Testosterone – pros and cons of different forms (Jan 24th 2017)

Testosterone, in the UK, comes in several forms injections, gel/creams. There is also patches, oral and pellet forms however these don’t seem to be used in the UK.

When I first went on testosterone in March 2016 I was put on testogel, which is a gel form of testosterone. It comes in little packets, similar to sauce packets, testogel is applied daily; it is applied as a thin layer onto a person’s stomach, shoulders or thighs. It is applied and then the person has to leave to dry, normally 5-10 minutes before putting clothes on. Testogel should not come into skin contact with a cisgender female or with children.

For the first month I had to put on half a packet a day, then from month 2 till month 4 I put on a full packet as day. After this time I had a return appointment with my gender clinic my doctor felt my testosterone level was slightly too high so I was put onto a routine of full packet one day then half packet the next day and repeated – this went on until Dec 2016 when I swapped from gel form to injections.

As with all forms of testosterone there are pros and cons.

-Injections (commonly in the UK Nebido and Sustanon) are the most common way of getting testosterone. Nebido is injected by a nurse, as it is a thick needle, into the top of the buttocks every three months. Sustanon is normally injected every 2-3 week into the thigh and can be done at home.

-Gel/cream (commonly in the UK Testogel and Testim). As described above tesogel comes in packets and is normally one full packet as day. Testim comes in a pump, like soap, and is normally one or two pumps a day. Daily applications can help give a steady level rather than the up and down that comes with injections.

All of these are available through the NHS or privately. Through NHS each cost the same as a normal prescription (£8.40 per item) that would make testogel and testim a cost of roughly £8.40 per month. Sustanon a cost of roughly £16.80 and Nebido a cost of £8.40 every 12 weeks.

I have found that whilst gel could have been better for regulating my mood, applying it daily was difficult and a three monthly injection is a better fit with my life.

-Honest Trans Guy

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