Whether they use it for hormone replacement therapy or for performance enhancement, men often ask one very important question: is testosterone safe? When it is used according to a doctor’s orders, or even according to performance enhancement guidelines set forth by experts in the field, it is safe for most men.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy a Good Choice?
As men age, their bodies’ ability to produce testosterone slowly begins to decline. In fact, these levels start dropping at about the time a man reaches the age of 18 to 21, and they continue to drop by 1% to 3% each year thereafter. As a result, some men may notice symptoms of low testosterone, which range from fatigue and decreased sexual function to weight gain. Men who display these symptoms can visit their physicians for lab tests that will determine his testosterone levels in nanograms per deciliter of blood. The chart below shows mean testosterone levels in subjects by age.
|Age||Mean Testosterone (ng/dl)|
These numbers come from relatively small sample sizes and represent the averages among all the men in each age group. To qualify for hormone replacement therapy, men must have testosterone levels that fall under 270 – well below average. At this point, a physician will likely prescribe testosterone to help raise those levels back up into the normal ranges. Is testosterone safe? When prescribed by a doctor and used according to directions, it is not only safe, but it can improve your quality of life.
Testosterone for Sale
The type of testosterone for sale you will find available depends primarily on the reasons why you want to use it. For example, when it is prescribed by a physician, you can get it in pills, injections, patches, subdermal pellets, and topical creams or gels for your convenience. When you buy testosterone for performance enhancement, many of the common prescription forms are not concentrated enough for you to reach your goals. In this case, you would likely choose an injectable form of testosterone for sale, including testosterone propionate or even Sustanon 250.
What are the Benefits of a Testosterone Therapy Cycle?
If your doctor finds you have a testosterone deficiency and you need HRT, your response to treatment may vary somewhat. For example, it may take several weeks for your levels to rise to normal. For this reason, at the start of your therapy, your doctor will prescribe you a higher dose. Is testosterone safe at these dosages? As long as your doctor advises you to use it, it is perfectly safe, and it is the best way to raise your levels to normal as quickly as possible. Then, once you reach the average level for your age group, your doctor will lower your dose to a “maintenance” dose to maintain those levels.
For bodybuilders and athletes, the benefits of a testosterone therapy cycle are the same, only in a different setting. Testosterone improves muscle mass, strength, mood, and sexual function, and this is true whether you use it at a therapeutic dose or a performance enhancement dose. In most cases, athletes will add testosterone to a cycle with another anabolic steroid to help with testosterone suppression. However, those who are new to performance enhancement will often run a test-only cycle to determine their individual tolerance to the hormone.
Is Testosterone Safe for Performance Enhancement?
Is testosterone safe in high doses, such as those used for performance enhancement? There is some debate about this, but experts agree that it is safe for otherwise healthy men who use responsible doses for short cycles. Bear in mind that performance enhancement doses are much higher than HRT doses, which can cause some concern. For example, a common dose of testosterone enanthate, one of the most popular forms of testosterone, is 50mg to 400mg every two to four weeks, depending on a man’s needs. For performance enhancement, that dose climbs to 400mg to 750mg every single week.
Is testosterone safe to take at that dose? Per forums and information compiled by athletes and bodybuilders since the 1950s, and per a few scientific studies on high-dose testosterone, this is safe for men who are otherwise healthy and who use these doses for periods of 16 weeks or less. Men who use such high doses should be free from underlying medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and others. Men who take drugs to lower their blood pressure or cholesterol should not use high-dose testosterone.
Tips for Testosterone Safety
Whether you’re undergoing testosterone therapy under a doctor’s orders or you’re administering your own exogenous testosterone injections for performance enhancement, there are some tips you can follow to help ensure your safety.
- Be diligent in keeping track of side effects during HRT. Gauge your response, and talk to your doctor if you don’t get the results you expect, or if the side effects become bothersome.
- It’s especially important to understand the side effects of testosterone in performance enhancement. The dose here is much higher, enhancing the risk of these side effects. Be prepared to back down your dose or stop using it altogether if you experience severe side effects like Gynecomastia or major mood changes.
- Never use more testosterone than prescribed in the case of HRT. In the case of performance enhancement, follow dosing and cycling guidelines.
Post-Cycle Therapy and the Safety of Testosterone
Finally, athletes and bodybuilders who choose to use exogenous testosterone need to remember that they will suppress their bodies’ ability to produce testosterone naturally within a matter of days. Following a cycle, it could take weeks, months, or even years for their bodies to regain the ability to produce normal amounts of this hormone, and this could lead to major side effects. When answering the question “Is testosterone safe?”, it is vital to consider post-cycle therapy for these reasons.
Because exogenous testosterone binds to the body’s receptors, there is simply no need for the body to continue producing its own testosterone. To restart testosterone production after a cycle, men will need to use a compound called a SERM, or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator, which helps to stimulate luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. These two hormones work together to allow the testicles to make testosterone. Using a SERM according to directions for four to six weeks after a cycle will prevent side effects like weight gain, muscle loss, gynecomastia, and even testicular atrophy.
Is Testosterone Safe for Women?
Another common question, “Is testosterone safe to take for women?”, is a little more difficult to answer. Women also need testosterone in their bodies, but in very, very small amounts. It helps to balance estrogen, and without proper hormonal balance, women may experience many of the same side effects as men – weight gain, mood changes, and even lack of libido are common in women who don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies. It is very, very rare for a woman to need testosterone therapy, but it can and does happen. Women should never use testosterone unless directed by a doctor due to a condition called virilization, which is used to describe the development of male characteristics.
Is testosterone safe? When used responsibly, it’s not only safe, but it’s quite beneficial for men who have low testosterone or who want to supplement with testosterone during an anabolic steroid cycle. When used outside of a doctor’s directions, or when used irresponsibly, it can cause side effects that only surgery can fix. For this reason, always use testosterone according to guidelines.