Many of us have probably had the inclination to brush off a late shot; one delayed by work, socializing, travel, anxiety, or forgetfulness. There are many times when there was simply something in the way of us successfully completing a timely shot. But our bodies and endocrine systems are much more fine-tuned than we may be giving them credit.
Six years ago when I started T, I was put on a small and slow beginner dose to ease my body into the onset of the inevitable, desired, puberty. After about five months (and nary a chin hair in sight) I started to notice I was getting incredibly sad and detached the two days before my shot. I couldn’t explain it but I knew something about my hormone level was off. My endocrinologist took one look at my blood work and said “you’re cycling through your dosage faster than you were before. It’s time to up your mLs!”
I got put on a higher level of T and after a few months I realized that was the sweet spot. I had no more moody days – things felt stable.
It wasn’t until last year, a whopping 4 years into my stable dose, that the male hormonal cycle was explained to me. My new doctor had run blood work and showed me that the level of testosterone in my body at 23 years old and almost 5 years on T was at “puberty” levels. In short, unnecessarily high. He drew out a chart that showed the ebb and flow of hormonal distribution in the body.
As a society that sees women as weak and inferior and somehow “emotionally compromised” by a hormonal cycle (of course this is the assumption that all women have ovaries and higher levels of estrogen). Because of this we are not taught, nor do we discuss, the fact that men have hormonal cycles as well. Whether your body naturally produces testosterone at a rate that positively impacts you, or you give it a little boost with a syringe, your hormones metabolize throughout the cycle.
In very basic terms, on your normal shot day you should have a fairly low but still within “normal” range amount of testosterone. When you do your shot the testosterone works its way into your system, causing a peak usually just before halfway through your cycle. That’s to say – if you do your shot every other Thursday, the Wednesday following your shot will probably see the peak of testosterone in your body. From there, the amount of testosterone starts to be metabolized, used up so to speak. This leads to a declining line and you should be close to where you started when you do your next shot.
In the chart provided below, line B illustrates a consistent and healthy cycle of testosterone in the body. As you can see, the base level of testosterone does not vary much and shots are taken on a scheduled, regimented basis.
But take a look at line A. This is what an irregular shot cycle can look like. See how the level of testosterone in the body starts to dip below the starting spot as the spaces between shots increases and becomes less consistent? When you skip a day or an entire shot your levels dip below the established “normal” for your body and that can make it really hard to build back up. These deficits can cause a bevy of issues, just like too-high peaks can.
The work behind your dose and schedule is carefully crafted to make sure that the cycle is stable and predictable. Do yourself, your mind, and your body a favor: do your shot on time.