In movies and TV, an injection typically means something is about to happen: someone is about to be jolted into action or be knocked unconscious. Either way, there is an immediate reaction. And in some cases, that is what an injection does. But most of the time, that’s not how it works. When you get a flu shot, you don’t gain instant immunity. When you get a shot of antibiotics, your symptoms don’t suddenly vanish. And when you get a testosterone shot, your hormones don’t immediately reach ideal levels.
Testosterone shots are a way of effectively elevating testosterone and balancing your hormones. But what happens after that? What are the effects of testosterone shots? In part, that depends on your symptoms and health goals.
Why Men Choose Testosterone Shots
Testosterone injections are one of the most common methods of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). As the name implies, these injections are administered to compensate for naturally low levels of testosterone by replacing it with exogenous testosterone.
Low testosterone is a common medical condition amongst men, particularly as they age—and it can happen long before you think of yourself as “old”. The body reaches peak testosterone levels in the late teenage years, but they don’t subsequently drop off a cliff. Rather, they typically drop gradually as you age, although there’s no hard and fast rule. For some men, this decline never results in abnormally low testosterone. For others, however, testosterone levels diminish to unhealthy levels.
There is rarely a sudden “my testosterone is low” moment. Instead, symptoms of low testosterone often emerge little by little over time. One of the most common of these symptoms is low libido. Other symptoms include fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, depression, changing body composition, sleep disturbances. Some men experience a wide range of symptoms, some experience only a few—and the degree of severity can vary widely. But any of these effects can significantly impact your daily life and spur you to seek treatment.
A 2019 study by The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health surveyed men seeking treatment for low testosterone, and the reasons they laid out for doing so varied greatly:
Results indicated that the most frequent reasons men gave for taking prescription testosterone were low testosterone (37.1%), well-being (35.2%), energy (28.7%), libido (21.9%), and social energy (19.4%); older men claimed libido as a motivation for testosterone initiation more frequently than younger men.
Testosterone injections are known to be an accessible and effective treatment to address these concerns.
What Are the Effects of Testosterone Shots?
It’s important to note that testosterone shots are different than over-the-counter testosterone boosters. The truth about over-the-counter testosterone treatment is that they aren’t really treatment at all. Rather, they are usually unproven substances that ostensibly encourage testosterone production, but typically have no meaningful or lasting impact.
Testosterone shots are different. They are true hormone replacement therapy designed to supplement the body’s natural hormone levels. They are also a prescription product that should only be administered by a qualified hormone replacement specialist after comprehensive hormone testing and diagnosis. These specialists can both identify the need for TRT and determine a dose and dosing schedule that works for you.
So what will some of the effects of testosterone shots be? The answer to that depends largely on what your symptoms have been; because men experience the impact of low testosterone in multiple and varied ways, the effects of testosterone can also be multiple and varied. However, common effects include:
- Improved libido
- Improved energy levels
- Better maintenance of muscle mass and strength
- Better mood, concentration, and memory
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis and improved bone density
- Reduced risk of depression
- Improved sleep
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
This list makes clear the appeal of testosterone shots. And if your health care practitioner says that shots are the most appropriate administration method for you, they may be an ideal treatment. But there are alternatives to testosterone shots.
Beyond Testosterone Shots
While testosterone shots can be truly transformative, they can also have drawbacks. These include:
- Hormonal peaks and valleys
- Need for frequent injections (often twice a month, weekly, or even twice weekly)
- Inconsistent balance of hormones
Often, none of these are deal-breakers. In fact, most men who take testosterone injections are satisfied with their results. However, injections also aren’t the only possibility.
Today, a growing number of men are choosing pellet therapy over testosterone injections. While these may contain the same testosterone product as that found in shots, the administration of the testosterone is different—and those differences can be meaningful.
With pellet therapy, testosterone pellets about the size of a grain of rice are injected under the skin in a short outpatient procedure. Your body then absorbs these pellets over the course of 3-6 months. This slower release results in:
- Longer-lasting treatment
- More consistent hormonal levels
- More reliable, steady impact on your life
- Easier treatment adherence
The last one is crucial. If you have to frequently inject medication or visit a doctor’s office, life is likely going to get in the way. You have to work late, you’re away on vacation, or you have a kid’s soccer game to attend. Or maybe you just forget. When your treatment relies strict adherence to an injection schedule, the everyday business of life can prevent you from getting the help you need to feel better. But having one quick appointment every few months? That’s doable.
Regardless of what administration method you ultimately choose, the important thing is to find out what’s right for you by talking to a specialist with the training and expertise to provide sound guidance. With their support, you can develop a treatment plan that not only works for your body, but works for your lifestyle.
If you are looking for safe and effective testosterone replacement therapy, BodyLogicMD can help. The BodyLogicMD network is comprised of top medical professionals specializing in hormone health and hormone replacement therapy. A BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioner will design a personalized treatment plan to address your symptoms and help you achieve your health goals using the best therapies available today. Contact a local practitioner to schedule your first appointment, or take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz today.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.