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Injection Questions from a First Timer

  1. I bought 3cc syringes with 23g and 18g(drawing) needles. Some say 3cc is too big for 1ml injections and some say it is just fine. What do you guys think? That’s what I bought on the advice of a friend of mine.

  2. This is a tutorial from the university of Michigan health system. What do you guys think? Should I follow this to a T? It says to start by pulling in air equivalent to the amount of test you will be pulling in, is that necessary? I’ve seen most pull from the vial directly from 0 and then pulling the plunger back slightly before switching from the 18g to the 23g needle. It also says to to push the air bubbles out while still in the bike, while other tutorials I’ve seen people tap the bubbles to the top and push them out outside of the vial until a very small amount comes out of the top.

  3. How much do you need to pull back to aspirate and check for blood? I’m guessing not much. I know some people don’t aspirate at all, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

  4. Should I flex my glute when first pushing the needle in and then relax after the needle has been inserted?

  5. Also I’ve got plenty of arimadex and nolvadex on hand. I’ve heard conflicting sources. Some say to run them right off the jump and some say to only use if necessary. I’ve seen a ton of people that run .25 arimedex EOD just as a precaution and I’ve also read some people taking a small dose of nolvadex during their cycle as precaution. I’m very confused on that. Not sure what to believe. I think even the newbie sticky at the top says something about running a small dose of arimidex EOD from the jump.

Tutorial from University of Michigan:

Step 1: Setting Up for the Injection
Find a comfortable, well lit working place and inject at the same time each day.

  1. Clean your work area.
  2. Remove medication from the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature.
  3. Make sure it is the medication your doctor prescribed. Check the expiration
    date on the vial. Do not use a medication with particles, medication that is discolored or is expired. Wash your hands. Hand
    washing is one of the most important things you
    can do to prevent infection.
    Assemble supplies:
  4. Medication in a vial
  5. Disposable syringe and needles, one 18 G
    needle to draw up medication then switch
    to injection needle (22-23 G; 1-1.5 inch)
  6. Alcohol swabs
  7. Puncture proof disposal containerStep 2: Selecting and Preparing the Ambulatory Care Services


Injection Site
Vastus lateralis muscle in the thigh:
Choose this site if are injecting to yourself, or if a caregiver gives you the injection. Look at your thigh and divide it horizontally into 3 equal parts. The injection will go in outer middle third. The thigh is a good place to give yourself an injection because it is easy to see.
When another person is giving the injection (picture on the right), the injection location does not change.
Form a V with your fingers by separating your first finger from the other 3 fingers. Place the heel of your hand on the bone (femur) that ends before the knee bends and aim the injection right above the V in the center of the thigh.
Gluteus Maximus muscle in the buttocks:
You may choose this site only if a caregiver gives you the injection. To find the correct location for injecting into the Gluteus maximus muscle, expose the buttocks and divide (in your mind) each buttock into four parts. Aim the injection into the upper quarter of the buttock (X on the diagram), towards the hip bone portion.
Ambulatory Care Services
How to Give Yourself a Testosterone IM Injection
The picture on the left shows the position for self-injection.

Step 3: Preparing the Injection Dose

  1. Take the cap off the vial. Clean the rubber stopper with one alcohol swab. Allow to dry.
  2. Check the package containing the syringe, if the package has been opened or damaged, do not use that syringe.
  3. Pull the 18 G needle cover straight off the syringe. Then, pull back the plunger and draw air into the syringe. The amount of air drawn into the syringe should be the same amount (mL or cc) as the dose that your doctor prescribed. Do not let the needle touch any surfaces.
  4. Keep the vial on your flat working surface and insert the needle straight down through the center of the rubber stopper.
    Do not put the needle through the rubber stopper more than once.
  5. Push the plunger of the syringe down and push the air from the syringe into the vial.
    6. Keeping the needle in the vial, turn the vial upside down. Position the needle so the liquid is covering the tip of the needle.
  6. Keeping the vial upside down, slowly pull back on the plunger to fill the syringe with the medication to the number (mL or cc) that matches the dose your doctor ordered.


  1. Keeping the needle in the vial, check for air bubbles in the syringe. If there are air bubbles, gently tap the syringe with your fingers until the air bubbles rise to the top of the syringe. Then slowly push the plunger up to force the air bubbles out of the syringe without removing the needle from the bottle.
  2. After air bubbles are gone, pull the plunger back to the number (ml or cc) marking on the syringe that matches your dose. Remove the 18 G needle and replace it with the IM needle.
    10.Check to make sure that you have the correct dose in the syringe. It is VERY important that you use the exact dose prescribed by your doctor.
    11.Remove the syringe from the vial but do not lay it down or let the needle touch anything.
    Step 4: Give the Injection
  3. Clean the injection site skin with an alcohol swab; let it air dry.
  4. Hold the skin around the injection site in the manner described above.
  5. Insert the IM needle into the muscle at a 90 degree angle with one quick
    and firm motion.
  6. After you inserting the needle into the muscle take your hand off the
  7. Gently pull back on the plunger of the syringe to check for blood.
    If you see blood in the needle, do not inject the medicine and remove the needle immediately.
    If you do not see any blood in the needle, you can complete the injection by pushing the medication slowly into the muscle. You may feel some burning sensation.


