Is self-medicated TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) “bad”, or is it a practical solution? Should non-prescribed TRT be considered “abuse” of testosterone or is it just as viable as TRT prescribed by a doctor?

These questions were addressed in a 2021 study published on Science Direct and PubMed, titled “Testing the boundaries: Self-medicated testosterone replacement and why it is practiced”.

In the study, they followed 26 men who used enhancement doses of testosterone and described their use as “testosterone replacement therapy”. In particular, it focused on the men who self-medicated their TRT.

Data from this study was then analysed to answer the question:

“how and why is testosterone self-medicated?” and also: “what happens to the ‘problem’ of non-prescribed testosterone use if such use is therapeutic?”

What the study found comes as no surprise to those who self-medicate:

“Self-medicated TRT was found to be very similar to TRT as practiced in medical contexts.”


“Self-medication was often practiced because of an inability to access testosterone through health practitioners (who were either reluctant or unable to prescribe). However, some individuals were found to prefer self-medication because of price, ease of access, reliability of supply, and because health practitioners were perceived as lacking expertise regarding testosterone use.”

The study concluded by calling into question the previous stigma of illicit, non-prescribed testosterone and TRT as “abuse” and suggested that “in some cases the problem was not non-prescribed testosterone use per se, but policies that prevent access to medical treatment”.

This study confirms the experiences of many men in the TRT community. As I highlight in my book on the subject of self-managed TRT, there are many benefits and reasons to consider switching to self-managed testosterone replacement therapy. For some men, they have no other option. For others, it’s about taking advantage of all the benefits that come with self-treatment.

It is encouraging to see mainstream science covering this topic and providing an objective look at the matter. Hopefully with time, we’ll see more favourable studies on the subject and more information on the topic. This could provide men suffering with low testosterone with more options and insight and help them find a solution to their inadequate TRT treatment options.


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Paolo Broccardo

I help men take control of their testosterone, health and lives. Testosterone Replacement Therapy turned my life around and my goal is to help other men with low testosterone do the same! Thanks to TRT, I traded anxiety, depression and weakness for courage, motivation, strength, love and masculinity. I'd love to help you do the same.

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