At Low T Nation, we get asked all the time about which platform to deliver testosterone in a Low T program is the best. The most available and common testosterone replacement platforms are creams, pellets, injections, and patches. The best answer depends a lot on the person’s situation, but without any additional determining criteria, we at Low T Nation, prefer the injection based platform for a few reasons.
The primary reason is that we know exactly how much testosterone a patient is getting in their system. All of the other systems have a bit of room for error in understanding exact dosing. The pellets have a time released mechanism that distributes the testosterone over months. The creams can have evaporation and absorption issues to contend with. The patches also become increasingly hard to tell exactly how much has been absorbed and how much is still in the patch.
There are also other issues. Creams have two additional drawbacks. First being that there are known contact dangers. It is very easy to pass the testosterone (even if the cream has been absorbed) to another person, hopefully not a wife or child. The creams are also completely bio-available which means they have to be applied every day and on top of that, if you miss a day or two, you will feel down in the dumps again. We don’t like the daily use and potential for normalizing back to pre-plan testosterone levels.
The pellets tend to raise a patients testosterone levels to a level that is above the intended range far too often. This usually ends up causing issues with estrogen and DHT conversion at too high of a rate as compared to other delivery methods. The testosterone release also shows up like a bell curve with the pellets releasing quickly while the pellets are fairly new, then slowing dramatically as they age. The other issue with pellets is that the patient is usually either feeling better each day because of the increase or worse each day because of the falling levels of testosterone. This therapy method for Low T is still a viable option for men with certain extenuating circumstances such as deployment or constant travel though.
With all of these issues, using injections and a testosterone formulation called cypionate,we can reduce any issues with complete loss of testosterone, with contact issues, with high levels and steep falls in serum levels. The half life of testosterone cypionate is about one week. This means that each week when it’s time for your shot, you still have half of last week’s injection, a quarter of the previous week’s, an eight of that weeks previous week and so on. This also eliminates the daily administration requirements of the cream based therapy. The graph below shows exactly how the the buildup levels off after about 5-6 weeks.
As you can see, with this deliver method controlling the release of the testosterone better, protecting others from contact issues, and most importantly, keeping all of our patients in a healthy testosterone range at all times, this delivery method is the way to go.