  1. When you finish injecting the full dose of the medication into the muscle,
    remove the needle.
  2. Gently press an alcohol swab on the injection site. Hold pressure on site
    until there is no bleeding. You can place a band aid on injection site if
    Tips for Reducing Injection Pain
     Inject medicine that is at room temperature.
     Remove all air bubbles from the syringe before injection.
     Let the skin dry after using alcohol wipes before injecting.
     Keep the muscles in the injection area relaxed.
     Break through the skin quickly with the needle.
     Don’t change the direction of the needle as it goes in or comes out.
  1. Why would a 3ml syringe be bad for a 1ml injection? It’s fine, it’s the only size I’ve ever used, minus insulin syringes.

  2. If you want to draw 1ml of solution, inject 1ml of air. I leave a pretty good air bubble in my barrel so I’m not losing any solution. I just shoot it until I see the air bubble hits the area right below the needle. Don’t be scared though, injecting air IM is no big deal.

  3. No reason to aspirate in the glutes.

  4. I relax during the entire injection process. No flexing.

Thanks for the quick reply, but what’s the point of injecting the 1ml of air into the vile before drawing the 1ml of solution?

Otherwise you create a vacuum in the vial making it hard to draw

1 Like

Ahh that make sense! Thank you.

Think about when you drink from a bottle with a small opening. You will notice bubbles of air entering because it must replace the liquid that comes out. Injecting air into the vial is the only way it will be able to replace the solution you take out.

yup makes sense!

A 3ml syringe will work but I much prefer a 1ml syringe. A 23g needle will work but I much prefer 27-30g. Depends on how much unnecessary pain you’d like to endure. The 1ml & 27+g needle will help waste less T as well and be more accurate with dosage.

Stick needle in, inject slowly, leave it in for several secs after injecting, remove halfway and wait another several secs and then remove (helps with the plunger effect when removing needle and having T come back out the injection site).

Using a drawing needle will save time but wastes some amount of T. I just draw and inject with the same needle. I also have 30 extra secs in my day to do it.

I used to inject air into the bottle before drawing but don’t anymore. Doesn’t seem to make any difference.

That’s what I was worried about with the wasted T. Some say it’s very minimal and not enough to even worry about. I think I’ve decided to scrap the 18g for drawing and just draw with the 23g and pin with 23g. Maybe I’ll start with the 3cc syringes and if it becomes an issue I’ll order the 1cc.

How does using a drawing needle waste your gear?

idk my guess is whatever miniscule amount stays inside the needle. im sure its really not enough to even worry about.

All you have to do is draw more air after drawing your gear, switch needles, then pin it until that air bubble gets to the translucent plastic part of the needle. That’s what I do, at least.

I read that .045mL gets left behind in most needles. If you’re only do a shot or two a week, not a big deal. But QOD that’s .33mL wasted every 2 weeks. Daily it’s even more. So it adds up. You can use single-piece pins that have almost no waste.

hmm originally I didn’t think swapping a needle for drawing was even necessary, but the sticky says the needle dulls significantly when pushed through the rubber stopper. not sure if that’s really true or not. some say it saves time, but im not worried about saving a miniscule amount of time. I did just order some 18g needles so im really not sure what im gonna do yet. im guessing a lot of what people do is preference and doesn’t matter as much as I think. only thing im worried about is asperating. shooting into a vein has definitely got me worried. hopefully I can learn how to aspirate correctly.

Using a syringe that has a removable needle wastes T. There’s extra space. You can use the air technique to combat it but that’s still not as efficient as using fixed needle insulin syringes.

Don’t over think it. The smaller guage insulin syringes I use will dull faster than larger guage needles and I draw and inject with the same needle and reuse it a second time to get two shots out of each needle/syringe (I inject more frequently than most folks do so I’m not recommending you reuse needles).

best practice would be to use blunt fill needles to draw it up then overdraw once you withdraw the needle from the vial to get it all out of the fill needle. You guys are using way small needles - am I just a butcher for using an 18G 1-1/2 inch on my husband? The oil is viscous and takes awhile to push. I have things to do.

There’s no way the needle goes in the skin easy the first time and def not the second time . I never heard of anyone using a needle twice to inject , do you just cap it or are u saying you do two injections at the same time ?

It’s literally made to go into the skin easy. I put the cap on it after I inject and then use it again on the next injection to draw and inject as well. I’ve used them more than twice before. Never been an issue.