Testosterone injections are hormone treatments. Their primary use is as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in males and postmenopausal symptoms in females with a testosterone deficiency. Transgender men and nonbinary people may also use testosterone injections as part of masculinizing therapy.
When a person receives a testosterone injection, the hormone directly enters the body through the muscle. People can choose between two methods:
- self-administering the injections at home, using a home injection kit to inject the hormone into the thigh
- having a doctor administer them into the buttocks muscle during a visit to the doctor’s office
When having testosterone injections, people will usually visit their doctor every few months for monitoring. Treatments could last for a lifetime or be short-term, depending on the individual’s circumstances.
Testosterone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to testosterone: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of a blood clot in the lung after using testosterone. These symptoms include chest pain, dizziness, trouble breathing, urge to cough, throat tightening and fainting.
Misuse of testosterone can cause dangerous or irreversible effects, such as enlarged breasts, small testicles, infertility, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, liver disease, bone growth problems, addiction, and mental effects such as aggression and violence.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder;
- swelling in your ankles or feet, rapid weight gain;
- chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
- nausea or vomiting;
- changes in skin color;
- increased or ongoing erection of the penis;
- impotence, ejaculation problems, decreased amounts of semen, decrease in testicle size;
- painful or difficult urination;
- shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
- stomach pain, constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle pain or weakness, joint pain, confusion, and feeling tired or restless; or
- upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Women receiving testosterone may develop male characteristics, which could be irreversible if treatment is continued. Call your doctor at once if you notice any of these signs of excess testosterone:
- changes in menstrual periods;
- male-pattern hair growth (such as on the chin or chest);
- hoarse or deepened voice; or
- enlarged clitoris.
Common testosterone side effects (in men or women) may include:
- breast swelling;
- headache, anxiety;
- increased facial or body hair growth, male-pattern baldness;
- increased or decreased interest in sex;
- numbness or tingly feeling; or
- pain or swelling where the medicine was injected.