A guide to safely self inject your hormones
Updated: May 13, 2022
These instructions are designed to familiarize you with the steps to self inject safely in individuals seeking gender affirming hormone care. Before you self inject, be sure to see your doctor for an in person tutorial, and so that they can observe your technique and ensure that you are administering your hormones safely. Become familiar with all of your injection equipment, and the type of injection you will give yourself.
BEFORE YOU INJECT, ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
Will I give myself a subcutaneous injection (in the fat) or intramuscular injection (in the muscle)?
What size and length needles will I use?
21 or 23 gauge, 0.5 inches or 1 inch long is the most common for intramuscular injection
25 gauge, 3/8 to 5/8 inches long is the most common for subcutaneous injection
What is the volume of my syringe – 1ml or 3ml syringe is most commonly used for both types of injections
Do I have the following supplies? If not, contact your doctor for prescriptions to obtain needed supplies
NEEDLE/SYRINGE PARTS FOR REFERENCE:
Wash hands with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.
Put on gloves.
Disinfect the top of the hormone bottle by vigorously rubbing the top of the hormone bottle with an alcohol pad. Repeat.
4. Attach syringe to the needle in the way shown by your provider. Avoid touching the area where the barrel and needle meet. Push plunger of syringe forward to ensure no air is present in the syringe.
5. Insert needle into hormone bottle. Invert the bottle and syringe to draw up hormone. Draw up hormone in the syringe by slowly and gently pulling the plunger. Draw up only the prescribed volume. Remove needle from hormone bottle.
Optional - if you choose to change your needle before injecting, push up the needle protector to shield the needle. Note: some needles do not come with protectors, and may come with a clear plastic cap. Speak with your provider to have them show you how to safely recap the needle.
6. If you choose to, you can change your needle here. If you do not want to change your needle, proceed to step 7.
Remove the needle, and attach a new needle to the syringe in the way shown by provider. Remove bubbles by gently tapping the barrel while pointing the needle up. Slowly push plunger forward to get rid of air bubbles.
7. Cleanse desired location of injection on your skin with an alcohol pad in an outward spiral fashion. Repeat with a new alcohol pad.
8. FOR INTRAMUSCULAR INJECTIONS: The most common locations for muscle injections are the front of the thigh and the upper outer portion of the buttocks. Cleanse desired location of injection on your skin with an alcohol pad in an outward spiral fashion, as shown to you by your doctor. Repeat with a new alcohol pad. Remove the needle cap. Grasp 4-5 inches of the muscle between your thumb and first finger. Inject the hormone by inserting the needle at a 90 degree angle, and slowly/gently pushing the plunger.
FOR SUBCUTANEOUS INJECTIONS: The most common locations for injections in the fat is the stomach and the outer thigh. Cleanse desired location of injection on your skin with an alcohol pad in an outward spiral fashion, as shown to you by your doctor. Repeat with a new alcohol pad. Remove needle cap. Grasp 2-3 inches of the fat between your thumb and first finger. Inject the hormone by inserting the needle at a 45 degree angle, and pushing the plunger.
9. Gently remove the needle from skin. Push up the needle protector to cover the needle. If your needle does not contain a needle protector, safely dispose of the needle in a sharps container without replacing the cap.
10. Apply pressure with gauze to injection site, and gently massage.
11. Apply Band-Aid if needed.
12. Dispose of needles and syringes in a sharps container ONLY.
Contact your doctor if you have questions or want an in person tutorial on injection safety.
Contact your doctor for a prescription for injection supplies
Alert the doctor if you develop signs or symptoms of a skin infection which include: fevers, chills, nausea, red or painful skin at the injection site that is hot to touch, or that is draining pus (white milking fluid)
Please remember to never share your hormone bottle or your needles/ syringes with anyone else.
Never throw needles in a garbage can or other containers.
Always use clean needles and dispose of needles properly