Most of us who start out on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) will start out at a men’s clinic. Men’s clinics are great and quite prolific because of their simplicity and no-nonsense approach to TRT. Inevitably, men’s clinic patients will find the right level of treatment and get their hormones back in check. That is the goal, right?
Once hormones are in check, the higher costs, excessive travel, and time spent associated with going to a clinic starts to not make sense. Eventually, you will start to look to move your treatment to a Primary Care Physician for a couple of the reasons I discussed here in my previous post.
What You Will Need Before Moving To a Primary Care Physician
You will need to get your records. So when you’re ready, walk right into your men’s clinic and ask for a printout of all your labs, shots, and notes, and then expect a long awkward silence.
What you have just done is announce that you intend to move to a primary care physician or another clinic and you’ll stop lining their pockets in the process. Your request will be greeted likely in one of two ways.
Either they will hand you a printout at the front, or the office doctor will come to talk to you, one on one, to determine your intentions. The doctor will probably state that you would be best served to continue to come into their office. They are familiar with you, offer more oversight of your treatment, and are more specialized for TRT than any PCP. You could take the bait and keep coming in, but that really isn’t going to work long-term, and so you’ll probably go for the papers as the staff watches you intently.
Once your papers are in hand go ahead and check them. You may have just gotten the print out from the current visit, (HAHA) you did ask for records and they gave you records. You probably will need to get more specific that you would like printouts of each prescribed injection and lab results. I had to do this on the second visit of awkwardness.
These are your records. Do not be afraid to request them. They are legally yours. If you would like to avoid this awkward situation, start asking for a copy of your records on your first visit. This way, when it’s time to move to a primary care physician, no flags are raised and the men’s clinic staff are as pleasant on your last visit as every other visit.
Now that you have your records, it’s time to find a doctor.
All Doctors Are Not Created Equal
Finding a doctor that specializes in testosterone, or will administer TRT or even knows about testosterone can be a pain in the butt. Of the three doctors that I have encountered thus far, two seemed knowledgeable and comfortable with TRT, but unfortunately, one of those was the men’s clinic.
Doctor #1, Family Medicine…
The first time I brought up the conversation about TRT was with my original primary care doctor, who focused on family medicine. This had been my primary care physician for two years. When I asked her, I was nervous that I would come across as a juicer (a.k.a. steroid user), seeking some gear (a.k.a. steroids), to get big fast, that is not what I wanted. Don’t be ashamed of wanting to make your treatment manageable.
I was told that to take over the treatment at her office she would need to hand me off to another doctor. This other doctor in her office “had a little experience with it.” I wasn’t feeling very positive about this potential doctor’s little experience with TRT. Before she would hand me off though, she indicated that she wanted to explore my diet and sleep as possible solutions to my low testosterone.
Sleep and diet definitely can impact your testosterone levels, so I understood her sentiment. However, after explaining to her that I already optimize my health by carefully balancing my diet, doing daily physical training, and making sure to get plenty of sleep, she seemed unmoved in her stance. I had been on TRT for a couple months at this point, and stopping to revisit diet was not something I would do. Especially not when everything about the treatment was positive for me. So I searched for another physician.
Doctor #2, Family Medicine again…
I found another who while being focused on family medicine, also specialized in hormones, at least according to her short online bio. I managed an appointment the next week. Once in a consultation room, I immediately noticed the large poster advertising the benefits of bio-identical pellets for hormone replacement therapy. This made me feel good, that I may have found the right doctor.
I met a physician-in-training and the primary doctor, who promptly shot down my request to continue TRT at her office. This physician informed me she was not familiar enough with Testosterone Cypionate to prescribe it and had “never heard of HCG, and so I will not prescribe this at all.”
I was a little stunned that the doctor after seeing my records and talking with me about the great success the treatment has had on me, would simply dismiss half of it due to her own ignorance of the medicine. The only prescription she was willing to handle was bio-identical pellets for TRT. She stated if I wanted to continue TRT at her office we could begin the pellet treatment the same day. She was speaking about the same pellets advertised on the wall beside me.
I understand she makes more money pushing pellet therapy. I told her that pellets, which require a week of no exertion after insertion, wouldn’t work for me due to my athletic training schedule. My current treatment worked so why should I experiment with another? I asked that she research HCG for herself. My plea fell on deaf ears and was only met with ‘well if you change your mind let us know’.
I left that office angry and feeling defeated at this point. Why would any doctor want to stop a treatment that worked, to try out something new? Unfortunately, the income benefits for the doctor from the company offering the pellet therapy was all she needed to deny my request. There is no special kickback in it for the doctor to provide home injections, but she is getting something for pushing bio-identical pellets. Personally, I feel this is unethical, but seeing as how so many doctors do this with various medications, I doubt it will change anytime soon.
Doctor #3, Sports Medicine…
I went back and searched again and found an opening with a physician specializing in sports medicine, a holistic approach for athletes! The office had everything an athlete might need: chiropractic, therapeutic, rehabilitation and all sports and athletics focused medicine.
I met with the doctor, provided my paperwork, and was given prescriptions to fill. I had only three steps to complete to begin home injections:
- Get all of my supplies and prescriptions.
- Get trained on injections.
Next, I will tell you how to get all of your supplies to begin administering your TRT at home. Testosterone Cypionate can range dramatically from $30 to $200, but HCG can get all the way up to $3000 if you don’t know where to shop. I’ll tell you how to get all of your supplies, syringes, bacteriostatic water, sterile vials, Test, and HCG for under $150.