Are you thinking of starting gender affirming hormones and testosterone (T) hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or are already on T but looking for a different method or dosage?
FOLX offers two methods from our pharmacy that patients can choose from: injections and gel., All methods contain the same base of testosterone hormone, identical to what is produced by testes. The route and dose depend on your personal preferences and goals. Remember, you are in control of your body and transition and there is no right or wrong way to navigate your testosterone GA/HRT journey. FOLX offers hormones for transgender people, trans men, trans masculine, non-binary and other gender variant people looking to start or continue testsoterone hormone replacement therapy.
While there are different pros and cons to each method, it’s entirely up to what feels right for you. Also, you can always switch it up—you don’t have to be locked into the same method or dosage forever. Keep reading to learn more about the different ways to take testosterone replacement therapy through FOLX.
Testosterone injections are typically self-administered every week or every other week. There are two injection methods: subcutaneous (sub-Q), which is injected into the fatty tissue under the skin and intramuscular (IM), which is injected into the muscle. Testosterone is suspended in oils that allow for slow sustained release over one to two weeks. The two different types of injectable testosterone are testosterone cypionate (suspended in cotton seed oil) and testosterone enanthate (suspended in sesame oil). The most common injectable testosterone used in the United States is testosterone cypionate, which is what FOLX typically prescribes for people wanting GA/HRT injections.
There are a few key differences between testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate. Enanthate is suspended in sesame oil while cypionate is suspended in cottonseed oil. Cypionate has a slightly slower release and longer active life, meaning it can be dosed every two weeks. Between the two, there is a difference in cost; cypionate is typically more relatively affordable.
Both enanthate and cypionate are slow-acting testosterone esters with a release time between 10 and 14 days. Some decide to inject every two weeks while others opt for weekly injections.
Some pros and cons of injectable testosterone
There are some advantages and disadvantages to the self-injection testosterone method. If you struggle with injection anxiety or needle-phobia, check out our tips for overcoming fear of injections. Self-injecting testosterone is only one of two ways that FOLX provides to administer testosterone HRT. The commons pros and cons are as follows:
Testosterone injection dosage levels
When injecting testosterone, you can choose what dosage feels right for you and your journey. Transgender men looking to maximize their potential for masculinzation might opt for an average starting dose with the goal of increasing it over time to a higher dose. Non-binary, transmasculine and/or other gender variant people might feel comfortable maintaining a microdose, or a lower dose of testosterone, for more gradual changes. No matter what your gender identity is, you have the autonomy to choose what dosage feels best for you and your body.
Transdermal testosterone gel
Transdermal or topical testosterone gel enables testosterone to be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. The gel is applied directly onto the skin, so it can absorb through the areas with less body hair, such as inner thighs, belly, inner arms, etc.. FOLX offers testosterone gel in a pump bottle.
Common pros and cons of transdermal testosterone gel
Similar to injectable testosterone, transdermal T gel has its advantages and disadvantages. Check out the pros and cons below to see if this is the right method for you. For more information, check our article on all things testosterone gel.
Testosterone gel dosage options
There are different ways to dose testosterone gel. If you are just starting out, you may prefer to start with a lower dose than average, or a higher dose, spending on the results you are wanting. Remember, there is never a right or a wrong way to transition and whatever your relationship to hormones is, you are in control.
With the different routes and dosages of testosterone, there are many ways to find the best fit for you. If you’re ready to get started with testosterone at FOLX, the process begins here. If you’re an existing FOLX member with questions about route or dosage, don't hesitate to schedule time with a clinician.