Testosterone Cypionate Side Effects

By: Juice

Last updated:

SteroidCycle.org is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of professional medical advice.

Testosterone Cypionate is one of many ester forms of testosterone and it remains one of the more popular ones in the world of bodybuilding. This is as basic of an anabolic steroid as you can get.

Testosterone Cypionate Side Effects
Testosterone Cypionate Side Effects

It’s simply a synthetic version of the testosterone that your body naturally produces, and this makes Testosterone Cypionate one of the easiest steroids to use and manage the side effects of for most men.

But with higher doses as is so often used for the purpose of building muscle and other performance goals, comes a higher risk of side effects. For anyone who has used steroids before, most of the side effects of Testosterone Cypionate will be very familiar.

For those brand new to the world of anabolic steroids, Testosterone Cypionate provides an introduction to the basic side effects that you will deal with when using just about any other steroid, but usually without falling into the very extremes which can be problematic with the more powerful compounds.

Keep reading to find out all about Testosterone Cypionate side effects and more about this widely used steroid.

This guide covers only the core Testosterone Cypionate side effects, but users should be aware that some individuals can experience unique and unusual adverse effects according to personal response.

Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of steroids (PEDs).

What is Testosterone Cypionate?

Testosterone Cypionate is one of the ester variants that exists with the testosterone hormone. It’s no different in its effects than the other very popular ester Testosterone Enanthate or any of the other esters available.

Testosterone Cypionate Structure
Testosterone Cypionate Structure

The main use medically for this steroid is to treat low testosterone levels in men. Often these men will need to use Testosterone Cypionate for their entire lifetime, and this is done at doses that are normally much lower than bodybuilders use.

Testosterone Cypionate has been around since the 1950’s, so there is a long history of research and studies to support its safety and effectiveness in treating low testosterone.

Like every variant of testosterone, Testosterone Cypionate has an anabolic and androgenic rating of 100 and 100. This is the rating that all other steroids are measured against, with chemical modifications able to reduce or increase each of these ratings and provide different benefits. But with Testosterone Cypionate you know what you’re getting straight up: a synthetic version of the standard testosterone hormone.

When buying Testosterone Cypionate in pharmaceutical grade quality (if you can find it), you might find that this form of testosterone is sold under dozens of different brand names. They all refer to the same steroid, that’s why it’s important to look for the name Testosterone Cypionate so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Some of the brand names you might come across include Depo-Testosterone, Deposteron, Duratest, Testadiate Depo, Andronate and Virilon just to name a few.

The quality of your Testosterone Cypionate can have a critical impact on your side effect experience. Poor quality steroids can introduce unexpected side effects due to contamination or inclusion of ingredients besides testosterone.

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What does Testosterone Cypionate do?

Testosterone Cypionate will give you all the benefits and effects of testosterone, multiplied according to the dosage you take.

Testosterone is an anabolic hormone essential for normal male functioning, so when you start taking doses substantially higher than what your body would normally produce on its own, you will see its effects amplified.

This covers everything from muscle growth, fat loss, endurance, strength, recovery, and additional benefits like enhanced well being and improved libido.

Let’s check out an overview of the main benefits of Testosterone Cypionate:

  • Strength: A cycle using only Testosterone Cypionate will result in significant strength gains, allowing the lifting of heavier weights and ultimately, faster muscle gains. With its slower acting effect, a increase in strength is often the first benefit noticed from a Testosterone Cypionate only cycle and you can find yourself being able to lift 40 to 50lbs heavier once the steroid takes full effect. However many users will choose to use a powerful and fast strength gainer like Dianabol at the start of a cycle, where you will be able to enjoy almost immediate gains in strength.
  • Muscle gains: It’s near impossible to predict how much muscle you will gain, but even at moderate dosages it’s not impossible to see gains of 20lbs with the right diet and training. In addition to impressive muscle gains, most users will see incredible pumps. To get the highest quality lean gains, steps should be taken to minimize water retention through the use of a SERM like Nolvadex to control estrogen levels.
  • Preserving muscle: Rarely would Testosterone Cypionate be used as a sole compound in a cutting cycle, but when paired with a true cutting steroid like Anavar, testosterone acts as a powerful muscle preserver which ensures you don’t become catabolic and lose lean muscle while on a low calorie diet.
  • Endurance: A higher red blood cell count allows more nutrient and oxygen carrying blood to the muscles. Increased muscular endurance is a welcome effect of Testosterone Cypionate, allowing longer and more intensive workouts and a noticeable extension to the point where you would normally become fatigued.
  • Recovery: Testosterone Cypionate will promote faster healing of damaged muscle tissue as a result of your weights training (which leads to faster muscle growth). This critical benefit is largely thanks to Testosterone Cypionate’s promotion of protein synthesis and increased red blood cell production.

To get the most out of Testosterone Cypionate, the recommended cycle length is in the 12-16 range. Some users will extend this longer, depending on your personal goals.

