If you have decided to begin testosterone replacement therapy, then the next choice you will need to make is what type of delivery system you want to use for your testosterone. Some men prefer to use injections. Others like creams. Another popular option that deserves your consideration is the transdermal testosterone patch. These patches adhere to your skin and slowly release testosterone that is absorbed through your skin. Here are a few pros and cons of this option.
Pro: The testosterone is not easily transferred to others.
One big worry with testosterone cream is that if someone else touches the area where you've applied it — or if you touch someone with your hands after rubbing the cream on — the cream can be transferred to that person and affect their testosterone levels. This is not an issue with testosterone patches. Only the side of the patch that is stuck to your skin will release testosterone. If someone else touches the patch while it's on your skin, they won't be exposed.
Pro: The patch is easy to apply.
Creams are a bit intricate to apply. Between cleaning your skin beforehand, spending time rubbing the cream on, and then cleaning up, the process can take 5 minutes or more. Injecting yourself is just as time-consuming. Applying a testosterone patch, though, only takes a few seconds. You just peel the backing off the patch and stick it on. You only need a new patch once a day.
Con: The patch can fall off with excessive sweating.
These patches are made to be pretty sticky and to adhere quite well, but if you are someone who sweats excessively, you might have trouble keeping the patches on. Testosterone injection and implants, therefore, tend to be better choices for athletes and really active people who sweat a lot.
Con: The patch may be visible sometimes.
Most men put the patch on their back, stomach, or thigh. It should not usually be visible in these areas, but it may be visible when you swim or engage in intimate activities. If people asking about the patch would make you uncomfortable, then you might be better off with a different testosterone replacement method.
Remember, there are many forms of testosterone replacement therapy available. The patch may work very well for you, but if it does not, you should not be embarrassed to approach your doctor and ask for a different option.