Last anyone heard, I was on an “indefinite” break from Testosterone. Well, that indefinite break lasted a grand total of about 2 weeks, and I’ve been back on T ever since, which makes for a very confusing grand total of about 9 months, ish.
Although 2 weeks is not very long, and this was my second-time-off/third-time-on, this time it was… different. The reasons for that deserved its own long-winded explanation.
Here’s what happened in between then and now.
Quick Timeline Recap
- January: Started T, low dose cream.
- End of April: Stopped for 2 weeks.
- Early May: Started again.
- Early June: Stopped T, for good. Well, indefinitely.
- Mid June: Went back on T, for good. Well, indefinitely.
Which brings us up to speed.
Low Dose Cream, Part 2
In the middle of all this, I had to switch primary care providers because my insurance was not covering my previous one. Well, this new doctor is just as wonderful, if not more!
In June I saw her for the first time. We talked about dosage, and agreed to start me back on 1g of cream.
This was my original target dose when I first started, but due to an unfortunate lack of information at the time, I ended up taking double that for the first few months, thus freaking out at the unanticipated speed and intensity of changes. Moreover, I wrote an intricate article deciphering the different dosages of testosterone in its various delivery methods, so now I’m pretty much a pro (well… it’s still confusing half the time.)
Starting at 1g, I gradually worked my way up to 1.8g. I was not seeing any changes, which is all well and dandy for avoiding chest hair as long as possible, but it does defeat the purpose of taking hormones. In short, the cream was not doing much, even at the maximum dose (not to mention there was not enough thigh on which to slather it on).
With the current supply dwindling, I was prompted to start considering other options. My new doctor and I concluded that the cream was probably not crossing that “low-dose threshold” necessary to induce masculinization. She proposed the gel, but since I’m not listed as Male on insurance it’s not covered, and thus costs about $300/month. Yikes! That leaves us with one last option…
So, last Wednesday I received my 2nd shot of Testosterone, 100ml every two weeks. I was a little giddy and quite proud, to be honest.
This marks about 9 months or so on T, or 10.5 continuous months including the breaks. (However, given that I’ve been on a fairly low dose for a while, I don’t think my progress is reflective of people who have been on hormones for this long.)
The needle doesn’t actually hurt going in, but my leg was sore for a few days after. Thankfully I am not afraid of needles, and while nobody likes to poke themselves, it is actually not that bad. Especially now that I really am looking forward to all the changes hormones might bring!
15 thoughts on “Testosterone: 9 months”
Great to see you so willing to be flexible with “T” and working closely with a good doctor. I think the prescribed dose that is often recommended is a general rule of thumb and a person needs to be vigilant as to how it makes them feel and what side effects if any are taking place. I regularly switch things up and down a bit depending on how I respond to the “T” or how it makes me feel or not feel. My doc is okay with this because genetic men don’t get a bolus of “T” every two weeks but a steady stream 24/7.
Yeah you always want to be self-aware and adjust, even for a seasoned veteran like you Dan! Your body changes as you age, or by seasons, or by other random stuff like what you are eating recently, and since hormones regulate pretty much everything you’ll notice the effects.
I’m in the process of switching to shots for my e. mostly due to my horribly busy schedule and forgetting to take the orally from time to time. I have to say I feel about the same level of giddiness. 🙂
I’m curious, how common is oral vs injectable Estrogen? For T I’d bet 90+% of people do injections, so there’s not a lot of information on the other methods. And yeah it’s a pain to remember every day!
I don’t have actual statistics for you but orals are preferred for under 40s in many cases vs. shots. Orals are generally the first line in hrt. I just decided it was a matter of convenience for me. Yet there’s an element of injecting hormones vs. swallowing a pill that appeals as well.
As for ftm there is no oral route that I’m aware of. I think it has to do with how t is metabolized.
Well, birth control (which is hormones) also comes in a variety of methods, including oral. So I guess it makes sense. But there is something to thought of having it intravenously.
There is oral testosterone (and subcutaneous pellets too) but those are extremely rare and not available in the US.
It’s not iv though. Im injection in the thigh, usually. An oil based solution it gets taken up by the capillaries and enters the blood stream that way, I think.
How fantastic you have such a great doctor. It’ll be interesting to see if you find the shots very different. All the best.
Congrats Maddox on all your hard work in figuring out what does of T would be right for you and get you what you want, not to mention all the internal searching it sounds like you’ve been doing, impressive 🙂 Must admit I’m kinda excited you are on injections now just because I will be taking injections soon Dec 10th!!! Keep up the good work!
=S I would take T, but I really dislike the chest and facial hair.
Hey, it’s totally worth it to bully your insurance on gel if you think it’s right for you. Mine wasn’t initially covered but we were able to contact our provider (PreferredOne) and get a special form for the doctor to fill out and then I was covered.