Should I use testosterone shots or pellets?

Should I use testosterone shots or pellets?

Testosterone can be delivered using many delivery platforms.  Injections, pellets, creams, gels, and patches are the most commonly used delivery methods.  There are definite benefits and drawbacks to each and we are going to evaluate them for you here.

First, let’s talk about using testosterone pellets.  The pellets are implanted into the subcutaneous dermal layer, typically in the upper hip area. This approach is very limiting for a few reasons.  First, it’s a one size fits all approach. They are dosed by body weight and BMI calculations and leave no room for individualizing a patients levels based on his own natural, optimal level.  Another limitation is that the pellets bleed heavily early on after implantation, then fall well below optimal levels.  This below optimal state is constant until pellets are implanted again around four to six

months from the previous insertion date. This roller coaster is exhausting and can sometimes be harder on the patient that being at a consistently low testosterone level, simply because of the consistency of the state of being. Below is a chart showing three different dosages of testosterone pellets over six months. You can see that if your levels repeated this up and down every six months, it would be quite a ride.

Next, let’s discuss creams and gels.  The topical approach is convenient for those who simply cannot inject themselves with testosterone.   Some of the drawbacks are that the creams can be messy and sticky.  Another issue is that there are many variables that affect the exact uptake of the testosterone.  If you are dehydrated, cold, or having any skin issues, the absorption can be off.  There are also dangers in applying the gel, then making any contact with another person with that skin within an hour.  These contact issues are real and have been the reason that many wives have been overdosed with testosterone due to their husband’s irresponsible use.

At Low T Nation, we prefer testosterone cypionate injections.  With the injections, we know exactly how much of the testosterone the patient is receiving.  It also only requires a weekly shot, so this simplifies the administration of the program tremendously.  The most important aspect of the testosterone cypionate injections is that it allows you to reach a great level that doesn’t fluctuate up and down very much.  The chart below shows the peaks and valleys of a testosterone cypionate protocol.

26 Responses to Should I use testosterone shots or pellets?

  1. Thank you for this excellent breakdown and the illustrations of testosterone levels with the different delivery methods. I guess if you are using the cream for low T it’s super important to stay hydrated.

    Looking at your chart, I’d definitely agree that cypionate is a great method for managing low testosterone.

  2. I found this video because I was considering changing to pellets. While I am a female, I have been using hormone injections for several years and have been very satisfied until recently. More recently, I have not felt the energy I had the first few years. I am guessing, after viewing this video, I may need a increase. Regardless, this video was very helpful in explaining the difference in the various delivery platforms, which is what I wanted.

  3. I don’t like the cream so I won’t use it. I am taking tests cypranite oil injections. I am supposed to be taking 2 mil @ 2 wks. but the shots hurt and my wife doesn’t like giving them so I take 4 mils once a month. is this especially harmful ?

  4. Brandon, my dr has me on 200mg cypionate every two weeks. I just started, but, heard you on YouTube say that it’s best once a week. I go back to my dr in April so he can see where I’m at. Is my dr just trying to see how much it will raise in two months? My levels were <0.01 ng/mL so I don’t understand why I’m not getting weekly injections? Thank you for the educational information on YouTube!!!

  5. I have been on a Morphine Pump for about 20 years that is why my Testosterone is very low.
    I am on a shot every week your information on You Tube is great keep up the good work.

  6. Hi Doc,

    I am 25 year old with very low t and basically never went through puberty and have very less facial and body hair
    When I first got the checkup , I was at 78ng/dl, and was on and off due to various reason
    I am determined now and wanted to be regular so started with the pill Cernos 40(40mg per pill) once in two days
    Please advise

  7. My son has low t and his urologist won’t prescribe anything but clomid. He is really bad very depressed doesn’t feel good brain fog. How can you help him?

  8. Hello from Australia
    Cypionate or Enenthate which one is the optimal. I inject twice a week with Test. Enenthate .500ml each dose.

  9. I have low testosterone, infact very low and my doc. Gave me first testosterone deconate injection monthly which helped my T reach 7/8 but I was bloating also so he then switched me to nebidol inj once ever 3 months but I was peaking n then crushing so he switched me to creams which also didn’t help and with all the TRT methods I was retain water n my face and legs were puffing up so when I switched to another doc who put me on arimidex as my estrogen level was like 30 .which has seen come back to around 11 as I take arimidex twice weekly but my T is still on low range.i am scared to try trt as because of water retention in my body.any advice u can give me

    • The water retention is usually estrogen related. If you’ve gotten that under control, then you should be ok. Twice weekly shots (subq or IM) have been shown to keep estrogen in check as well. It’s definitely our preferred administration approach.

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