My Journey with Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) – Part 1
This will be the first of a continuing series of posts I will be making chronicling my journey with testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT. I will regularly be giving updates on this blog as to what my experiences are, so that any of you guys planning on doing this someday can learn from my experiences, success, and mistakes. I will be writing these posts from the standpoint of a complete beginner.
One thing before I start. One of the reasons I avoid talking about certain guy-topics like fitness and martial arts is because these topics are argued at an idiotic level online. On forums and blogs all over the internet it’s always the same. Whenever anyone says anything about guy-fitness, regardless of what he’s saying, there will always be a bunch of fitness nerds screaming their heads off about how wrong that guy is. Then other fitness nerds will hop in and scream at the first set of fitness nerds, and we end up with some of the longest, dumbest, and most useless arguments I’ve ever seen.
It’s stupid and a waste of time. I want no part of it. Therefore, while you are more than welcome to say whatever you want in the comments, I will personally be ignoring any comments that say what I’m doing is completely wrong. I have spent months researching TRT from many different sources and am proceeding under the close guidance of a doctor who specializes in this area. Over time, I’m sure I’ll make some minor mistakes and I will be modifying my approach to fine-tune things. Beyond that, any OMG-you-shouldn’t-be-doing-that-you-should-be-doing-this-like-me-because-I’m-right-and-everyone-else-is-wrong comments, which I’m sure I’m going to get because that’s the nature of guys on the internet, will be ignored (at least by me).
Okay, here we go!
Step One – Research
The first thing I did was do a lot of reading and research on the topic of TRT. This included web sites and a few conversations with several doctors and fitness experts. Danger and Play’s site was one of the sources I used, and I can’t recommend these guys enough; lots of good info there.
Unfortunately, most information on TRT available online is given from the standpoint that you want to be a young, ripped, jacked-to-the-max, super-monster. That’s is not my goal, so I had to do some extra research to get perspective from a guy with a “normal” body without any need to look like Jay Cutler.
My goals with TRT are, in order of importance to me:
1. Improved energy levels and motivation. I don’t have a problem with either of these areas, since I’m a pretty happy, motivated, high-energy guy. However I can tell a little difference in this area at my age (42) than when I was 22. I run three businesses, date 3-4 women at a time, travel often, and am very busy. Any improvement in energy levels is always welcome. An Alpha Male can’t have too much energy in my opinion.
2. Fat loss. TRT will not “make” you lose fat, but if you are dieting, resistance training, and exercising regularly, which I am, it will help you shed the pounds faster. As always, fat loss is a continuing source of frustration for me, thanks to my endomorphic body, low metabolism, and love of food. I’ve lost a lot of weight but have plenty more to go.
3. Male birth control. TRT takes your sperm count to essentially zero. FUCK YES! My dream come true! In a few weeks I’ll be able to cum inside women to my heart’s content without worrying about child support! YAY!!! (More on this in a few minutes.) This one benefit alone, in my opinion, is worth the entire time and cost of going on TRT.
4. Maintain a more youthful overall appearance. For us “older” guys (“older” in this context as in over age 35) TRT can help maintain a younger, more healthy look (provided you life a healthy lifestyle).
5. Improved sexual function. Like with energy levels, I have no problems here but any improvement is always welcome. My cock works fine, I’ve never needed Viagra, and I have no major complaints, but that being said, I can definitely tell a difference between how it works now and how it used to work back when I was in my early 20s. Obviously, a little extra lead in the pencil would certainly be a benefit to my lifestyle.
6. Muscle gain. Not a big need for me since I’ve always been highly endomorphic, so gaining muscle has never been a challenge, even now at my age. When I was younger I had huge muscles while barely spending any time in the gym. Even now, in the last few months, I have gained enough muscle mass that I now have new stretch marks on my shoulders and biceps, and I did this at a caloric deficit. So like I said, not a problem, but once again, any improvement in this area will be nice. Plus, the more fat I lose the more I will want bigger muscles anyway, because you’ll actually be able to see them.
7. Various other benefits, such as strengthened bones, improved sleep, improved insulin sensitivity, improved focus, improved cardiovascular function, and a few other things I’m not particularly worried about but are nice things to have.
