Testosterone Propionate: An Overview
Bodybuilders are always looking for an edge, new tricks to build muscle faster, and more efficient ways to recover from strenuous workouts. For this reason, many professional athletes and amateur weightlifters are turning to performance-enhancing drugs to gain a leg up (and an arm up) on the competition. While there is no magic pill which can cause extreme muscle growth and improved athleticism overnight, some substances have been shown to cause serious performance enhancement in humans. Some of these substances are banned for use from competitive sports although that has not stopped many from using them in the pursuit of physical advantage.
Testosterone supplementation has become a familiar concept in the universe of steroid use. It has also become commonplace in the medical community for the purpose of treating low testosterone levels in men (hypogonadism) and for delayed puberty, breast cancer, and low libido. In addition, it is sometimes used as part of hormone replacement therapy for those undergoing gender reassignment. While there are many varieties of testosterone substances, testosterone propionate is the focus of this article. What follows represents a basic introduction and analysis of the history and effects of this particular class of testosterone. It is presented here for informational purposes only.
Testosterone propionate, like other testosterone formulations, is both an androgen and an anabolic steroid. It was first synthesized in 1936-37 and is one of what are known as testosterone esters. Earlier testosterone supplements did not have ester groups attached to their molecular structure and as a consequence, they were quickly absorbed and excreted from the body. The addition of ester groups effectively “delays the release” of the testosterone and allows the duration of the biochemical mechanisms to take place more slowly and gradually. This makes them more practical and efficient for medical (and recreational) use while saving the buyer money. While additional versions of ester-ized testosterone compounds have been synthesized subsequently – and have to some extent superseded the use of testosterone propionate – the use of this compound still continues today.
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Medically speaking, testosterone is necessary for the normal functioning of the human body. It is involved in processes which contribute to the proper growth of the genitals, muscles, and bones, a plays a vital role in proper development through puberty. Testosterone levels decrease naturally with age, although contemporary research has shown that many males are suffering from abnormally low levels. Low testosterone levels can cause of a wide variety of negative symptoms including anxiety, low sex drive, and low motivation. Consequently, testosterone supplementation in these cases can significantly increase the quality of life by remedying these problems. As an aside, it is also used by veterinarians on cattle and other livestock to ensure maximum growth in the animal agriculture industry.
Outside of conventional medical use, testosterone propionate is used most commonly for its anabolic effects on the body. Higher testosterone levels in the body are associated with an improved physique and improved athletic performance. Testosterone increases the amount of protein synthesis in the body and decreases the catabolic (muscle destroying) effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Consequently, it stimulates significant muscle growth and increases body weight. Moreover, noticeable increases in physical strength occur. This is especially true for those who incorporate appropriate strength training and nutrition into their routine.
Naturally, with all of these physiological benefits to the body, it might seem too good to be true. While some individuals will experience few side effects with limited use, or when used under the supervision of a medical professional, for some people – especially those who use it for a prolonged time or who misuse it – there are potentially serious side effects. Common side effects are similar to those of other testosterone supplements or anabolic steroids. These commonly include nausea, headache, and moodiness to potentially far more serious conditions including liver disease. However, one of the major primary concerns with steroid use is its effect on the cardiovascular system. Testosterone supplementation can increase blood pressure, can enlarge the heart, and can reduce the amount of “good” HDL cholesterol in the body. These factors can increase your risk for a stroke, heart attack or heart disease, or even cause death. It can also cause insulin resistance. Use by women can cause the development of male secondary sexual characteristics such as an increase in body hair and a deeper voice, and can also cause disruptions to the menstrual cycle. In men, it can cause breast enlargement and a wide variety of hormonal-related disturbance effects (including hair loss, acne, oily skin, and aggression).
The positive and negative effects of testosterone propionate are fairly well researched and established in the medical community. It is important to point out that it is a controlled substance and is only available legally through a prescription (in most jurisdictions). While there is a black market for testosterone propionate (and related substances), many suppliers of these compounds likely offer questionable quality and purity. Use caution and common sense when searching for such substances.
How to Use Testosterone Propionate
Testosterone propionate is injected intramuscularly and should not be injected intravenously. When used medically, cycles are commonly conducted every eight to ten weeks. This involves taking the supplement every day or every other day. This is far more frequently than other types of testosterone such as testosterone enanthate (which is more slow acting). Dosage depends on individual specific factors such as age, sex, current testosterone level, and the purpose of the treatment; however, common doses within the medical community fall within the 50mg to the 100mg range. It may interact with blood thinning medications
This brief overview is no substitute for medical advice from a professional doctor. It has aimed to present an informative overview of the effects and use of testosterone propionate. It should be remembered that this substance causes a wide variety of physical and mental effects on the body (including some potentially serious negative effects). If you think that the use of this substance could be beneficial for you, conduct your own research and contact your medical professional for more information.
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