A male sex hormone, testosterone is the primary androgen – though it’s also made in females. It’s considered an anabolic steroid as it bulks up muscle tissues and promotes protein retention by the human body. In both women and men, the hormone is made in the gonads. Not to mention, it is acquired from cholesterol. Besides naturally occurring in the body, the hormone also gets used for treating specific medical ailments. Some athletes use the hormone for bulking up before a competition, despite the practice being banned by the majority of professional sports bodies.
In both men and women, testosterone production goes up during the initial stages of puberty to help the body mature, encourage body hair growth, create more oily hair and skin, and instigate a growth spurt. This spike deepens boys’ voices, inducing testicles to descend, besides contributing to other sex characteristics’ development. Throughout a man’s life, his body continues to make testosterone; however, the rate of production goes down with age.
Also, testosterone helps differentiate female and male brains. Usually, a man’s brain is larger, like many other male body organs, since the hormone contributes to increased growth rate. But, corpus callosum, or the association between the brain’s hemispheres, is bigger in females. The precise influence this has upon abilities and cognition is not clear, despite multiple studies having been conducted on the topic.
Therapeutically, testosterone is generally used for treating conditions induced when the body doesn’t make sufficient natural testosterone. To determine how much testosterone the body is actually making, a blood test could be performed, and if deemed necessary by a doctor, therapeutic hormones could be prescribed. The hormone has also been used for treating some types of cancers that have seemingly responded favorably to steroids. And also for treating females having gender dysmorphia issues, the hormone helps make male sex traits during the transition.
Similar to other steroids, excessive testosterone can cause harm, particularly when the additional amounts are administered sans proper doctor supervision. Excessive testosterone could lead to extremely oily skin, acne, some types of cancers, sleeping difficulties, and complications linked with abnormally high amounts of testosterone. On the other side, a testosterone deficiency could be equally bad, impacting libido, general health maintenance and energy. The majority of human bodies can naturally regulate hormone levels, needing zero medical intervention. A few older men could take part in androgen replacement therapies when their body starts making lower levels of natural testosterone for maintaining their youth or optimal state of vigor and health.
A testosterone injection is among the multiple treatment choices used for dealing with reduced testosterone levels. Normally, a health care professional administers the injections in a clean environment. The injections get scheduled every two weeks or ten days, and are often considered the preferred testosterone replacement therapy method by several physicians and patients alike.
As with several kinds of testosterone therapy items, testosterone injections’ aim is increasing the hormone’s levels till they rise up to a normal range. Injections could become essential during scenarios where the body’s ability to naturally make testosterone is either permanently or temporarily impaired. In several nations, these injections cannot be taken sans a prescription, which makes it mandatory for a doctor to study the condition of the patient and ascertain the right injection frequency and dosage.
One among the several advantages with using testosterone injections is that the dose need not be administered daily. This highly contrasts pills that need to be taken multiple times daily, for days together. Even testosterone creams or patches get applied once or a couple of times every day. Based on the injection’s strength and exact type, the treatment could be needed twice or more a month.
Even individuals who generally don’t find shots convenient often opine using testosterone injections is much more preferable and manageable compared to other treatment choices. With patients embracing the notion of shots, it could be possible to administer injections at one’s house, with the attending physician’s approval. Being able to use pre-measured packets at one’s home further contributes to the ease connected with this kind of treatment for altering low testosterone levels.
While quite effective, these injections have some associated risks. Often, the injection formula comprises use of some kind of natural oil – for instance, sesame or cottonseed oil. Some patients react allergically to these oils, which usually develops as a rash around the injection point. In case the dosage is quite heavy, the person could experience negative mood alterations like increased irritability levels, insomnia, or the requirement for being in motion constantly. Dosage adjustments would often reduce any negative effects and let the patient move ahead with testosterone injection usage.
If the patient does experience negative effects from using the injections, it’s quite likely the physician may recommend the patient to switch to another method to increase levels of the male hormone.