T Nation



I just started HRT last week.

Delurking to say that I simply would not have put two and two together without you guys.

It is a old story - about three years ago, I stopped being able to focus or learn anything new. My brain, which used to be kinda functional and shiny was fuzzed out dirty brown mess of cotton. Goodbye libido.

And really, nothing I used to like to do had any interest to me -- everything just required too much effort. And constantly tired. and irritable. and so on.

I thought it was work burnout.

Then around the first of this year I found this forum and saw and heard what you guys had to say and it all started to make sense.

Finally able to see a good endo in mid July, and here I am today on 5g of androgel. Still feel like crap, but know it takes a while.

Again -


Man, I hope you don't wait months like I did. Get another blood draw; if its below the midpoint of your range, go immediately for the shots. Read some of the stuff I posted, esp about the shots and stuff by RainJack.




Your doc will probably want to put you on 10 grams/daily of Androgel next.

They only start guys off at 5 grams/daily to cover those few superresponders who would go out of range with 10 grams.

If you're not totally happy at 10 grams, even if you're in the low-normal range, then "cheat" and get on the T-cyp shots by skipping a day or two of your Androgel before the next blood test. You'll test low and your doc will switch you to injections without much hassle. You'll be much better off!


Headhunter wrote:

deadlifter405 wrote:

Good tips -- Good to keep ahead of the doc's "protocol." My attitude is I'm happy to push hard on the doc to make sure I get the treatment I need. It took me a long time to get referred to the endo. No doubt it will take months to get to where I need to me on treatment - I get the sense that they are all pretty cautious.

So far I am not noticing much difference on the androgel. I would say maybe about 2% better. Maybe it will get me to low normal!

Given that I am a type II diabetic who self-injected insulin for years (don't need that anymore) I don't have a problem w the concept of self-injections.

Will keep you posted


Glad to see that you are on track. I would stay on the doc, though and make sure he retests on a regular basis until you stabilize. The gel doesn't work for everyone. I am coasting in the high 800s on it, but others, esp HH did not get good results.

Like you say, though, if you have to go that route, at least pins don't scare you.


Just a data point for thought concerning normal to high normal testosterone ranges versus low normal to subnormal:

A good friend of mine who has been training almost as long as I have recently went on HRT. He's always been around 170 [lb]at his heaviest (he's around 5'9") and has always been a good lifter.

He became interested in my "experiments" with anabolics, particularly the fact that I get regular bloodwork done. He decided to also get bloodwork done on a regular basis.

His testosterone levels measured in the 200 range (normal, as I understand it, is 300 to 900) for successive tests in a span covering 6 months. That's low.

He's always been one to complain here and there about work, life, how tired he always was...for years.

He went on HRT. 2 months later, his levels are within the 600 range. His weight has gone up (with no changes to his diet or training...so he tells me) to 180 [lb]. He doesn't feel shitty all the time anymore; his thinking is clearer (well, to him...he's still got alot of goofy thoughts). He's looking pretty swole these days as well. Fuller, leaner, and happier.

My point: getting to normal or high normal is extremely important to realize an excellent quality of life. Too often we want to get to that supraphysical level...but I think making sure one is at normal to high normal is more important.


Good point and great story -- that is really what I am shooting for -- midrange to high normal. I think that my endo will help me get there. as I was tested by my GP about three years ago at "low normal." I was experiencing all the symptoms of low test then! (but I thought it was work burn out). So clearly "low normal" isn't "normal" for me, and my endo seems to get that.

Your friend's experience gives me a lot of hope. Thanks for posting it.


Not to pimp Biotest, but I really notice if I take TRIBEX along with my injections. The TRIBEX doesn't let me shutdown (low as it is) and I truly notice a difference. I might try Alpha Male when the TRIBEX runs low, along with some of their new estrogen blocker.



Hi E Loo- man, your story is mine as well, everything I had done at work
for years started to become much more difficult, lost interest in things I once enjoyed and was tired all the time.
The doc said I was depressed and she was right - but after discovering low T
levels (237 total, 9.7 free)she was willing to try Androgel for me and I am about a month into 10g/day.

I had a few days where my libido was WAY up but overall, I still feel like crap. So many on this
site say to stick it out for a few months so I will. I hope we both get some results soon. Keep us posted.
Best - PV


Androgel is ok if and only if you want to be just in the midrange. Your test level will go up immediately but it is generally considered that 10grams will be enough to shut down your own production completely and your net increase will be only a little bit above where you were.

I ended up with 10 gms of Androgel and 10 gms of a pharmacy compounded testosterone cream. Still just barely in the upper level of normal.

I've been on injections of 100mgs of cyp twice a week and it is great. I just got my first blood test done 3 days ago since being on injections and am awaiting the results but I am sure my levels are somewhat above the normal max which is where I want to be.

