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Pros and Cons of Testosterone Creams vs Injections

Which is better, testosterone cream or injections?​

Summary:

  • One of the most common questions we get is whether the testosterone cream or the injections are best. We firmly believe what is best simply means ‘what is best for you.’
  • There are differences between injections and creams and both have advantages and disadvantages.
  • Men tend to assume that because injections go straight into the muscle, the effects are more powerful and immediate. This is untrue and many men find the cream just as, if not more, effective.

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Topical testosterone lipoderm cream​

Our testosterone creams are custom compounded by our partner pharmacy as specified for each patient’s prescription. On average, our creams have a potency of 200 mg/mL, which is about 10-20 times more potent than standard commercial gels and creams. The cream is applied twice daily; once in the morning and once in the evening (usually 4 hours before bed) to the scrotum or inner thigh. The skin here is thinner than most other body areas, meaning that absorption is quick and effective. Studies show that scrotal administration shows up to eight times more bioavailable testosterone in tests than via skin elsewhere on the body.

The cream has a more positive effect on your good cholesterol levels (HDL) and increases testosterone levels more than injections. This benefit makes the creams an attractive option to those with high cholesterol and those at risk of cardiovascular disease.

The main advantage we see with the cream is that it has to pass through the skin. Testosterone itself is a relatively inactive hormone. In your hair follicles is an enzyme called 5 alpha-reductase that converts testosterone into the more powerful and beneficial dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is about 10-100 times as biologically active as testosterone and offers improved erectile function, more energy, improved muscle gains, and improved weight loss. This conversion ultimately means you need less cream to get the same beneficial effects as injections.

Advantages of testosterone cream

  • Testosterone cream increases DHT, meaning more benefits than testosterone alone. This is because DHT is up to 100 times more potent than testosterone.
  • Our pharmacy compounds the medication to a patient’s requirements.
  • Our lipoderm cream is far more potent than commercially available versions. For example, it is up to 20 times more powerful than AndroGel®.
  • Creams provide very stable levels, mimicking the natural testosterone cycle.
  • Creams have a more positive effect on cholesterol profile (specifically increasing HDL) than injections.

Disadvantages of testosterone cream

  • Variable absorption. However, this is unusual, especially via scrotal administration.
  • Applying cream twice a day makes it easy to forget a dose.
  • Testosterone cream has a transference risk. You must wash your hands, clothes, and bedsheets to ensure non-transference to others. This can be problematic if you have young children that sleep in your bed as well as for your partner. However, with scrotal administration, this is easier to avoid.
  • Testosterone cream carries transferal risk to pregnant women, those wishing to get pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers, so we do not prescribe in these situations.

Testosterone cypionate injections

We supply our patients with a 60-day supply of testosterone cypionate 200 mg/mL. If you are on a higher dose, this supply will not last quite so long, and your doctor will advise if changing the dosage.

Daily injections are far better than weekly or bi-weekly injections when it comes to optimizing your hormones. With less frequent injections, your testosterone level will be sky high on day one, and then the level will fall until your next dose, giving you a rollercoaster effect. Whereas with daily injections, no such peaks and troughs exist, and your levels are constant. This daily dose, much like the cream, follows the natural testosterone cycle.

The idea of daily injections does raise a few patients’ eyebrows, but this is the best way to maintain optimum testosterone levels compared to less frequent injections.

Advantages of testosterone injections

  • Consistent, stable levels of testosterone are achieved.
  • More testosterone turns in estradiol than with creams which is great for weight loss, your heart, and avoiding Alzheimer’s’ disease.
  • The injections are less expensive than the creams, so they suit a lower budget.
  • Unlike other clinics that inject intramuscularly with a huge 1-1.5 inch gauge needle causing pain, we use tiny insulin needles that cause little to no pain (many patients say it feels like a tiny prick and can hardly feel it).

Disadvantages of testosterone injections

  • Although daily injections cause little to no pain, they are not for everyone.
  • Injectable testosterone does not have a positive effect on lipids (cholesterol) like creams do.
  • Getting the testosterone into the insulin syringes can be tricky because of its viscous nature. Warming with a hairdryer is often needed.

So, which one is the best, testosterone cream or cypionate injections?

There is no one size fits all approach to testosterone replacement therapy. Whichever method you choose, both are incredibly effective at optimizing hormone levels. You will end up getting the same physiological benefits with either approach:
  • Increased muscle mass gain
  • Weight loss
  • Cognitive enhancement
  • Greater energy levels
  • Improved sexual function and performance
  • More energy and endurance

Some men do see more benefits with the cream and some with injections. In our experience, the cream carries a bit more punch because it increases DHT levels and helps increase good cholesterol. For many, the cream also means no need to inject, which often seals the deal. Either way, the benefits will speak for themselves.

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