The production of testosterone rises rapidly during adolescence and then begins to fall after the age of 30.
Testosterone is most usually associated with sexual desire and is required for sperm production. It also affects bone and muscle mass, male fat storage, and even red blood cell formation.
A man’s testosterone levels may also influence his mood.
A simple blood test can be used to detect testosterone levels. In the bloodstream, testosterone levels can range from normal to healthy.
Normal male testosterone levels range between 280 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) for adult males and between 15 and 70 ng/dL for adult females, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Because lab ranges differ, it’s vital to review your results with your doctor.
A doctor may undertake a workup to determine the source of low testosterone if an adult male’s testosterone levels are less than 300 ng/dL, according to the American Urological Association.
Low testosterone levels could be an indication of pituitary gland dysfunction. The pituitary gland sends a signaling hormone to the testicles, causing them to produce more testosterone.
In an adult man, a low T test result could suggest that the pituitary gland is not working properly. A young teenager with low testosterone levels, on the other hand, may be experiencing delayed puberty.
Men with somewhat elevated testosterone levels may have few obvious signs. Boys with increased testosterone levels may experience early puberty. Women who have high testosterone levels may exhibit masculine traits.
An adrenal gland illness or testicular cancer could cause abnormally high testosterone levels.
High testosterone levels might also occur in less serious settings. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which can affect both males and females, is one unusual yet common cause of excessive testosterone production.
If your testosterone levels are unusually high, your doctor may order additional tests to discover the source.
What exactly are testosterone shots?
Testosterone shots are injections of testosterone. This hormone is present in both males and females, but males have higher levels normally.
Testosterone therapy is becoming more common in the United States. Before considering long-term testosterone therapy, professionals should make sure the patient understands the risks and benefits.
The sections that follow go through the many uses for testosterone shots.
Treating low testosterone levels in men
Doctors may offer testosterone shots to treat males with low testosterone levels. Hypogonadism is a condition in which the testicles produce insufficient testosterone.
Low testosterone levels may have negative repercussions. Males who have low testosterone have fewer sperm, less bone or muscle mass, more body fat, and erectile problems. Normal total testosterone levels in the bloodstream range from 280 to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl) in healthy adult males.
When used to treat hypogonadism, testosterone therapy has the following advantages:
- enhanced sexual function
- improved strength and lean muscle mass
- better mood
- improved cognitive function
- osteoporosis could be reduced
It’s critical to understand that this treatment only tackles the symptoms of low testosterone, not the underlying reason.
Anyone who suspects they have low testosterone should see a doctor. However, the symptoms are rather broad and could be caused by various illnesses or lifestyle factors.
Treatment is not always necessary or safe for all males with low testosterone. The FDA has only approved testosterone replacement therapy for males who have low testosterone due to illnesses of the testicles, brain, or pituitary gland, not for normal age-related declines.
Testosterone therapy in females
Females are more hostile to testosterone replacement therapy than males.
In healthy adult females, total testosterone levels range between 15 and 70 ng/dl. Females with low testosterone may struggle with fertility, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, and a lack of sex drive. Despite this, doctors rarely recommend testosterone shots to women who have low testosterone because they can be masculinizing.
Doctors may, however, prescribe testosterone to help ladies with hypoactive sexual drive following menopause. Other signs and symptoms associated with menopause, such as anxiety, mood changes, weight gain, and decreased bone density, have not been supported by study.
Currently, no drugs for female testosterone therapy have been approved by the FDA. Furthermore, in the United States, there are no easily accessible formulations that deliver the required therapeutic amount of 300 micrograms per day for females. As a result, a female will frequently need the help of a compounding pharmacy to fill her prescription.
Types of testosterone injection
Testosterone shots are available in a variety of formats. Here are a few examples:
- testosterone cypionate (Depo-Testosterone)
- testosterone enanthate (Xyosted and also available in its generic form)
- testosterone undecanoate (Aveed, which is a long acting formulation)
How to use Testosterone Shots
The hormone testosterone enters the body straight through the muscle when a guy receives an injection. People can choose between two methods:
- Self-administration of injections at home involves injecting the hormone into the thigh with a home injection kit.
- At a doctor’s appointment, have them injected into the buttocks muscle.
People who receive testosterone shots are usually monitored by their doctor every few months. Treatments may last a lifetime or be transitory, depending on the individual’s circumstances.
Testosterone Shots Side effects
Individuals who receive testosterone shots may have the following minor side effects:
- ache or breast enlargement
- a more potent voice
- back pain
- bruising, redness, pain, bleeding, or hardness around the injection site
- sleep or remain awake difficulties
- putting on weight
- joint ailment
- alterations in mood
If a person has any of the following more serious side effects, they should seek medical attention:
- nausea or vomiting
- lower leg pain, redness, or warmth
- Swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
- breathing problems
- skin or eye discoloration
- Erections that are extremely long-lasting
- Urinary changes, such as peeing difficulties, increased frequency, decreased flow, urinary urgency, or blood in the urine
- severe upper right quadrant stomach discomfort
- Depression, anxiety, or suicidal ideation are examples of mood changes.
Where to give Testosterone Shots
Testosterone shots or injections can be given in a variety of ways. The body part into which the steroid must be injected depends on a number of factors. First, the site of the injections will differ depending on the type of hormone used. Second, the amount of testosterone injected must be considered because it might determine how intense and unpleasant the injection is. Third, the health of the individual receiving the injection should be considered, since this will determine the type of needle to be used.
The thigh is the most typical injection location for testosterone. The thigh is an excellent location for injections due to its abundance of capillary beds and collagen-rich muscle tissue. Injection sites differ depending on whether a person is male or female, however injections are commonly placed into the upper arm, buttock, or belly for men and the inner thigh for women.
Can Low Testosterone Cause Weight Gain?
The simple answer is yes. There are a lot of factors that cause weight gain in people and low levels of testosterone is only one of them. The reason why low Testosterone levels cause weight gain is because it has been shown to increase appetite and cause people to eat more calories. Low Testosterone levels also means a higher Estrogen levels. A rise in Estrogen levels can cause several weight and fat-related issues such as gynecomastia, and water retention.
Summary and Conclusion
Doctors may administer testosterone shots to males to treat low testosterone caused by certain medical problems. It does not treat the underlying illness, but it may alleviate symptoms. These shots can also be used to treat menopausal sexual dysfunction or as part of masculinizing hormone treatment.
People should be made aware of the long-term and short-term dangers of using testosterone. Before prescribing testosterone replacement therapy, doctors should perform a thorough evaluation and discuss the benefits and risks with the patient.
It is vital to always follow a doctor’s instructions to avoid dangers.