Feel better on MUCH LESS testosterone than what I'm prescribed


New member
Hello all:

I have been on TRT for over 3 years now. I was 34 yrs old then (test was 189 ng/dl when originally diagnosed as hypogonadal) and was prescribed the standard 100mgs per week. I felt terrible for awhile (bad depression, water retention, constant fatigue). In short, I felt worse - not better. However, because of those side effects, I found my way to this board and learned about e2 and pinning twice a week. This helped and eventually I picked up an AI which also helped, but I never felt great. I also discovered that I had a low SHBG and still do (Ranges anywhere from 14-19).

Over the last few years, I have experimented with my doc's permission with higher dosages and protocols (150 mgs to 200 mgs), but never really noticed much in the way of improvement. My current prescribed dose is 150mgs per week (pinning twice a week and taking an AI). My labs were coming in at 750 ng/dl for T and around 20 for e2 on this protocol, but never felt that great. While pondering my TRT journey, I recalled that I felt the best on the last day of my weekly cycle back when I was pinning 100 mgs once a week. Usually, this is when most people are feeling low. However, I looked leaner and had more energy right before my injection, but my labs would come in at 290 ng/dl on day 7 prior to my next injection. I was confused, because for my age, all the advice was that my trough should be around 500 ng/dl to feel optimal. However, I felt better with much less in my system than more. It was almost as if once the T ran its course and was metabolized out of my system, I felt better. But I just kept at it because everyone including my doc said that it takes time to feel great improvement; Besides, my test was low at 189 ng/dl when diagnosed, so I obviously needed this stuff right?

Fast forward 3 years - At the beginning of January, I must have gotten lazy and missed my injection by a few days. However, I noticed that I felt better each day past my injection date and I was dropping a few pounds. I almost thought of seeing how long I could go without injecting just to see if I even needed this stuff anymore but I decided against it and instead decided to just significantly reduce the dose and start from scratch from the bottom up. So, about 10 days after having last injected, I decided to inject a very small amount for a few weeks and see how I felt. So, I injected about 25mgs - 30mgs once per week. Yes, you read that correctly (I was injecting at the 12 -15 marker on the syringe). I did this for a few weeks. I felt almost like my old self- more energy than before when my labs were anywhere from 750-950 ng/dl on my 150 mg per week dose (divided in 2 injections). I had a Dr.'s appointment coming up in a few weeks and continued on this protocol. When my labs came back, they stated my T was at 280 ng/dl and was flagged as low. I didn't mention to my doc what I was doing at the time, but I will on my next appointment. I am confused about how I could feel good at this low of a dose? Any thoughts here?
We would need to see your full bloodwork panel to try to figure out why you're feeling better at a low-dose. I think it has something else to do with the besides your total testosterone levels.
Need complete blood work to see what was going on and the details of your protocol, but my suspicion is that your E2 was getting too high when you were pinning more.
Like others said, you need blood work results to see for sure. But going from my experience, I'd agree with Megatron. My first guess is high E2. If your E2 is too high at its peak, just like test levels lower, so does E2. You may have felt better further away from your injection, because your E2 was lower then.