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Last Friday, I finally got to do my first testosterone self-injection. Most guys I know are taught from day 1 to do their own shots, but my doctors were surprised by this and so I’ve been going into their office every two weeks for my shot since my first one in April.

Two appointments ago my doctor gave me Part 1 in Self-Injection Technique: Drawing Up. He was a little rushed so he gave me my shot and said we’d do Part 2: Injection at my next appointment. And so for shot #12 last Friday, I did the whole enchilada myself:

Drawing Up

  1. Lay out supplies: 3 ml syringe, needles, vial of T, alcohol swaps
  2. Clean the rubber stopper of T vial with alcohol
  3. Attach 18 gauge needle to syringe
  4. Draw plunger back to 1ml (cc) mark (syringe now contains 1ml of air)
  5. Pierce the center of the stopper of the vial with the needle of the syringe
  6. Turn the vial upside down and inject the 1 ml of air from the syringe into the vial
  7. Keeping the tip of the needle in the oil, withdraw fluid from vial into the syringe
  8. Remove and discard 18 gauge needle

Injecting

  1. Attach 22 gauge needle
  2. Cleanse the injection site (thigh muscle) using an alcohol prep-pad
  3. Insert the needle into the injection site
  4. Aspirate slightly by attempting to withdraw the plunger of the syringe. If no blood is seen, proceed. If blood is seen, a second site must be used—withdraw!
  5. Depress the plunger slowly to administer the injection
  6. Withdraw the needle and apply pressure to the injection site
  7. Properly dispose of the syringe and needle assembly

It was easy, and the actual moment of injection is fast and doesn’t hurt at all.

We considered the bubble or air-lock method of injecting but it seems unnecessarily complex.

Something else I might try is a smaller gauge needle for injecting, perhaps a 25 or 27. The thing with testosterone is that it’s suspended in oil and very thick so it can take a while to inject with a smaller gauge needle. However I was reading on some body building forums that some guys draw up, then leave the syringe sitting on a heating pad for 20 minutes or so, then inject with a small gauge needle. This sounds like something I might eventually try out of interest, particularly when I go up to a higher maintenance dose.

Speaking of higher doses, I’ve now completed the six shots of 100 mg and will be going up to 150 mg for my 13th shot on September 19. I will be going into the doctor’s office for that shot but doing it myself, then will be doing all my shots at home after that.

Also, I may try the Z-track method next time since I had a small bubble of T seep out of the injection site after withdrawing the needle. With Z-track injection you displace the skin and subcutaneous tissue 1–1.5 inches laterally prior to injection and release immediately after the injection, sealing the medication within the muscle and allowing no exit path back into the subcutaneous tissue and skin.

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