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Are Testosterone Shots Safe?

Written by Author - Authors Medical experts of the National HRT Clinic - November 17, 2015

Medical treatments that are prescribed by a doctor to help with a particular problem have their benefits, as well as possible risk factors, as holds true for testosterone hormone replacement therapy. This brings into question the subject of the safety of testosterone shots for men at various stages in their lives. The key here is to gather the necessary information to make a decision that is best for your personal needs so that treatment is entered into in the safest way possible.

While many men have testosterone levels that would constitute Low T, if they do not have any symptoms associated with this condition there is no need for treatment with testosterone injections at this time. The risk of potential adverse effects increases when people attempt to self-diagnose and treat Low T. A doctor trained in hormone replacement is best prepared to authorize the use of this medication in a safe manner.

Are testosterone shots safe for men at any age? Here again, we have the situation of determining need. Only blood testing can determine if a male has lower than normal levels of testosterone in his bloodstream that would require supplementation. There must also be symptoms associated with Low T present for testosterone cypionate injections to be ordered. If the doctor has determined that treatment is necessary for the good of the individual, a safe dosage of medication will be prescribed and the man will remain under the doctor’s care until treatment has ended.

Supervision via open communication is required to minimize the risk of testosterone shots side effects. All medical treatments carry risks of adverse or unwanted side effects. Some are mild and some more concerning. The same holds true for Low T therapy.

If the dosage of medication is too high, or if the individual’s body has a difficult time adjusting to the treatment, the following possible mild testosterone injection side effects could occur:

  • Acne or oily skin
  • Hair loss
  • Edema
  • Skin changes
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Changes in sexual interest – for better or worse

More serious side effects of testosterone shots include:

  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Trouble urinating
  • Anxiety, mood swings, or depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Heart concerns
  • Frequent or prolonged erections
  • High red blood cell count
  • Increased risk of blood clotting

Testosterone replacement treatment is not prescribed when individuals are receiving medical care for cancer unless authorized by the oncologist.

Who Needs Testosterone Shots?

Now it is time to learn who can benefit from testosterone shots for Low T. There is no one answer because each person – male or female – will present a unique set of symptoms of low testosterone. This is also subject to change with time, as the longer a person goes without seeking help, the more severe and widespread the symptoms become.

As we look at who requires testosterone shots for men, keep in mind that each case is examined on an individual basis. Here are some basic guidelines as to the need for this treatment:

  • A man in his thirties is starting to experience some of the early symptoms of Low T. He is having difficulty sleeping at night, losing his drive and self-confidence, finding it hard to concentrate and complete tasks at work, and noticing a change in his erection strength and physical desire.
  • A man in his forties who has begun to gain weight (especially in the abdomen), who is noticing that workouts do not produce the same effects, is having hot flashes, is becoming increasingly more forgetful, and losing interest or ability regarding sex.
  • By the time a man enters his fifties or sixties, his testosterone levels have been dropping for over twenty years. Insomnia and disturbed sleep might be a fact of life, along with memory loss, poor mental performance, lack of focus, achy joints, reduced lean body mass, increased fat mass, fewer spontaneous erections, erectile dysfunction, low or nonexistent sex drive, fatigue, and depression.

From this point on, the symptoms will only continue to worsen until action is taken. Of course, these are just examples of how a man’s body may react to a decline in testosterone production as the years pass by. Some men never notice any changes at all, and these are the ones who will not require treatment with testosterone shots.

Doctors rarely prescribe testosterone shots for females due to their physiological needs being much lower than those of their male counterparts. The exception to this being treatment of breast cancer when testosterone cypionate can be helpful. A low dose cream is typically going to be the best option, and women who are dealing with the following situations or conditions are possible candidates for testosterone treatment:

  • Perimenopause
  • Menopause
  • Post-menopause
  • Oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries)
  • Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)

In the case of oophorectomy, a woman can be thrown into menopause immediately, and the symptoms can come on suddenly. Since her ovaries produce the majority of the estrogen and testosterone in her body, she will need some form of replacement therapy following surgery. Today, many doctors are looking at testosterone cream as a viable option since it does not have the same risks as estrogen, and there is a natural process that occurs that converts excess testosterone into usable estrogen in the body.

