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Protecting Your Family While On Testosterone Therapy

Most guys on testosterone therapy, a.k.a. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), will start on one of the blockbuster gels, Androgel or Testim. These gels are generally applied to the upper body and often are poorly absorbed.  And what absorption they do have must be sustained for many hours.  For example, one study showed that men who removed the gel by showering 15-30 minutes after application reduced their testosterone levels by 60%. [1] This is a huge decrease and so most men leave the gel on for 4 hours or even more.

And this is where the risk to one’s family comes into play. Some men, either through forgetfulness or ignorance, leave these gels on their upper body and sometimes expose family members. [2]  This is very dangerous for young boys, who have been reported to go through early puberty, and wives/girlfriends, who can potentially experience increased facial hair and other androgen-related side effects. (You can read the warnings right on the front page of Androgel’s web site.[2])

NOTE:  Men are supposed to wash off or shower any treated areas before coming into contact with any family members.  Could there be a risk from poor washing or residue gel? I have heard studies are being undertaken to address these issues.

So how can a man protect his family?  Is there any way for him to receive testosterone without risk to those around him?  Below are a few ideas:

1.  Axiron.  I covered this in my link on A Review of Axiron, but there is a new topical testosterone delivery system that actually recommends application to the arm pit. Of course, this location should put any and all family members out of harm’s way!

2.  Foresta. This product can be a partial help as it is often applied to the thighs, leaving out inaccessible to many members of the family. [3]

3.  Pellets (Testopel). Imagine your physician inserting time-release capsules under your skin that last for four to six months:  this describes the new pellet technology. Obviously, this delivery method keeps the testosterone from your family completely. NOTE:  There are other considerations with this procedure, which requires a minor medical procedure to place these pellets under the skin in the hip area.

4.  Injections.  This method is old school and has been around for decades.  However, it is very safe for the rest of the family.  Some doctors are now sexing it up a little by allowing patients to self-inject more often. The standard procedure, though, is still for the patient to receive injections every two to three weeks, which leaves him very high in testosterone immediately after injection and very low prior.

If you and your doctor have decided to put you on HRT, and you are concerned about the safety of your family, you may want to discuss some of the above options.


1) Pharmacotherapy, (31):248-252, “Reduction in 24-Hour Plasma Testosterone Levels in Subjects Who Showered 15 or 30 Minutes After Application of Testosterone Gel”


3) Diabetes Care, Apr 2011, 34(4):828-837, “Testosterone Replacement in Hypogonadal Men With Type 2 Diabetes and/or Metabolic Syndrome (the TIMES2 Study)”

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