For an introduction to Testosterone Hormone Replacement Theraphy (T HRT), see the first part of the series.
Why Take Low Dose?
Hormones are gradual. This can be very frustrating for people who can’t wait for the changes. But some of us approach the idea of hormones with a bit more trepidation, and would rather take things slow.
Some people simply want to take extra precautions with their body. Others may be struggling to figure out what their identity means to them while undertaking a physical transition, thus trying to reconcile the two. Moreover, it’s common to hear of people who want certain effects of hormones but not others, and want to find the right balance. Whether it’s because we’re not sure hormones are right for us, or because we’re not sure what we want out of hormones, or we just want to be extra careful, taking a low dose is a way of testing the waters, toe by toe.
The primary effects of Testosterone have been detailed in countless blogs and articles, including mine. Browsing Tumblr or YouTube you will come across personal stories as people chronicle their journey on their first weeks, months, and years on T. Here’s a brief recap, just in case.
Androgel is a medical product. So, of course, it is generally obtained through medical veins. Let’s just say it: trans men do not have the easiest time getting what they need from the medical system. If Androgel is on your path, you might face a bevy of issues before you even get it — mostly around obtaining & affording it. Like with applying Androgel, there are many nuances to consider.
Obtaining Androgel (legally) requires a prescription from a medical professional. As simple as that statement is, even obtaining that prescription and walking out the pharmacy door with Androgel in your hands is not a clear-cut process. How that looks depends on a lot of important questions.
Do you have a doctor? Do you have insurance? Can you afford Androgel out-of-pocket, if necessary? What if your insurance covers injectable testosterone and not Androgel? How does your doctor file your request with the insurance company? How does the insurance company list your gender? How does your state handle refills? Are there any alternative products that are more affordable?
The answer to these questions can help determine your path to acquiring Androgel.
Interested in Androgel but can’t afford it? Here’s a resource to consider. The Women’s International Pharmacy (WIP) is an online pharmacy that describes itself as providing “Custom Compounded Bioidentical Hormone Compounds for Men and Women”. This pharmacy was recommended to me by a doctor while I was seeking Androgel. I was informed that WIP carries its own testosterone cream compound that is similar to Androgel — but can be more affordable out-of-pocket.