Testosterone Cypionate represents one of the most popular and common testosterone compounds on the market. In fact, in the U.S. it is the most commonly prescribed testosterone for the treatment of low testosterone. The supply is high, and while side effects of Testosterone Cypionate exist it is an extremely well-tolerated anabolic steroid. Most men will find the side effects of Testosterone Cypionate are very easy to avoid. This not only applies to low testosterone patients undergoing Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) but performance athletes as well. Most men can tolerate high levels of testosterone very well; however supraphysiological doses most certainly increase the risk. In a TRT setting, we will find the side effects of Testosterone Cypionate are extremely easy to avoid. In fact, when therapy is done properly an otherwise healthy adult male should not have any issue. In a performance setting, we will find the side effects of Testosterone Cypionate are also easy to avoid. However, those of an androgenic nature may be a bit more difficult to combat in those who are sensitive. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the possible side effects of Testosterone Cypionate, recognize them and recognize what you can do about them.
The estrogenic side effects of Testosterone Cypionate represent the most common. The estrogenic side effects of Testosterone Cypionate are due to the testosterone hormone interacting with the aromatase enzyme, which causes testosterone to convert to estrogen. As estrogen levels rise, this can promote gynecomastia and excess water retention. If water retention becomes severe, this can have a negative impact on blood pressure. By controlling estrogen, we can control the estrogenic side effects of Testosterone Cypionate. Anti-estrogens are almost always recommended when supraphysiological doses of testosterone are used. In a TRT setting, they may or may not be needed. You have two choices in anti-estrogens, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM’s) like Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate) and Aromatase Inhibitors like Arimidex (Anastrozole). Let’s take a look at how both function:
AI’s are by far the most effective, but some may find SERM’s to be enough. As a bonus, SERM’s have been shown to promote healthy cholesterol. They are anti-estrogenic but actually act as estrogen in the liver, which promotes healthier cholesterol. Conversely, AI’s can potentially have a negative effect on cholesterol. AI’s are often needed, and if so a cholesterol friendly lifestyle is important. Healthy cholesterol can be maintained, which we will go over in the cardiovascular section.
The androgenic side effects of Testosterone Cypionate rarely affect the TRT patient; it’s possible but highly unlikely. Those supplementing for performance with supraphysiological doses will be at the greatest risk; however, the androgenic side effects of Testosterone Cypionate are highly dependent on genetics. The androgenic side effects of Testosterone Cypionate are due to the testosterone hormone being metabolized by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which reduces the testosterone hormone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This can promote acne, hair loss and body hair growth. Those sensitive to acne may breakout, especially on the chest, shoulders and back. Staying clean and dry at all times will help. Those who are not sensitive will rarely have a problem. As for hair loss, if you are not predisposed to male pattern baldness you will not lose any hair. If you are predisposed, you’re going to lose your hair with or without testosterone use, but the use of Testosterone Cypionate may speed it up. In order to combat the androgenic side effects of Testosterone Cypionate, some men will turn to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like Proscar (Finasteride) as they can significantly reduce the androgenicity of this hormone. Such inhibitors should, however, not be used unless absolutely necessary. Such inhibitors will reduce the effectiveness of the testosterone hormone and come with potential side effects of their own. The androgenic side effects of Testosterone Cypionate will also promote virilization in women. Virilization symptoms include body hair growth, a deepening of the vocal chords and clitoral enlargement. Testosterone Cypionate cannot be recommended on a performance basis to women. In a TRT setting, this compound can be useful in very low doses; however, most women will find other testosterone options to be better suited.
The cardiovascular side effects of Testosterone Cypionate can include high blood pressure and cholesterol. If water retention is controlled, which can easily be controlled through diet and by controlling estrogen, baring no underlying issues most men will be fine. Then we have cholesterol; in a TRT setting, exogenous testosterone should not have a statistical impact on cholesterol. In a performance setting moderate decreases in HDL cholesterol may occur. In either setting, TRT or performance, the use of an AI may cause the suppression of HDL cholesterol to reach 20-25%. For this reason a cholesterol friendly lifestyle is important. With a cholesterol friendly lifestyle, related side effects of Testosterone Cypionate should not be an issue. Diet is extremely important and should be limited in simple sugars and saturated fats and rich in omega fatty acids. Daily fish oil supplementation is highly recommended. Implementing daily cardiovascular activity is also advised. While not always necessary, some may find the use of a cholesterol antioxidant supplement to be useful.
The side effects of Testosterone Cypionate will include natural testosterone suppression in all men who supplement. This is of no concern for the TRT patient as such an individual is no longer producing enough testosterone to begin with. For the performance minded, during supplementation this is of no concern as the exogenous testosterone will provide all he needs. Once the use of Testosterone Cypionate has come to an end and all exogenous hormones have cleared the body natural testosterone production will begin again. However, natural levels will be low for quite some time; most men will want to implement a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) program. A PCT plan will stimulate natural testosterone production and lead to a smoother, faster and more efficient recovery. It will not bring your levels back to their peak, this will still take time, but it will ensure you have enough testosterone for proper bodily function while your levels continue to naturally rise. Important notes – natural testosterone recovery assumes no prior low testosterone condition existed. It also assumes the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis (HPTA) was not severely damaged due to improper or irresponsible anabolic steroid use.