A visual guide to intramuscular testosterone injections, and a 101 infosheet on subcutaneous testosterone injections, which is now available in NZ. Click the download button for high definition screen reader friendly PDFs.
Get safe injecting equipment
You can get needles, sharps bins, and alcohol swabs from the Needle Exchange Programme. If you return your used needles they will swap them for new ones free.
Intramuscular Testosterone Injections – tips for improving your comfort
Get the spot right.
IM injections should be done in the thigh or hip/butt muscle. For the thigh, sit down and find the approximate mid point between the hip joint and the knee joint. Inject in the outer side of the thigh, not the direct front. For the butt, imagine dividing the buttock roughly into 4 as shown. Inject in the upper outer quadrant.
Use the right gear.
A 1ml or 3ml barrel is fine. Use a new sterile needle to draw up, then switch to another fresh needle to inject. Your injecting needle should be long enough to reach through the subcutaneous fat layer into the muscle (usually 1.25 or 1.5 inch), and a guage between 22g – 25g. Never re-use a needle.
Warm your muscle, and your vial.
Take a hot shower or bath before taking your shot, to warm your muscles. Put the unopened vial in warm water or under your armpit for a minute to warm up the oil, or rub the unopened vial between your hands.
Evaporate excess alcohol.
Use a medical alcohol swab to clean the injection site, then wait until all the alcohol has evaporated before injecting.
Relax, don’t flex.
Sit in a comfortable position and relax the muscle while injecting your testosterone. Once the needle is fully in, depress the plunger very slowly as the oil solution is thick and needs time to disperse. After withdrawing the needle, apply gentle pressure to the site for a minute or two, and massage if desired.
Subcutaneous Testosterone Injections
Easier to self-inject.
Sub-Q injections are more easily self-administered than IM injections. This means less trips to a clinic, potentially saving time and money for those who have to travel or pay for healthcare visits.
Sub-Q uses shorter needles, as the subcutaneous fat layer is closer to the skin. Many people find this psychologically easier, and some report that it is much less painful.
No muscular scar tissue.
Unlike IM injections which build up muscular scar tissue over time, sub-Q injections do not cause internal scarring.
Sub-Q injections carry no risk of sciatic nerve injury, as the common injection site is in the belly fat.