I'm 50 and am generally fit and healthy, exercise regularly (strength training & cycling mostly). Energy level and libido really dropped off over last couple years and I get pretty bad night sweats most nights now. My urologist suggested we check my hormone levels and while I don't have the results handy I recall that my total testosterone was 218 six months ago and 230 two months later on the confirmation test.
He suggested that I consider TRT but that I find a local doc to work with me on that since I am only in his state once a year now. My GP referred me to a local (Scottsdale, AZ) urologist, and I saw him five weeks ago. I told him I was open to trying TRT if we could keep the cost down as I am between jobs at the moment and have only minimal health insurance.
He said that ruled out the gels because they cost about $300/month. He gave me a 400mg shot in the glute of testosterone cypionate and I paid a $35 copay for the office visit. Today, 32 days later, I went back for my 2nd shot and paid another $35 copay. Didn't see the doc, only his nurse. Same with the next monthly visit, then I'll see the doc on the 4th month and we'll do more labs.
I've been reading about TRT on this forum and other sites for a month now, and this much seems clear to me: although the labeling information for testosterone cypionate states dosage frequency at 2-4 weeks, most patients/users and many docs advocate more frequent dosing to achieve a steady level of free testosterone (because the drug's half life is only eight days). The more frequent dosing certainly seems to make logical sense to me, a layperson, but I don't have a doctor's level of understanding of how testosterone really works in the body. I would also like to avoid the peaks (where side effects are of greater concern) and valleys (where you feel like crap) of monthly dosing, if in fact that is what I would experience. Time will tell on that - I plan to try this doc's apporach until we meet and do more labs at least.
If in three months I want to try more frequent dosing, what should I say to the doc? I am not sure if he will be agreeable. The nurse didn't say much but when I pried she seemed to indicate that monthly is the only way they do it there. Would I notice a big difference dosing every two weeks? $70 a month I can swing.
For those of you on doc-supervised TRT who self-inject weekly or semi-weekly, what are the rough costs of the drug itself and the needles and syringes? I'm not sure I will be able to afford this approach right now even if the doc agrees, but would like to know the cost.
If I need to find a new doc, can anyone recommend a good TRT doc in the Scottsdale, AZ area who is open to patient feedback and who would be comfortable working with me on a self-injecting program? There are MANY 'aging male clinics' here in Scottsdale, and they all look super-expensive. I just want a good doc who will take payment for office visits and order labs and write appropriate scripts and not sell me an expensive 'TRT package' for thousands.
I understand that I may need to stick with monthly injections for now based on cost alone, at least until I am pulling paychecks again. Hoping there might be better options, though.