Ask the Doc: Can my partner absorb the testosterone in testosterone gel when applying it to me?


Can my partner absorb the testosterone in testosterone gel when applying it to me?


The short answer is yes. As your partner rubs testosterone gel onto your skin, they’re effectively rubbing it in to their own hands, which is why it is always recommended that anyone applying testosterone gel to another person wears gloves.

The long answer: Transfer of testosterone to another person by skin-to-skin contact happens if the gel hasn’t had time to dry. Females who absorb testosterone from the gel, if exposed for long enough, can develop masculine features like excess body hair, acne and a deepening of their voice. Children can show signs of early puberty or more masculine features if their testosterone levels are artificially increased. Some of these features may not be reversible.

To avoid transferring testosterone to others, the gel should be applied to clean, dry skin (usually immediately after a shower) then allowed to dry. Putting on a t-shirt or some other clothing over the treated area should prevent transfer. You should wash your hands straight after applying testosterone to yourself.

Anyone who applies testosterone gel for another person should wear gloves for application and wash their hands afterwards. However, if skin-to-skin contact occurs, the skin should be cleaned immediately.

Prof Robert McLachlan

Robert McLachlan

Healthy Male Medical Director

Prof Robert McLachlan is a consultant andrologist and has been integral to Healthy Male from its inception as Andrology Australia in 2000. He has been Medical Director since 2006. In November 2020, Rob was awarded Life Membership of the Endocrine Society of Australia. Over his 30-year career, he has been passionate about educating doctors and the community about male reproductive health, particularly to normalise discussion of sensitive topics and to encourage men to seek help from their GPs. A past president of the Fertility Society of Australia, he has a strong connection in fertility practice and has raised the profile of infertile men involved in IVF. Rob has received several awards for his clinical research and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2016 for services to medicine in the field of endocrinology.


Androgen deficiency
Testosterone deficiency

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