The male hormone testosterone is produced naturally in the testes of males, in smaller amounts by the female ovaries and by the adrenal glands in both genders. Testosterone is responsible for the masculine characteristics that develop in adolescent males during puberty, such as facial and chest hair, muscles, a deep voice and a strong sex drive. Synthetic versions of testosterone differ from the natural hormone. Body builders and athletes use synthetic injection forms, such as testosterone cypionate and testosterone enanthate. According to AnabolicWeb.com, the two forms are basically interchangeable. Both have a release pattern of 8 to 10 days, keep testosterone levels up for around 2 weeks and produce similar sex-related side effects.
Testosterone injections are prescribed for use in men suffering from hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough of the hormone. Also, doctors may use injectable testosterone during hormone-replacement therapy to reverse the effects of lower testosterone production that occurs naturally during the aging process. Possible side effects may include: scrotum discomfort and persistent erections, reduced testicle size or lowered sperm count, baldness and increased body hair. In some men, testosterone therapy may cause the prostate to enlarge. Men with prostate cancer should not take this drug. Men also may experience enlarged breasts or tenderness. Women using testosterone may experience hoarseness or a deepening of the voice, facial hair growth and an enlarged clitoris. Additionally, a decrease in breast size and changes in the menstrual cycle may occur. According to Steroidabuse.com, the same sex-related side effects occur in both injectable forms; however, enanthate may have more water-retention effects. Women who are pregnant should not take testosterone, because it has been associated with producing birth defects in unborn children.
In some cases, testosterone can affect blood cholesterol levels, which may then affect blood pressure. Other potential circulatory effects are clotting disorders, arteriosclerosis, stroke and coronary disease.
Mental changes have been reported. Aggression, anger or rage, restlessness and irritability and sleeping problems may occur. Also, moodiness, depression or anxiety may present in both men and women.
Other possible side effects include: oedema or a rapid weight gain, problems with memory, confusion, stomach distress and increased urine output. Testosterone shots are not appropriate for everyone. Patients should confer with a doctor about their options in the case of certain preexisting medical conditions, such as liver, kidney, heart or prostate disease.
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