My own production has dropped as my testicles have shrunk. (Between the stopping the Andro and starting the shots I did a month of HCG to get my own production back up).

We're planning on doing cycles of cyp shots and HCG shots.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Good luck, George


OK, so I've finished week 4.

So guys, when the hell do I start feeling better? LOL

Actually my experience seems typical. 3rd week I started feeling about 20% better in terms of energy level and mental clarity. And my libido came back really strong.

But by mid fourth week everything had leveled off, and I would say that I might feel worse now than when I started. Maybe because I had a little taste of what I've been missing. I guess this is common as well, but damn it is frustrating.

I am scheduled to get tested around the 12th of this month. Am calling the doctor tomorrow to see if we can move the test up to this week.

BTW, it is primary hypogonadism. Initial labs were
test 253 ng/dl


Hi - I too am hopeful that I can see those good results. My symptoms were
like E-Loo, constant brain fog, loss of interest in things I once loved, exhausted all the time, bad anxiety over feeling like shit 24/7. Typical symptoms of depression. After being on 10g a day of Androgel for about 5 weeks
I have definite improvement but I am not back to my old self yet. My symptoms have just reduced, which is a very welcome change but my question : for those who have had success with Androgel, what was the time line? A little better each day or was it more
immediate than that? Just want to know
what to expect so I can evaluate whether
its the Androgel helping or just me slowly getting over it myself. One thing for sure is that the libido
has gotten considerably higher.
thanks to all - PV


PV Wolf,
I've been on Andogel for about 2 years now and it was a progressive recovery, couple months. My T levels are around 900ng/dl and I'm way up weight wise. I too cheated the doc, I was on 50mg ED at first. He raised me to 100mg after first bloodwork but, second bloodwork was TOO HIGH for him so he lowered me back to 50mg. I stopped taking my doses two days before next bloodwork and had nice low levels :), back up to 100mg ED! From now on I stop use a day or two before bloodwork and everyone is happy!
It does take some time but, you should feel better soon.
Good luck man,


I hope so. At this point, I dont even know what problem to go after. It started out as just constant fatigue, followed by depression/ anxiety. My main problem now is the dizzy spaced out
feeling all day every day. I can tell that if that would subside, I would be
in good shape. My T numbers are up from the AGel use, but how long do they need
to be consistently up before I get back to my old self ? Did you have similar symptoms ? Thanks for your time. PV


My symptoms were almost exactly the same, spacey,anxious,tired..........
The A-gel took about two months to really get me going. You may find that you'll need meds for the anxiety, but drive,energy,libido,concentration should improve markedly!
I must not be a good responder as I didn't notice much until my test numbers were up to about 800ng/dl. This took several return visits to the doc and all the related bloodwork.
Finally we ended with me taking 10grams A-gel ED (100mg actual absorbed) and I feel a sh-tload better!
I hope this helps some,


Welcome to the world of injections!
(1) Have the nurse teach you how to inject properly.
(2) Heat the fully loaded syringe on a hotpad set on low, for about 30 minutes.
(3) Ask your doc for some stuff called EMLA cream. Put this on the spot 3 hours before the shot. What little pain you would have is now NO PAIN.

By heating the oil, it'll flow much more easily and I never have soreness the next day at the site. If you do all 3, you should have no problems whatsoever.

Good Luck,



OK my new numbers are back --

First set of labs before starting Androgel (July 13):

Testosterone 253 ng/dL
Free testosterone 54.5 pg/mL
% Free 2.2

I started the Androgel around Aug 2

Labs after one month 1 wk Androgel (Sept 7):

Testosterone 192 ng/dL
Free testosterone 45.1 pg/mL
% Free 2.2

-- So as I suspected, I am down -- first three weeks felt a little better, then things seemed to decline in week four.

I felt like crap before I started, I am really worse now. Will let you know what happens. Have never been one for vanity threads but maybe this will be useful for somebody someday.


Shots, once evry half-life day (8 days for cyp). If THAT goes down hill, like it has for me, then more tests.


So Bye Bye Androgel, hello Striant. That's the one that you stick to your gums above your insisor twice a day, testosterone absorbed thru the gums.

Endo says he has gotten good result w Striant in patients that don't repond well to androgel.

Recommends it for steady level of testosterone delivery as opposed to peaks and valleys associated w weekly shots - So I am going to give it a go. Starting today or tomorrow, back for testing in a month.

It will be interesting I guess -- I have done a search for Striant here on T-Nation, nobody seems to be using it.


Ha Ha -- a month of Striant takes my levels even lower.

And it was very annoying to have that "patch" in my mouth 24 hours a day. So I can't say I am sad to see it go.


Testosterone 159 ng/dL
Free testosterone 35 pg/mL

Needless to say, I feel crappier than ever.

Will start shots this week -- Endo wants to do once every two weeks.