The side effects of Testosterone Enanthate represent some of the most common associated with anabolic steroid use. Fortunately, the side effects of Testosterone Enanthate are also some of the easiest to avoid. In fact, with responsible use most healthy adult men can supplement problem free. In a Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) setting, if therapy is followed properly there is no reason for an otherwise healthy adult male to have an issue. For the performance minded, those supplementing with supraphysiological doses, this will increase the risk. However, most healthy adult men can tolerate fairly high levels of testosterone quite well if use is of a responsible nature. With that in mind, we want to look at the possible side effects of Testosterone Enanthate, recognize them and recognize what we can do about them.
The estrogenic side effects of Testosterone Enanthate represent the primary area of concern for many men. The estrogenic side effects of Testosterone Enanthate are due to the testosterone hormone’s interaction with the aromatase enzyme, which causes a testosterone to estrogen conversion. As estrogen levels rise, this can lead to gynecomastia and excess water retention. If water retention becomes severe, this can also promote high blood pressure. In fact, severe water retention is one of the leading causes of steroid induced high blood pressure. In order to avoid the estrogenic side effects of Testosterone Enanthate, many men are encouraged to include an anti-estrogen in their plan. Most supplementing with supraphysiological doses will need one. For the TRT patient the need can vary; some will need one while others won’t. You have two categories of choices in anti-estrogens, Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM’s) like Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate) and Aromatase Inhibitors (AI’s) like Arimidex (Anastrozole). AI’s will be the most powerful as they inhibit the aromatase process thereby reducing serum estrogen levels. However, SERM’s can be enough for some men. SERM’s do not inhibit aromatization or lower estrogen levels but rather bind to the estrogen receptors preventing the estrogen hormone from binding. As a bonus, SERM’s, while anti-estrogenic, actually act as estrogen in the liver thereby promoting healthier cholesterol. AI’s do not have this affect. Alone AI’s appear to have very little affect on cholesterol, but when combined with an aromatizing steroid they can significantly suppress HDL cholesterol.
The androgenic side effects of Testosterone Enanthate include acne, hair loss and body hair growth. Such effects are due to the testosterone hormone being metabolized by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme and reduced to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). For the TRT patient, the androgenic side effects of Testosterone Enanthate are extremely rare. In a performance setting, while possible we will find the androgenic side effects of Testosterone Enanthate are dependent on genetic predispositions. For example, only those predisposed to male pattern baldness will risk losing any hair. Such individuals were going to lose their hair anyway, but the use of exogenous testosterone may speed it up. If you are not predisposed, hair loss will be impossible. Acne is similar as those who are genetically sensitive to acne will be the first to have a problem, but keeping the skin clean and dry at all times will offer a lot of protection. If you are sensitive to the androgenic side effects of Testosterone Enanthate, the hormone’s androgenicity can be reduced by the use of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor like Proscar (Finasteride). However, such inhibitors should not be used unless absolutely necessary as they will weaken the testosterone hormone and carry possible side effects of their own. The androgenic side effects of Testosterone Enanthate can also include virilization in women. Virilization symptoms include body hair growth, a deepening of the vocal chords and clitoral enlargement. On a performance basis this steroid cannot be recommended to women. In cases of low testosterone, women can suffer from low testosterone, it is possible for low doses of this compound to be acceptable. However, most women will find other testosterone options to be better suited for their needs.
The cardiovascular side effects of Testosterone Enanthate include high blood pressure and cholesterol issues. If water retention is controlled through diet and estrogen control a healthy adult male should not have blood pressure issues bearing an underlying issue. As for cholesterol, TRT doses will not have a significant impact on cholesterol. Performance doses may have a small effect on HDL cholesterol in a reducing capacity. If an AI is used, HDL cholesterol may be suppressed by as much as 20-25% with TRT or performance levels doses. In order to maintain healthy cholesterol levels a cholesterol friendly lifestyle will protect most men bearing any underlying issue. The individual’s diet should be rich in omega fatty acids with daily fish oil supplementation being a regular part of the plan. The diet should also be limited in simple sugars and saturated fats. Daily cardiovascular activity is also advised. While not always necessary, some may find the use of a cholesterol antioxidant supplement to be beneficial.
The side effects of Testosterone Enanthate will include natural testosterone suppression in all men who supplement. For the TRT patient this is inconsequential as such an individual no longer produces enough testosterone to begin with. For the performance minded, while on cycle this will be of no consequence as the exogenous testosterone will provide his body all it needs. Once the use of Testosterone Enanthate has come to an end and all exogenous hormones have cleared the body, natural testosterone production will begin again. However, it will take quite a bit of time to recover your natural levels. Most men are encouraged to implement a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) program to facilitate a smoother and stronger recovery. A PCT plan will not bring your levels back to their high point on its own; there’s no PCT plan that can do this. However, a solid PCT plan will speed up the process and ensure you have enough testosterone to meet your body’s needs while your levels continue to naturally rise. Important notes – natural testosterone recovery assumes no prior low testosterone condition existed. Natural recovery also assumes severe damage was not done to the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis (HPTA) due to improper or irresponsible anabolic steroid use.