If you are a man with low testosterone, you may have been told that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help.
There’s truth to that claim, as testosterone therapy has been medically supported to be effective in facilitating critical body processes by increasing the production of the essential male androgen.
That said, injections and pills are two very different ways to restore low testosterone levels in the body, and they each have their own pros and cons.
Aside from that, testosterone can be administered through skin patches, subdermal implants, and testosterone gels. This gives would-be patients a lot of forms of testosterone to consider.
This article will focus on the two most popular methods of TRT—injections and pills—to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Here’s a look at the differences between testosterone injections and pills and other things you should know before undergoing testosterone therapy.
Signs You Need Testosterone Therapy Treatment
You’ll need to be diagnosed by a medical professional to be eligible for TRT, but certain signs may indicate that you could benefit from treatment.
Particularly, if after a low testosterone screening test your testosterone levels fall short of the normal range of 300 ng/dL in males, you’ll likely be a candidate for treatment due to low testosterone levels. Some low testosterone symptoms include:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced muscle mass and strength
- Bone loss
These symptoms can be caused by some different conditions, so it’s important to consult with your doctor to rule out any other conditions.
Many cases of low testosterone are also asymptomatic, so your doctor may prescribe you to perform a different course of action such as hormone replacement therapy depending on your case.
Is Testosterone Therapy Safe?
Testosterone therapy is a lifelong commitment; if you stop it before your doctor tells you to, your body may no longer produce enough testosterone on its own. So if you cannot commit to lifelong testosterone therapy, then you may have to resort to other alternative treatments to manage symptoms of testosterone deficiency.
On top of that, there are several risks associated with testosterone therapy in men. One such risk is the heightened cardiovascular disease risk in men, which can be aggravated by testosterone therapy and may require you to be monitored more closely by your doctor.
Other risks associated with testosterone therapy include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Skin reactions and acne
- Breast enlargement
- Shrunken testicles
- Increased blood clots
That said, people who have invested in TRT report experiencing a range of life-changing benefits, such as more sexual vigor in bed and increased stamina overall. Sexual function, mood, and quality of life all appear to be positively impacted by testosterone therapy.
So before considering TRT, make sure to consult with your doctor about the potential risks and benefits to help you decide if it’s the right treatment for you.
How Do Testosterone Injections Work?
Testosterone injections are a common type of TRT used to treat hypogonadism. They are typically administered intramuscularly, or directly into the muscle, once every two weeks.
The most common injectable form of testosterone is called testosterone cypionate, which is an oil-based prescription drug. It works by slowly replacing the testosterone in your body over time.
The primary benefit of testosterone cypionate is that it’s a stable and predictable form of TRT. You’ll know exactly how much testosterone you’re getting with each injection, and you can space them out evenly over time so that your levels remain consistent.
Another advantage of injections is that they are relatively easy to self-administer, meaning you won’t have to go to the doctor’s office every time you need to perform the treatment.
Lastly, testosterone injections provide musculoskeletal benefits like better grip strength more quickly than other forms of TRT. So if you’re looking for improved muscle mass and strength, this may be the best treatment option for you.
Eligibility Requirements for Testosterone Injections
There are eligibility requirements you have to pass to be able to take this injectable drug. Here are some additional details regarding testosterone cypionate you need to know:
- The injection may increase the risk of high cholesterol, abnormal red blood cell growth, and prostate size.
- Patients will need to store the injection somewhere dark and at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F.
- Never try to catch up on a missed dose by taking two doses, as this can cause unwanted side effects. Take it as directed by your doctor.
- Men with liver problems and kidney disease may also experience side effects from this drug.
- Certain medications can negatively interact with this injection, namely insulin drugs, oral blood thinners, and corticosteroids.
While the information above remains comprehensive, it’s vital that you speak with your doctor to get a better understanding of testosterone cypionate and how it can affect you.
How Do Testosterone Pills Work?
Testosterone medication is available in pill form and is also a viable form of treatment for men with hypogonadism. They are typically taken twice a day, but patients may have different dosages depending on their own set of circumstances.
Here’s a list of oral testosterone pill medications doctors may prescribe to help patients restore normal testosterone levels:
One benefit of testosterone pills is that it’s a pain-free and less invasive form of TRT. You won’t have to worry about needles or injections, and you can take them with food or water.
These male pills also come with the usual boosts in energy and libido that come with testosterone therapy. Testim, for instance, has been shown to boost sexual performance and libido in men after 12 months. Spontaneous erections were also noted in patients in this study.
Just like injections, avoid double dosing if you happen to miss a day.
TRT Pills or Injections: Which is Better?
There’s no easy answer as to which testosterone route is better. And, in most cases, it’s not your job to make that decision. Ultimately, the choice between pills or injections will be decided by your doctor based on your unique medical history, symptoms, age, test results, among other considerations.
If you’re considering TRT, the first thing you should do is to consult a low testosterone doctor and weigh the options, risks, and potential benefits of each type of testosterone treatment plan.
Both injections and pills are effective forms of TRT. Granted, your doctor may ask some qualifying questions to vet your eligibility for each treatment plan.
The medical professionals at Cleveland’s Precise Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for low libido and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, premature ejaculation, hormone imbalances, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.