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What Is Testosterone and Why Is it Important?

If you have been researching performance enhancement and health, you may find yourself asking, “What is testosterone?” Testosterone (Test) is an Anabolic hormone which is responsible for the ordinary growth and development of the male reproductive organs, the development and maintenance of the secondary male sex characteristics, and the production of sperm. Because of this, testosterone is placed in a category of hormones called androgens.

Natural Testosterone Production

Testosterone is primarily produced in men’s testes and women’s ovaries, but the adrenal gland also produces small quantities in both men and women. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are responsible for regulating the amount of testosterone which is produced by the testes and the ovaries. Both men and women rely on testosterone for their growth during childhood and puberty and for healthy muscle tone and bone density as adults. However, because women do not rely as heavily on this hormone as their male counterparts, they only produce about one-tenth the typical amount produced by men. Average testosterone levels for women in their 30s range from 30 to 95 nanograms per deciliter (ng/DL) while average male testosterone levels range from 300 to 1200 ng/dL.

As men and women age, their bodies are no longer capable of producing testosterone boosters naturally at the same rates. In men, this can cause a condition known as andropause, which is very similar to the female menopause. Men may experience things like low libido, unexplained weight gain, chronic fatigue, poor sexual performance, and even impotence if their levels sink too low and they do not receive treatment. Women may also experience weight gain, infertility, and sexual changes, as well. Either sex may require treatment by a doctor for a condition known as Low-T, though it is far more common in men.

What Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

What Is TestosteroneTestosterone replacement therapy occurs when exogenous testosterone is used to counteract naturally low hormone levels. It is very uncommon for women to need testosterone replacement therapy, but it is estimated that anywhere from 1% to 3% of men over 30 years of age receive some form of exogenous testosterone from their doctors. When asking what is testosterone in a hormone replacement therapy sense, it’s a medical necessity, and it comes in many forms. Men may be given injections, testosterone pills, creams, gels, patches, and even subdermal patches designed to boost their natural hormone levels.

The amount of testosterone used for hormone replacement is far lower than the amount of testosterone needed for performance enhancement. For example, when considering a product like Sustanon 250, men may use a full 250mg per week dose for the first couple weeks of hormone replacement, but they will slowly drop back down to a much lower maintenance dose. Men who use Sustanon to build muscle mass and improve their performance may use as much as 750mg (or more in some cases).

Types of Exogenous Testosterone

Testosterone comes in a variety of forms that each has its own inherent set of benefits and downfalls. These forms, called esters, dictate the number of carbon atoms on an attached molecular chain that ultimately determines how the body will go about using the parent compound. Different types of testosterone have different numbers of carbon atoms, which makes the testosterone “heavier”. The heavier the molecule, the longer it takes the body to break it down and use it. What is testosterone ester and why is it important? The ester determines the half-life of the compound, and you need that information to make proper dosing decisions.

Testosterone EsterHalf Life (Days)
Acetate
1-3
Propionate
1-2
Caproate
9
Isocaproate
9
Enanthate
5-10
Cypionate
12
Decanoate
15
Undecanoate
16.5

Steroids with longer half-lives, such as testosterone cypionate or undecanoate, can be dosed once every one to two weeks and still be quite effective. On the other hand, testosterone acetate and propionate require daily or every-other-day dosing to be effective.

What Is Testosterone Suspension and Testosterone Blends?

There are other forms of testosterone that you should be aware of, as well. For example, one of the most coveted forms of testosterone is testosterone suspension, which is a pure, ester-free synthetic compound suspended in water. This product exits your system in as little as one day, and it is just as powerful as the other forms of testosterone listed here. Testosterone suspension should be measured and used with extreme care as it is by far one of the most powerful products available.

You may also find products known as testosterone blends, which bring you the best of both the short-estered and long-estered testosterone types. What is testosterone blend? Sustanon 250 is one of the most popular and it contains four esters: isocaproate, acetate, decanoate, and isocaproate. It’s easy to use, and it’s one of the most common forms of testosterone used by bodybuilders and athletes who are using steroids for performance enhancement.

Who Should not Use Testosterone?

When answering the question, “What is testosterone?” it may seem as if this exogenous hormone is fairly mild and may improve your overall quality of life. For many men, this is certainly true; for other men, it can do more harm than good. If you have any of the following medical conditions, you should not use exogenous testosterone (or any other steroid) without first consulting your physician.

  • Prostate cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Breast cancer
  • High cholesterol or poor lipid profiles
  • Increased risk factors for heart attack or stroke
  • Pregnancy (and breastfeeding)
  • High blood pressure

You should also not use steroids if you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications daily or regularly as they can cause interactions. Be sure to consult with your physician and/or pharmacist to learn about these potential dangers before you start using testosterone or other steroids.

What is testosterone? It’s a hormone that is vital for the health and wellbeing of both men and women. It is common in hormone replacement therapy, and it can even change lives in that regard, but it is also a popular performance enhancer that boosts muscle mass, strength, power, speed, and definition far beyond anything that diet and exercise alone could accomplish.