How Do Testosterone Shots Compare with Other Treatments for Low T?

In addition to testosterone cypionate injections, there are other options for treatment that the doctor may prescribe for men. Testosterone propionate and testosterone enanthate are two other forms of injectables, although most physicians find that men have the best results with testosterone cypionate shots.

Transdermal testosterone is available in the form of a patch, cream, or gel. Here is some detailed information about these options:

  • Testosterone patch – this can be applied to an arm, leg, abdomen, back, buttocks, shoulder, or the scrotum. Scrotal patches require the area to be shaved, and many men find this to be a less desirable form of treatment as there can be irritation and rashes. Non-scrotal patches can also cause a rash, itching, or irritation.
  • Gels and creams – these options are absorbed through the skin, making it virtually impossible to know how well the body is absorbing the medication. There is a higher risk of cross-contamination with others, and extra care must be taken around children and women.
  • Oral tablet – this tablet sticks to the upper gum above the incisors. It is applied twice a day and can cause bad taste, bitterness, gum sensitivity or pain, and toothache. It can accidently be swallowed, and cross-contamination through kissing is a possibility.
  • Implants – tiny pellets can be inserted under the skin. Numerous pellets are inserted at one time, and some men have had difficulties with them coming out, or the need to be taken out in cases of severe side effects. Very few doctors recommend this method of treating Low T.

Testosterone shots are the best option for most men as they are only administered once every week or two, and are exceedingly affordable and provide superior results.

How to Get Testosterone Shots

Are Testosterone Shots SafeThere was a time when men had to visit the doctor every other week in order to get treatment for Low T. That is no longer the case. A person who is looking to learn how to get testosterone shots these days has many other options. Yes, a visit to the doctor is still one of these choices, but for a busy man with work and family responsibilities, administering this treatment at home is often the best decision.

The required blood testing before testosterone injections can be authorized will be provided at a local lab. This requires only a few minutes in the morning to complete and then the individual is off to his job. Women have the same easy ability to schedule an early morning lab appointment, as well, in order to get tested for Low T.

What else is required for how to get testosterone shots from a doctor? A face to face meeting with a doctor for a physical exam is required, and this can be easily accomplished by any provider. Finally, a complete medical history report will be provided, giving the hormone replacement specialist a clear idea of all past and current health-related concerns. The symptoms being seen will be discussed during the consultation.

All of this information will be examined to determine who is a candidate for testosterone treatment. If required, testosterone shots will be prescribed for use.

Where to Get Testosterone Shots

When determining where to get testosterone shots for the best possible results, please note that although any physician is able to prescribe testosterone replacement therapy, it is best to work with a medical specialist in this field. Raising hormone levels is delicate work, and it must be done accurately and safely in order to avoid unwanted side effects.

At National HRT, our doctors provide testosterone injections for men as well as testosterone cream for women. Since there are other hormonal deficiencies and imbalances that could be present, we test for and treat many of those in order to provide accurate and needed care to our clients.

As always, we offer free, confidential consultations with our medical advisors.

Medically reviewed by   Reviewers National HRT Staff - Updated on November 21, 2023

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.


  1. Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Long-Term Safety and Efficacy Giovanni Corona, Alessandra Sforza, and Mario Maggi Published online 2017 Apr 30.
  2. Outcomes of Long-Term Testosterone Replacement in Older Hypogonadal Males: A Retrospective Analysis Ramzi R. Hajjar Fran E. Kaiser John E. Morley The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 82, Issue 11, 1 November 1997, Pages 3793–3796, Published: 01 November 1997 Article history