To experience the above benefits it is widely accepted that dosage needs to be at a minimum 400mg weekly, with more substantial results able to be achieved at 600mg weekly and beyond.

Steroid users who wish only to use Testosterone Cypionate for testosterone replacement to combat the suppression caused by other steroids will find that Testosterone Cypionate does not bring the above benefits – in such cases all you’re doing is replacing the normal level of testosterone that your body needs.

Short-Term Side Effects

The short term side effects of Testosterone Cypionate cover most and usually all of the side effects you might experience.

Only in cases of extremely high doses might some side effects become a more long term health problem, and this is a sign of misuse of the steroid.

In the case of men who are unfortunate enough to suffer with hair loss as a result of genetics, this might not be reversible.

In more extreme cases where users have not taken appropriate action to control gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) this condition can become very difficult to reverse without surgery. But only in the most negligent cases would such a scenario usually arise – when using very high doses and with no anti-estrogen mitigation measures.

The majority of men will find the short term side effects of Testosterone Cypionate to be uncomfortable but relatively moderate when you compare it to some of the more potent anabolic steroids.

Estrogenic Side Effects

Testosterone Cypionate is an aromatizing steroid. This is the process of testosterone being converted to estrogen. The more testosterone you inject, the higher your estrogen levels can rise and consequently, the more severe these side effects can become.

Gynecomastia and water retention and the main estrogenic side effects you need to watch out for with this steroid. And they will be worsened if you stack Testosterone Cypionate with any other aromatizing steroids.

There are two possible drug classes you use to reduce estrogenic activity: AIs and SERMs. Aromatase Inhihibitors are effective but have the downside of worsening the cholesterol risks you already face with Testosterone Cypionate, while also lowering estrogen levels beyond what is needed.

So most users will choose a SERM with Nolvadex being a common option. This will help target mammary tissue growth to reduce gyno risks, while not completely eliminating estrogen as males do need a small amount of this hormone for healthy functioning.

Androgenic Side Effects

Testosterone is the main androgenic hormone in males so it is natural that when we take Testosterone Cypionate at higher doses, androgenic activity is going to be amplified.

While these aren’t life threatening side effects, they can be some of the most distressing for men because they are so visually noticeable.

But it’s not just testosterone itself that’s responsible for any androgenic side effects you might develop.

Mostly it’s the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which is an even more powerful androgen that is the culprit of much of the dreaded side effects in this category.

On top of this, your genetics will largely determine if and how severe these side effects could be.

As a result there’s a lot of variation in individual experiences and some guys will get through a Testosterone Cypionate with minimal or even no androgenic side effects, while others will battle with them at a higher level.

Even if you are destined to experience some of these side effects, you can still take actions to reduce the severity and that is something we should always be prepared for. This is especially true if it’s going to be your first time using Testosterone Cypionate and you’re unsure what your response will be.

The main androgenic side effects you might have to deal with are:

  • Male pattern baldness (hair loss on the head)
  • Acne and oily skin
  • Increased growth of body and facial hair

For most men the most concerning condition out of all these is the possible trigger of male pattern baldness which is possible if this is already in your genes.

Some men (we could call them the fortunate ones) are just genetically programmed to be able to withstand a higher DHT level, while others are very sensitive to DHT and only a small rise results in loss of hair.

Testosterone Cypionate may bring hair loss on earlier than if you weren’t using the steroid and will often be permanent. A 5-alpha reductase inhibitor drug can be used to block DHT and potentially reduce hair loss while using Testosterone Cypionate. But hair loss is still possible even without high levels of DHT because testosterone itself is a strong androgen.

In cases where men are strongly predisposed to hair loss, the use of a shampoo like Nizoral which topically blocks androgens directly on the scalp can add another layer of mitigation towards this side effect.

Some people will successfully use Nizoral 2% shampoo to treat steroid induced acne. It essentially acts as a topical androgen blocker, even though that is not it’s primary purpose (which means caution should always be taken when using products off label as irritation may occur).

Hepatotoxic Side Effects

One of the positives about Testosterone Cypionate is that it isn’t known to be liver toxic. Injectable steroids are rarely hepatotoxic because they don’t pass through the liver like the highly toxic oral steroids do.

Testosterone Cypionate has shown in research that even when consumed at very high doses and orally, liver values are not affected.

But if you’re going to stack Testosterone Cypionate with any oral steroids like Dianabol (which is a common strategy) then you will have to deal with the risks of liver toxicity.

Popular oral steroids that can be stacked with Testosterone Cypionate include Anadrol, Anavar, Dianabol and Winstrol.

HPTA and Endogenous Testosterone Production Side Effects

Testosterone Cypionate will suppress your normal production of testosterone. This happens because your body is being fed a continuous supply of exogenous testosterone, signalling it has more than enough of the hormone and so no more should be produced.

When you stop using Testosterone Cypionate, and once it clears your system, your testosterone levels will drop and often considerably so.

