Intramuscular versus Subcutaneous Injections of Testosterone in Transgender Men

Faculty Advisor

Julia Hum Ph.D

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Medicine and Health Sciences


Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a common treatment for gender dysphoria, a condition where a person’s gender assigned at birth does not match their gender identify. For transgender men seeking to achieve virilization, HRT is included in the standard of care as set forward by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). There are several routes of HRT administration including injection, pellet, gel, and patch. Many transgender men opt for the injectable testosterone for a variety of reasons including cost, insurance coverage, and impact on lifestyle. While the WPATH standards of care do include injectable testosterone as one of the HRT options, only intramuscular injections are mentioned in the most recent edition of standards published in 2012. Research has been put forth within the last several years exploring the effectiveness of not only intramuscular injections, but also subcutaneous injections. Though intramuscular injections continue to be the standard route by which testosterone is administered, there is substantial research that subcutaneous injections are equally, if not more, effective with a much higher patient preference. This primary literature review focuses primarily on the injectable methods of HRT and directly com-paring the effectiveness of intramuscular and subcutaneous testosterone for transgender men.


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