Step Two – Initial Steps
Using the web sites Private MD Labs and Life Extension, I had several blood tests done (cost: ~$160). I get blood tests all the time (including a full STD panel three times a year, religiously) so this was nothing new to me. The most important one was the testosterone test and all related numbers, such as vitamin D, FSH, LH, and estradiol. (Don’t worry about it if you don’t know what those mean, or Google them if you’re curious. The point is they’re all related to testosterone.) I kept the results to show the doctor, who I knew would be wanting them before we began TRT.
Once I had enough information gathered and I had the monthly budget in place to do this (I’ll cover costs in a minute), I called eight or nine different TRT clinics/doctors in my local area. You actually don’t need to use a doctor to do this; you can buy testosterone at your local Costco for very cheap without a prescription or a Costco membership. However, I wanted to start my TRT adventure with the assistance of a doctor. Over time, perhaps a year, once I get the hang of all this, I may drop the doctor to save money and continue on my own.
Some of the clinics were expensive, some were cheap. Some answered my questions, some refused to answer my questions and wanted to “sell” me. I dumped those ones fast. Finally I chose a clinic where I could talk directly to the doctor whenever I wanted, even before paying anything. He happily and thoroughly answered all of my questions (of which I had many) and seemed very knowledgeable. I chose him and made an appointment for my initial consultation (cost: $200) a week later.
As soon as I hung up the phone, I went to Amazon and ordered this microscope (cost: $66). Why? For the male birth control aspect. I have to look at my semen under a microscope to make sure I can see my swimmers. Then, 5-6 weeks after TRT has begun, look again the same exact way to make sure I don’t see any. If I don’t see any (or very few, since you need millions to impregnate a woman), I’m good to go and don’t have to worry about some future woman screaming at me for child support. FUCK YES. I am sooooo excited about this! A rock-hard, teenage-like cock and the inability to get any women pregnant…holy shit…in about two months I WILL BE A SEX GOD.
The linked microscope above is the least expensive one I found that came with slides and has the correct magnification (400x) to view your sperm. Since I’m an Amazon Prime member, it came two days later, free shipping.
I had one of my MLTRs “assist” me in extracting some semen for my scientific research. (“That’s right baby. That’s it. Good girl. Do it for science.”) Soon I had a nice drop of my milky white goodness on a slide and was looking at my millions of tiny swimming children under my microscope. This was really fun and brought out my inner nerd. Watching my bad boys truck around was really cool. Millions of energetic little tadpoles, all with my face on them, swimming around, diligently looking for one of Sofia Vergara’s eggs. Awesome. I actually felt a little sad when I washed them down the drain a little while later. Sorry, dudes!
The point of this exercise is to get to know the microscope and how the sperm look for when I do this again in a few weeks to confirm they are indeed gone. I needed a basis for comparison. I will probably do this one more time the very first day I start the actual TRT injections.
I also went to my local pharmacy and purchased some alcohol wipes (needed for swabbing for the syringes) and disposal unit for the used needles (cost: $10 for everything).
I notified all the regular people in my life, including my family and my women, that I’ll be starting TRT. This caused universal panic. “Oh my god, YOU are going to get MORE testosterone???” Apparently everyone thinks I have enough testosterone already. I wonder why they’d think that? (Evil chuckle.)
Step Three – My First Appointment
Bringing my blood test results and all my written questions with me, I met with the doctor and we got along great. I mentioned my book and why I was doing all of this, plus talked a little Blackdragon stuff, and he was very interested despite being married. He’s on TRT himself, and was trim, fit, and happy; always a good sign in a doctor. One of the medical interview questions was regarding my sex life, and as always, I saw raised eyebrows when I rattled off all the numbers regarding my recent sexual history. Years ago this used to embarrass me when I talked to doctors, but these days I’m accustomed to it.
He gave me a quick examination, we went through my medical history (which was minimal, since I’m very healthy), and went over my blood work. My total testosterone is 584, which according to him is high (as in good) for an overweight 42 year-old man. Hell yeah baby. Chalk that up to regular exercise and weight-lifting, a decent diet, a naturally happy, low-stress personality, 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily, plenty of other daily vitamins (including chelated zinc), and lots of sex with hot chicks.
