Gender Construction Kit Logo

Self-injection safety

Some medications on this site might be prescribed to you as injections. These will normally be injected by a doctor or nurse at your GP surgery or at a clinic. However, some people choose to either inject these medications themselves, or have a friend or family member do it for them.

If you do want to inject yourself, or have a friend or family member do so, it’s important to take the proper safety measures. This includes getting the right injection supplies from the right places, making sure they are clean, and disposing of them properly.

Why you might want to inject at home

You might want to inject at home:

  • Because it’s more convenient
  • Because you’re more comfortable in your own home than a doctor’s office or clinic
  • Because you’re taking an extended trip away where you won’t have easy access to a clinic
  • Because you can’t find a clinician in your area who will perform the injection
  • If you’re already self-injecting other medicines

Where to get injection supplies

You will normally need:

  • Unused needles of the correct sizes (needle sizes are known as gauges)
  • Unused syringe bodies
  • Pre-injection swabs
  • Disposable gloves
  • A sharps bin
  • Gauze or cotton wool

You may be able to have these prescribed to you. You can also buy these from your local pharmacy or online medical suppliers. If you’re buying medical supplies online use a reputable medical supplier registered with the MHRA, such as Exchange Supplies or Medisave, to make sure your supplies are safe.

Warning

Re-using needles puts you at risk of infection.

For any injected drug, it is important that you always use fresh needles. If you’re injecting yourself and you’re not sure where you can get fresh needles, look for a local needle exchange. These are organisations that will take used needles and replace them with fresh, sterile ones.

For more information about needle exchanges and where to find them, see the With You website.

How to inject medications

Do not inject a medication until you are sure of how to do it:

  • Read the instruction leaflet. You will need to carefully read the instructions provided with the medication.
  • Ask for training. Your GP surgery may be able to offer training on how to perform the injection.
  • Watch a video. You may also find it helpful to watch a video demonstration of how to perform the injection. We have listed some below.

So that you can be confident you are avoiding any mistakes, strongly consider asking if your first injection can be supervised by a nurse or GP at your local GP surgery.

For more information about:

  • injecting Sustanon

    Leeds Gender Identity Team have produced a detailed guide to injecting Sustanon. Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre have a video guide on how to inject Sustanon.

  • injecting Nebido (testosterone undecanoate)

    Nebido can be more difficult to inject than Sustanon, and you may want someone else to inject this for you. Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre have a video guide on how to inject Nebido and Decapeptyl.

  • injecting Decapeptyl (triptorelin)

    You should read the instructions on how to prepare the mixture, which is included in the packaging. Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre have a video guide on how to inject Nebido and Decapeptyl.

  • injecting Prostap (leuprorelin)

    Some patients are permitted to self-administer Prostap. We are not aware of any good quality resources relating to this at present.

  • injecting Oestrogen

    Oestrogen is not normally prescribed in injectable forms in the UK.

Disposing of injection supplies

Used needles should be put into a dedicated sharps bin. This is a special type of bin for objects like needles and scalpels that makes it easier to dispose of them safely.

You can find more information about how to use a sharps bin on the NHS England website.

You can bring the sharps bin to a needle exchange programme, some pharmacies, or your local council may offer a collection service. Make sure the bin is properly sealed before you try to take it anywhere.

Errors and omissions

Is there something missing from this page? Have you spotted something that isn't correct? Please tweet us or message us on Facebook to let us know.