How to give a Testosterone Intramuscular (IM) Injection

Step 1: Setting up for the injection

Find a comfortable, well-lit working place and inject at the same time each day.  

  • Clean your work area. 
  • Remove medication from the refrigerator and let it reach room temperature.  

Wash your hands. Hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to prevent infection.   

Assemble your supplies, which include:  

  • Medication in a vial 
  • Disposable syringe and needles, one 18 G needle to draw up medication then switch to IM injection needle
  • Alcohol swabs, bandaid if needed  
  • Sharps Disposal Container

Step 2. Selecting and preparing the injection site.

Choose either anterior thigh muscle OR gluteus maximus muscle in the buttocks. The thigh muscle is more easily accessible if injecting yourself.

Step 3: Preparing the injection dose

  • Take the cap off the vial. Clean the rubber stopper with one alcohol swab. Allow to dry.
  • Pull the needle cover straight off the syringe. Do not let the needle touch any surfaces.  
  • Keep the vial on your flat working surface and insert the needle straight down through the center of the rubber stopper. Do not put the needle through the rubber stopper more than once. 
  • Push the plunger of the syringe down.   
  • Keeping the needle in the vial, turn the vial upside down. Position the needle so the liquid is covering the tip of the needle.      
  • Keeping the vial upside down, slowly pull back on the plunger to fill the syringe with the medication to the number (mL or cc) that matches the dose your doctor ordered. The solution in the vial is thick and viscous, and may take longer to full syringe to fill to your dose.
  • Keeping the needle in the vial, check for air bubbles in the syringe. If there are air bubbles, gently tap the syringe with your fingers until the air bubbles rise to the top of the syringe. Then slowly push the plunger up to force the air bubbles out of the syringe without removing the needle from the bottle.     
  • After air bubbles are gone, pull the plunger back to the number (mL or cc) marking on the syringe that matches your dose.  Remove the needle and replace it with the IM needle.  
  • Check to make sure that you have the correct dose in the syringe. It is very important that you use the exact dose prescribed by your doctor.  
  • Do not lay the syringe down or let the needle touch anything.

Step 4: Give the injection

  • Clean the injection site skin with an alcohol swab; let it air dry.   
  • Hold the skin around the injection site in the manner described above.
  • Insert the IM needle into the muscle at a 90-degree angle with one quick and firm motion. You may feel some burning or pressure as the medicine enters your muscle.
  • When you finish injecting the full dose of the medication into the muscle, do NOT recap the needle. Place the syringe into a sharps disposal container.
  • Gently press an alcohol swab on the injection site. Hold pressure on site until there is no bleeding.  You can place a band aid on the injection site if needed.    

BONUS: Tips for reducing injection pain

  • Inject medicine that is at room temperature. 
  • Remove all air bubbles from the syringe before injection. 
  • Let the skin dry after using alcohol wipes before injecting. 
  • Keep the muscles in the injection area relaxed. 
  • Break through the skin quickly with the needle.  
  • Don’t change the direction of the needle as it goes in or comes out. 
  • Do not reuse disposable needles. 
Learn more about the Wellness Loft’s Men’s Health programs

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Dr. Kimbi, DNP

Dr. Kimbi, DNP is CEO of The Wellness Loft and an experienced healthcare professional. TWL is a health and wellness practice located in Charleston, SC providing virtual & in-office services.

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