The testosterone side effects that you experience will depend on the type of supplement you choose and the delivery method. Some users experience no side effects whatsoever, and others may experience a few bothersome effects that gradually go away over time.
The Risk for Negative Reaction
When you use testosterone for any reason whatsoever, there is always a risk for adverse reaction. The potential for testosterone side effects varies depending on factors such as the type you use, the amount you use, and even the way you use it. Fortunately, you can mitigate these risks by using a responsible dose and fully understanding the risks associated with your chosen form of testosterone.
What Causes the Side Effects?
For the most part, estrogen conversion is responsible for testosterone side effects. As the hormone enters your body, it converts to estrogen in a process known as aromatization. The more testosterone you introduce into your bloodstream, the more it converts to estrogen. The more estrogen you have in your bloodstream, the higher the likelihood of side effects ranging from mild to severe in nature. Your individual body chemistry will ultimately determine whether aromatization will be a problem for you. Some men can tolerate high doses of testosterone with no problems; others seem to experience negative side effects at even very low doses.
Side Effects almost Everyone Experiences
If you choose to supplement, you will almost assuredly experience some testosterone side effects. The most prevalent is the suppression of natural hormone production. Normally, certain proteins in your bloodstream, called "receptors", tell your pituitary gland when they are empty. Then, the pituitary gland sends signals to your testicles, triggering the production of hormone. When you supplement with testosterone, the receptors are never empty, and there is no need for your testicles to produce hormone. Thus, you will experience testicular atrophy, or a shrinking of the testicles. There is no need for concern, though; they will return to their normal size once you stop supplementing with testosterone.
Other Preventable Side Effects
Some of the other side effects associated with testosterone supplementation include:
Although some of these testosterone side effects sound serious, and they certainly can be if left unchecked, the good news is that you can actually prevent them.
How to Prevent Side Effects
Any time you supplement with any form of testosterone, it is important to add a high-quality aromatase inhibitor to your cycle. These products stop aromatization, or the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, and thereby negate many of the side effects before they even have a chance to develop. Arimidex and Letrozole are two of the most popular options out there, and Letrozole can even reverse the symptoms of gynecomastia in many men, making it the only aromatase inhibitor of its kind.
In short, if you choose to introduce this hormone into your body, you will almost undoubtedly experience at least some testosterone side effects. However, by supplementing with aromatase inhibitors and maintaining the recommended dose and cycle length for the type of testosterone you choose, you can reduce the risks significantly.