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Good evening, everyone. I figured I'd make a thread documenting my progress. Hopefully the information and ensuing discussions contained herein could provide assistance for others down the line, as others' threads had provided for me. I also have some questions which will be added at the end, so even if you don't want to read all of this (understandable), I'd appreciate any input to the questions.

I'm a 28 year old male, 5'7 185 lbs otherwise healthy who, for the past six or seven years, had been fighting all of the classical symptoms of Low T: fatigue, brain fog, inability to gain/maintain muscle, and depression (which I believe is both a cause of the other symptoms and caused by the Low T). The only symptoms I didn't have were low libido / ED. For some odd reason I've always been great in that department. I finally decided to get my bloodwork done about five weeks ago, through DefyMedical. Here are the links to the bloodwork (there was an error with attaching it to this post):

Due to the elevated LH and low Testosterone (LH 14.4mIU/mL, TT 409ng/dL, FT 11.4pg/mL), I suspected from reading on various sites that it seemed like primary hypogonadism; this was confirmed by the wonderfully patient and knowledgeable practitioner with DefyMedical whose name I cannot remember. (Could've been a doctor, for some reason I can't remember the title of the woman I spoke with, but she was nonetheless better than any of the doctors I had seen before going to DM). As such, I was given the option of the Atrevis Hydrogel or the injectable T. I don't remember which options I had for the injectable T as I do not yet want to go down that route.

I chose the Atrevis Hydrogel, which is at 200mg/mL T. The bottle reads: "Each 1/4th click releases .25mL".

The first two weeks were amazing, albeit rocky. The first three days, I started off with 2 clicks in the morning (at roughly 7:30 - 8 AM): one click on the inner thighs, the other directly onto the scrotum. The effects were instantaneous. The brain fog that I had been dealing with for years, YEARS was gone. I have energy, more than I did when I was 18. Anxiety, depression? Gone. Sleep? It was as if I hadn't ever slept before until now. Real rest. It's truly a miracle.

For some reason I can't recall (I think I read here that it really should be thrice per day), I added a third click at roughly 6:30 - 7 PM, thereabout. I felt even better the first two days, but by the third day, there were significant sides that kicked in: Constant heatflashes. I had wild nightmares which I haven't had since I was a kid. I couldn't sleep at all (not from the night-terrors, just couldn't fall asleep), and for some reason, my libido and erectile strength plummeted, which scared the hell out of me. This continued for about a week or so until I decided enough was enough, and went back to two clicks. In retrospect, I should've waited for my body's natural T production to shut off (a few weeks) before upping it to three clicks.

Well, the next few weeks were great. With minimal effort in the gym, I look "manlier", even if I've only put on a pound or two of muscle. I have a healthier shape and muscle tone. My hairline has definitely receded a little bit in the corners and thinned, which I don't care much about anyways. Unfortunately, I have no before and after photos to show you guys. My face looks a bit "older" which I'm more than fine with as well. I am calmer, more in control of emotions, blah blah. You get the spiel. My erectile strength and libido had returned when I dialed back to two clicks, but maybe to about 75%.

About a week and a half ago (about three and a half to four weeks total into treatment), I started to feel some of the benefits wane. I was waking up very tired again, a bit depressed, emotional. I teared up thinking about a bad breakup that happened earlier this year after Enya's "Time" played on the radio. (Actually pretty funny once you think about it) Real dumb. So, I felt that maybe now is a good time to up it to three clicks. I started doing that last night, one click divided equally onto both shoulders, and while the energy has returned a bit and some of the "stoicness", my erectile strength has decreased again, whereas the libido is all over the place, hour by hour; sometimes there, sometimes really there, sometimes nonexistent. Even when it's quite high, I can't get an erection for anything. It's at 25% max.

Because it's with Defy, I pay out of pocket for bloodwork. Not exactly the cheapest thing in the world. Nonetheless, I know I need the bloodwork for better answers as to what is going on. I've ordered two more bottles of the Atrevis hydrogel, and depending on how I do within the next eight - twelve weeks, I may or may not just switch to injections.

I'd love to read any opinions/comments you may have, especially regarding the magically disappearing/reappearing libido and erectile strength. And if you have any questions yourself, I'd love to answer them.

Some questions:

1. I'm probably going to order the bloodwork ASAP. Other than the tests that were run in my initial bloodwork, are there any other tests that should be ordered?
2. What do you think about my current protocol? (One click on inner thighs and one click on scrotum for the AM, and twelve hours later in the PM, one click spread on both shoulders)
3. Is my SHBG low enough for me to be considered a Low SHBG individual? If so, how should I adjust the protocol, in your opinion?
Defy Medical TRT clinic doctor
About a week and a half ago (about three and a half to four weeks total into treatment), I started to feel some of the benefits wane. I was waking up very tired again, a bit depressed, emotional.
When you first started out on the testosterone cream, you were stacking exogenous T on top of endogenous T, now you are closer to being shut down naturally and now all you have is the exogenous T.

You could be having absorption issues, men typically do. Once you start having absorption issues, that's the first sign tropicals are not going to work.

Other than the tests that were run in my initial bloodwork, are there any other tests that should be ordered?
Total T, Free T and estrogen.

Is my SHBG low enough for me to be considered a Low SHBG individual?
No, but injections would likely decrease it below 20. I wouldn't be concerned with the SHBG because you have little control over it.
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Total T, Free T and estrogen.

Very well, then. I'll be getting my bloods taken tomorrow.

I'm hoping there are no absorption issues. It's been so far, so good, with the only remaining side effect being a fluctuation in libido and erectile strength. We'll see what the results show, I guess.
Bloodwork came back in. Not too unsatisfied. These numbers are two or three days after applying the gel a third time (in the afternoon) after a few weeks of only doing it twice in the morning, and applying it on the shoulders. I've since started applying the third click to the scrotum, which has me feeling fantastic and markedly better than when I applied the third click to the shoulders -- except, again, for the erectile strength, which hasn't returned -- so I suspect Free T and Total T will be higher than what these numbers report.

Total T: 785 ng/DL (Almost 2x improvement)
Free T: (scale = 9.3 - 26.5 pg/mL) 20.8 pg/mL (9.4 pg/ML increase)
Estradiol: (scale = 8.0 - 35.0 pg/mL): 24.7 pg/mL

I'd like the Total T to be above at least 850, and the Free T to be hovering around 30 pg/mL at least. I'm doing another blood test in early to mid December. If the levels haven't improved, I'll be switching to shots once my cream runs out.

Again, I feel great, even the libido has been a bit better, but the erections have been nonsense. No more morning wood, which is something I've had consistently since I was a teenager. @Systemlord - maybe the Estrogen is too high? I'm curious to think what @Nelson Vergel thinks as well. Your input would be highly appreciated!
Goodness no. The T cream is a very finicky treatment and it either works well, or it doesn’t work at all. The treatment is literally on a knife edge.

Well, I'm doing one final blood draw next month, if things aren't where I want them to be, it's the needle for me.
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