Your natural production can’t bounce back overnight which is why post cycle therapy is essential following a Testosterone Cypionate cycle.

PCT will prevent you from suffering with low testosterone symptoms and provide that bridge you need to function well and keep your gains while your testosterone function gradually restores itself.

Cardiovascular Side Effects

Testosterone Cypionate is known to have some negative effects on cholesterol. You won’t find a steroid that doesn’t impact cholesterol and the cardiovascular system to some extent, and while Testosterone Cypionate is considered one of the more moderate ones in this regard it’s still an area that you don’t want to take any chances with.

Impacts on the cardiovascular system include negative changes to cholesterol levels, which in turn can cause stress to the heart and arteries. Blood pressure can rise, and risk of serious heart conditions can increase.

Most users will be able to keep cardiovascular side effects to a minimum with Testosterone Cypionate by maintaining a heart friendly diet, and including regular cardiovascular training into workouts.

Is Testosterone Cypionate Safe?

In comparison to other steroids which are chemically modified versions of testosterone and other hormones, Testosterone Cypionate is considered as safe as its possible to be with anabolic steroids.

But when used at the doses we require for performance purposes, there’s no guarantee that you won’t experience unexpected or longer term health complications, especially when very high doses are regularly used.

The stress Testosterone Cypionate can cause to the cardiovascular system, particularly in raising cholesterol, is one of the more serious risks. Anyone with existing cholesterol or heart issues should reconsider using any steroids.

The good news is that Testosterone Cypionate is safe for the liver, unlike many other steroids.

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What happens if I stop taking Testosterone Cypionate?

Testosterone Cypionate’s half life is 8-9 days, so when you stop taking it it will take some time to clear your system.

If PCT is not then started, your testosterone levels will decrease and often to the point where normal functioning is difficult.

Testosterone Cypionate suppresses natural testosterone production and post cycle therapy helps restore this function while your body gets back to normal.

How can I prevent acne while on Testosterone Cypionate?

Acne can be caused by the increase in oil or sebum being produced when using Testosterone Cypionate.

Keeping a clean skin regime is a must, including use of a non-chemical face cleaner and a diet that promotes skin health including fresh foods and avoiding processed foods.

Some acne sufferers will use a topical androgen blocking solution like Nizoral shampoo. Although not promoted as an acne treatment, many do find it effective for reducing hormonal acne.

Can Testosterone Cypionate increase hair growth?

The androgenic activity of Testosterone Cypionate can lead to increased growth of hair on the body and face when the steroid is used at doses higher than a testosterone replacement level. Not all men will experience this effect however.

Body hair growth is also a high risk side effect for women who use Testosterone Cypionate at doses beyond the lowest levels.

How long does it take for Testosterone Cypionate to work?

Testosterone Cypionate is a slower acting form of testosterone and it takes a few weeks for the effects to start becoming noticeable.

Usually positive effects can start being seen at the three to four week mark, with muscle gains increasing over the course of a cycle which should run for at least 12 or 16 weeks.

Does Testosterone Cypionate raise your cholesterol?

All steroids can affect your cholesterol levels and wider cardiovascular system. Testosterone Cypionate is not usually severe but each person will have different sensitivities and any existing health problems can pose a higher risk.

HDL (good) cholesterol levels can decrease and LDL (bad) cholesterol may rise, raising the risk of cardiovascular stress, arteriosclerosis and increased blood pressure.

In healthy people, cholesterol levels should return to normal in the weeks following a Testosterone Cypionate cycle.

Can females use Testosterone Cypionate?

Testosterone Cypionate is not considered an ideal steroid for women to use due to its high androgenic activity which can cause virilizing side effects like body hair growth and a deepened voice.

While women may use Testosterone Cypionate at very low doses, in most cases more milder steroids like Anavar are considered much more suitable for females.

Is hair loss from Testosterone Cypionate reversible?

Whether your hair will grow back after being lost while using Testosterone Cypionate will depend mostly on genes and how extensive the hair loss is and ultimately, whether the follicles are capable of regrowing hair.

Many men will find male pattern baldness is not reversible without some form of hair restoration treatment.

Final Thoughts

Testosterone Cypionate is one of the better steroids we can use, simply because it’s an unmodified form of testosterone.

But it’s the higher doses required for our bodybuilding and performance goals that pose the problems. With increased doses comes increased risk. And you can’t get away from having to include additional drugs in a Testosterone Cypionate cycle, both to combat estrogenic and often androgenic side effects, as well as post cycle therapy.

This concoction of substances is something I’ve become more uneasy about in recent times, and a combination of all the risk factors involved with using Testosterone Cypionate is what led me to seek out a viable alternative (ideally without having to compromise on my results).

About the Author
Juice Lewis, Author of SteroidCycle.org
Juice Lewis

Real-life Experience, not Theory

I don't claim to know everything; what I talk about here is something I've done. From anabolic steroids to HGH, to peptides, insulin, and supplements, I've done it at some point in my life, and I can relate.