What Are Your Options for Testosterone Replacement Therapy? -- By Dr. Stephen Stevenson

When I was diagnosed with hypogonadism 13 years ago by a reproductive endocrinologist, I started on testosterone replacement therapy. Over the years, I have used several different testosterone medications, including topical compounded testosterone gels and creams, intramuscular weekly testosterone injections, and most recently subcutaneous testosterone injections.

Testosterone replacement therapy has improved my sexual function, helped me to maintain my muscle mass as I have aged, improved my mood and energy, and has significantly improved the quality of my life. In this blog I’d like to discuss the various testosterone replacement therapies available and some of their pros and cons of each.

The most popular testosterone replacement medications are topical preparations and injectable testosterone. Topical preparations are applied directly to the skin, usually once daily, and include gels, creams and patches. Topical patches usually do an excellent job of maintaining steady testosterone levels but are generally one of the more expensive options and frequently cause skin reactions at the application site.

Topical gels and creams are generally less expensive than patches and also maintain steady testosterone levels but have the potential risk of exposing other individuals through skin to skin contact with the user. This inadvertent exposure can generally be avoided with some simple precautions.