When people are considering Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), proper injection technique is usually the last thing considered. For the most part anabolic steroids are injected using the IM (intramuscular) method. Typically, a large muscle, such as the gluteus muscle (buttocks), is used so that pain is minimal and circulation of that steroid is more widespread. Much controversy exists about the site of injection, and whether it’s important or unimportant. The gauge of a needle is its size in diameter (around). Depending upon what medication you’re taking, you’ll either choose a smaller or larger needle to get the job done. It’s impossible to use just one size needle for everything because oil and water-based injections require different sizes. You’re probably going to need a larger needle for your oil-based injections. But here’s the trick: The higher the number, the smaller the needle. A 22 gauge needle is smaller than a 17 gauge needle.
Rules for Safe and Effective Shots the First Time!
a. Check the drug for expiration dates.
b. Double check that the drug is the right amount and strength. Always use a syringe with a volume of twice the required amount of drug or solution and add the needle. If you are injecting 50cc, use at least a 100cc needle.
c. Everything must be kept 100% sterile. Wash your hands and use a cotton swab to disinfect the area of the injection and the top of the vial. Don’t touch anything with the unprotected needle and don’t ever use previously used needle, even if it was you that used it before.
Instructions for Intramuscular and Subcutaneous Injections
First, you´ll need to draw the steroid out of the vial, with a syringe. A needle length is chosen based on two factors: Size of muscle group and amount of subcutaneous fat you must go through in order to reach a reasonable depth within the muscle. The most common size for injecting anabolic steroids is a 22-23 gauge X 1.5″ needle. This size will work for all water based and oil based injectable steroids. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are using a clean, unused needle. Next, make sure the top of the vial is clean, and swab it with an alcohol pad.
To draw the liquid out of the vial, you´ll first want to pull some air into the syringe, usually as much as it will hold. Next, you want to hold the vial upside down and inject the air into the vial. This will increase pressure inside the vial and allow the liquid to be drawn into the syringe more easily. Once you´ve one this, and while you´re still holding the vial upside down (you need to make sure the tip of the needle is below the level of the liquid), begin to slowly pull back on the plunger and draw the desired amount of liquid into the syringe.
Next you have the option of replacing the needle that breached the rubber stopper of the vial with a fresh needle. This is because even one pass through the rubber of a vial will blunt the tip of a needle- even if this is not visible to the naked eye, it´s still got the potential to cause additional discomfort when you inject.
After you have replaced the needle, if you´ve chosen to do so, you´ll need to swab the area you are about to inject with a new, clean, alcohol pad. After the site has been wiped with an alcohol pad, you´ll want to relax the area, and if possible, stretch the skin taught with your thumb and forefinger. This will make , the skin tight and provide an easier injection. Once you have the skin stretched, while holding the needle like a dart, insert it with one swift motion, all the way to the end of the needle. Do this at a 90 degree angle relative to the muscle you are injecting.
Next, pull back on the plunger, and check that no blood enters the syringe. As long as no blood has entered (signifying that you´ve his a blood vessel, and that this is not a good injection to continue), push down on the plunger slowly with a slow, steady pressure. Once the syringe is empty, pull out the needle with one swift motion, and put pressure on the area with a sterile alcohol pad. Next, simply apply a bandage, recap the needle, and dispose of everything in a safe manner.
Glute Injections: The best way to locate the correct place for dosing is to find the upper outer quadrant (section) of the butt cheek you are injecting into. Inject only into the upper outer area of the quadrant – which muscle you actually inject into is less significant. It is important to avoid the other quadrants because they can be very sensitive to needle injection and there is a chance to hit large veins and/or nerves.
Thigh Injections: The injection spot is generally located on the front outside area of the thigh between one hand’s width above the knee and one hand’s width below the hip joint. The injection should go into the thick area of the large muscle to be sure to stay away from any bone.
Deltoid Injection: Insert the needle at a 90-degree angle, or slightly angled up, into the middle of the deltoid muscle. This is approximately 2-4 finger-widths below the bony end of your shoulder bone and forms a triangle when you look at it from the side.
Subcutaneous Injection: For doing a subcutaneous shot, with an insulin needle (this is typically how Growth Hormone is administered), you´ll follow all of those steps, but instead of stretching your skin taught, you´ll be pulling the skin away from your body and inserting the needle at a 45 degree angle into the “pocket” of space between your skin and muscle.
Again, dispose of your needles safely, and remember to follow this same procedure for every injection, to avoid the possibility of infections and abscesses.