However, my LH was low (2.5) and my FSH was also low (3.6). Chalk that up to my “old age” of 42. We all still have bodies and brains of cavemen from 50,000 years ago, and by now I’d either be dead or a very old grandpa. So my stupid, outdated biology is signaling my body to create less testosterone than before. No problem; we’ll fix that. The good news is that my estradiol (estrogen) level was great at 24.3, which is nice and low but not too low.
So after a long conversation, here’s what we came up with…
There are a few ways to do TRT. Injections with a needle, creams, and a pellet that they implant into your body that time-releases the testosterone. From a time management standpoint, the pellet is by far the best. However, you really can’t adjust dosage on the fly with a pellet, so I chose injections. I may switch to a pellet down the road once I get the hang of all this.
There are three kinds of testosterone you can take for TRT: propionate, cypionate, and enanthate. There are pros and cons to all of them, and we could get into a long, complicated, and largely irrelevant discussion about the differences. But for a normal guy who doesn’t need to look like Hugh Jackman and doesn’t want to inject needles every day, cypionate is fine, so that’s what I’m going to be taking.
I will be injecting 100mg twice a week in my quad (thigh) muscle. I made sure to get the highest gauge needles I could, 29 gauge, which means the needles are very thin, resulting in the least amount of discomfort.
He ordered the testosterone and syringes which will be shipped to my home, and explained how to do the injections. I have also seen plenty of YouTube videos about this, so I think I’m good to go on that.
He also recommended that I get one small bottle of Anastrozole to have just in case I need it. I will only need this if my estrogen levels spike once I start the TRT. If they do, I can immediately take some of this and it will bring my estrogen levels back to where they need to be. Hopefully I won’t need it.
Knowing my biggest complaint is my body weight, he also recommended MIC/B12/B6 shots that I could take every 3-5 days, which assists in fat loss. It’s essentially a super-blast of vitamin B. I take vitamin B pills already, but your body only absorbs about 30% of that. These shots have a near 100% absorption rate. It was inexpensive enough that I agreed to it, and there are no side effects. I can always stop taking it if I find it’s useless.
Lastly, we also added HCG to my regimen. This will prevent my current testosterone from reducing, which is interesting. I thought TRT would reduce my natural, bodily testosterone to near-zero while I relied on the injections. Instead, with HCG, it will maintain my current testosterone. The testosterone I inject will “stack” with it. Very cool. His opinion, though he admitted there were no scientific studies to back this up, was that your body’s natural testosterone is better than any externally introduced testosterone. I tend to agree with that logic. (Note: This is HCG, not HGH, which is human growth hormone, which is a completely different thing I will not be doing.)
My goal was to take my testosterone of 584 and get it to 1200 or so. The doctor said I may not need to go that high; I might feel fantastic at 900, 1000, or 1100, and anything beyond that won’t make a difference. Again, I don’t need to bench press 500 pounds or look like Dwayne Johnson, so this sounded like prudent advice. We’ll watch my levels and play it by ear; yet another good reason I chose injections rather than the pellet.
So how much will all this crap cost me? I’ve listed the costs of every step above as I did it, but most of those are one-time things. At the moment, my average monthly cost for all the above will be about $185. This does not include blood tests I’ll need every few months, only for the first few months, which will run me an additional $60-$100.
I say “at the moment,” because over time this monthly amount will decrease. In about a year’s time I won’t need the doctor’s guidance and will (likely) be getting the testosterone and syringes myself. This will bring the costs down to around $80-$100 a month or so. Then I’ll keep on doing this the rest of my life. My Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle demands that I remain in top, youthful condition…for the rest of my life.
As I write this blog post I’m just back home from my appointment, and I expect all the stuff to arrive in the mail within a day or two. I will start injections immediately, and after a week or two I’ll give you guys an update.
I am really excited about this and have been wanting to do this for a long time. Many men say they’ve felt the best they’ve ever felt once they start TRT. Can’t wait to join the ranks.