Steroid Name: Testosterone (exogenous)
aka: Test, T,
Forms: Liquid Ester and Suspension
Variants (single ester): Propionate, Enanthate (e.g. Testoviron Depot, Primoteston), Cypionate
Blends: Sustanon 250, Omnadren, Testoviron (enanthate + propionate)
Exogenous Testosterone comes attached to different esters but it is essentially the same androgenic anabolic steroid hormone which we produce naturally. The attached ester simply determines the rate of release into the body and the duration it is active.
For the purposes of this article, it is therefore important to discuss exogenous Testosterone use in general before branching off to discussions regarding different esterified forms.
What Does ‘Exogenous’ Mean?
A good question if you are new to learning about testosterone, steroids or the endocrine system (hormone release and control system) in general. It’s also a term used a lot throughout this website.
“Exogenous” in the context of hormones (inc. steroid hormones) refers to those which originate from outside the body.
Exogenous Testosterone is simply testosterone which we introduce to our system from an external source, rather than that which we produce naturally within it.
Those which are naturally produced by our own bodies are known as “Endogenous.”
The First Exogenous Testosterone
You might think it’s a modern invention but humans have been trying to increase their testosterone levels above and beyond their endogenous production for centuries.
Until the 1930s however, it had been a case of extracting it from the testicles of other men and animals, with wildly differing results.
In the mid-‘30s the first synthetic testosterone was created and came in the esterified form of Testosterone Propionate. This forever changed the ball game (pun intended) and introduced the world to the very first commercial exogenous anabolic steroid.
This form remains in circulation and still has high popularity in bodybuilding and performance athletics.
Testosterone or its derivative DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) form the basis of most anabolic steroids created since.
However, while the different esters of testosterone (propionate, enanthate, etc.) differ in function only by time release and duration of effect, the chemical alterations made to produce different anabolic steroids sometimes have very different effects to testosterone.
Therapeutic Application in Brief
The purpose of this website is to educate about the use of anabolic steroids for performance and physical enhancement. However, with very few exceptions it is worth remembering that this was not their intended purpose.
It was not the reason massive pharmaceutical companies spent millions of dollars researching and synthesizing these drugs.
The scientists who first produced synthetic Testosterone Propionate did not receive a Nobel prize because they paved the way for Arnie and his chums to get massive, quickly.
The original intention was hormone therapy and other medical applications such as treatments for muscle wasting diseases and uncontrollable weight loss as a result of disease etc.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a therapeutic treatment for men and women with low levels of important hormones.
An important distinction between therapeutic use and enhancement use can be made here:
The dosages used for medical reasons are orders of magnitude less than those used by competition level bodybuilders.
Main Benefits to the Bodybuilder / Athlete
Both men and women need testosterone to function properly and healthily. Women have about one-tenth what men do but it is vital nonetheless.
Healthy bodies and healthy minds depend on testosterone, which is why the average person produces it naturally within a range of tolerable limits.
It is also of course our strongest endogenous anabolic hormone. Muscle growth, bone density, strength, speed and power are greatly influenced by it.
Men with above average levels can take advantage of it in this respect, and are usually above average in natural strength level and build etc.
It is these properties which make the addition of exogenous testosterone so attractive to certain people.
Bodybuilders and athletes tend to use testosterone via intramuscular injection. The resulting anabolic environment within the muscle tissues allows them to enhance the effect of resistance training and gain both mass and strength much quicker than they otherwise would.
There is, however, as always, a downside.
If the dramatic muscle and strength effects of steroids make them controversial, then their negative side effects make them doubly so.
Most medications carry the potential for side effects – both mild and serious – so in many ways, steroids are no different.
The most important difference is that prescription medication is given with the proviso that controlled dosages are used. People who use steroids for performance and physical gain generally do not use prescription level doses.
Testosterone – being the granddaddy of steroids – binds very strongly to the Androgen Receptor (AR), can aromatize to estrogen and of course, suppresses endogenous testosterone. In addition, because all steroids are derived from cholesterol molecules, it can mess with blood lipid profiles as well.
Here’s all that in bullets:
- hair loss (in those predisposed to male pattern baldness)
- body hair growth
- gynecomastia (male breasts)
- water retention
- high blood pressure (from water retention)
Natural Testosterone Suppression
- testicular atrophy (shrunken testicles)
- disrupted sleep
- low energy
- sexual dysfunction
- emotional stress
- increased LDL (bad cholesterol)
- decrease HDL (good cholesterol)
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) and Countermeasures to Side Effects
Testosterone comes with nearly the entire suite of side effects one can get when using exogenous anabolic steroids.
A person using testosterone will most likely need the following PCT drugs:
- Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) – to counter estrogenic effects
- perhaps Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) – again for estrogenic effects (these are milder than AIs but also don’t worsen cholesterol levels)
- alpha-5-reductase inhibitors – to prevent androgenic effects
- and other PCT drugs – to help re-establish your natural testosterone levels.
Availability – Legality – Purchase
The law governing anabolic steroids, including testosterone, is distinct in some countries and vague in others.
The US has the Anabolic Steroid Act which prohibits the sale and purchase of these drugs. They are available by prescription only.
The same situation applies in Australia and many major European countries.
Canada and the UK do not punish people who possess steroids for personal use, but the act of purchasing and selling is still unlawful.
Mexico has slacker laws and in fact can sell certain steroids over the counter (OTC). Portugal is yet more relaxed in one way: every drug has been decriminalized for personal use, but traffickers and manufacturers are still persecuted.
Purchasing steroids is therefore a black market affair in most countries, where quality control and even product authenticity is mostly lacking.
There are some good labs which manufacture the prescription/human grade steroids but they are the minority. It also makes no difference to the law.
Buying online is another avenue a lot of people have chosen. It is simple and hassle free in some respects but in others it simply opens the door to more deception.
In short, the risk is entirely your own, should you wish to purchase.
An important point to remember is the purchase of genuine steroids is only a small portion of the whole process. Getting them from the source and past customs is another.
Furthermore, you will need prescription grade countermeasures and PCT drugs to mitigate the side effects which in some form or other are guaranteed with exogenous steroid use.