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Many guys ask for these details. Here is enough info to get started. This is really a small part of what most guys need to know.
An Initial Protocol for Injections
- 100mg test cypionate or enanthate per week, divided into two or more injections per week.
- 250iu hCG subcutaneously EOD [every other day]
Injecting testosterone once a week induces spikes in testosterone levels followed by lows. This can make many feel bad or worse at the end of the week than their pre-TRT state. As time goes on the dead zone gets wider and they feel no relief with injections. These feel much better injecting twice a week or even EOD [every other day].
Injecting every 2, 3 or 4 weeks is horrible. You need to self inject and inject frequently. With frequent injections the volumes are very small and one can inject in the quads [vastus lateralis] with #29 0.5ml 0.5" [50iu] insulin syringes.
EDIT: July 1, 2019. The 29 guage 1/2" 0.50ml Relion syringes from Walmart were great, but are discontinued. Tried other brands that no not flow well, internal needle diameter too small. The 1/2" #29 0.5ml syringes from Walgreens seem identical to what Walmart used to sell.
These are slow to load but injection times are reasonable as the small plunger diameters create very high pressures. Do not use 1.0ml syringes. This same size syringe can be used for hCG injections, which are also SC.
EDIT: Injecting EOD [sometimes written as E2D] or E3D [every third day] can be a difficult schedule. You can set up reminders or appointments in calendar software, such as MS Outlook, for E2D or E3D etc.
Small needles will reduce muscle damage. Some use #25 1" needles, but this may not be any “faster” than the above 50iu insulin needles.
You do not need to inject into your glutes with 1.5" needles!
Canadian clinical research has demonstrated that TRT by SC [under the skin injections into body fat] produce steadier testosterone levels and improves sense of well-being. Feel free to find out what is more comfortable for you.
For those who train and sweat/shower a lot, transdermal T creams and gels are not appropriate.
Transdermal T creams [and patches] are expensive. At best, only about 10% of applied testosterone is absorbed. Transdermal delivered dose is a crap shoot. Guys who have low thyroid levels are typically non-absorbers. Some absorb transdermals at the start, but skin changes can shut off absorption after a while. With injections, there are no unknowns about drug delivery.
hCG is a water based peptide hormone can be injected to replace the lost LH hormone that TRT shuts down. Without hCG, the LH receptors in the testes are no longer getting activated. The results are:
The testes shrink. Over time for some the testes can eventually become small undifferentiated lumps of collagen. This is drug induced organ failure. The degree of shrinking varies from guy to guy and may be more of a problem for the older guys.
Fertility can be greatly reduced or eliminated. If making babies is important, you need to inject hCG. If hCG is not used, its use after a long time may or may not recover fertility.
When the testes get smaller, some feel an ache in their testes 24x7. hCG injections can eliminate that pain or avoid the whole episode.
When there is no LH or hCG, the scrotum pulls up tight to the body. This has the appearance of a pre-pubescent boy. This is not good for ones sexual self image and this also affects how women perceive you sexually. Some women get very upset when they see this maleness disappear, thus affecting their sexuality and interest in you.
The testes are the single largest producer of the hormone pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is important for proper mental functioning, and is the precursor to all of the steroid hormones such as DHEA, testosterone, DHT, estrogen, cortisol… Injecting hCG prevents a drug induced pregnenolone deficiency and helps support the other hormones. When guys are on T without hCG and then start hCG, they report a significant improvement in mood that many attribute to restored pregnenolone levels. [If that is not the case, hCG must have some direct effects in the brain.]
When injecting hCG, you inject into the fat under the skin just the same as diabetics inject insulin. The product literature is all about use a fertility drug for women with large IM [injected into muscle] doses. There is no need for men to inject hCG IM.
Research using SC injections in men has demonstrated the effectiveness of the 250iu EOD dosing. You can seek diabetic patient educational material for insulin injection techniques to use for hCG and/or testosterone injections.
After the first 6-8 weeks of TRT use, get new bloodwork to assess its effectiveness and to determine whether or not any adjustments (changes in dosing, adding Arimidex/anastrozole, etc.) are necessary. Changes to your treatment should be influenced by the specific results seen - in bloodwork and in symptoms.
The 100mg dose of injected T should get guys into the 800-900 total testosterone [TT] range. That is nice to see, but one should be looking at free testosterone [FT] or bio-available testosterone [bio-T]. Some docs, who know what they are doing, will not bother checking TT numbers at all. SHBG levels increase with age and FT ratios drop.
A TT=1000 in a young man is not the same as TT=1000 in an older man with higher SHBG levels as the FT numbers will be well below that of the young man with the same TT. This may very well create TT levels that are above the youthful lab ranges and should not be a concern. Lab ranges shown on lab reports will be age adjusted. You need to be using the ranges for youthful men.
You need to know about PSA, prostate issues and DREs [digital rectal exam]. E2 is a large cause or aggravator of BPH [enlarged prostate]. Many find that lowering E2 to near E2=22pg/ml improves their BPH and urine flow is improved.
You need to monitor hematocrit levels as part of your routine lab work.
Lastly, be sure to complement your TRT with a well-designed training and nutrition plan. Without maximizing the benefits of diet and exercise, getting hormonally healthy is only a partial solution. Many simple and effective programs can be found on the site and you can get more specific training/diet advice throughout the T Nation forum.