The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I'm 15. I am wondering if I can get testosterone shots from my doctors. I have some pubic hair, am 5 foot 4, have no armpit hair, am very skinny, do not have an enlarged chest and my voice is still very high. Can I go over and do you think they'll allow me to have testosterone shots? What kind of questions will they ask me to see if I'm valid?


Answer

Your body has natural regulators to control your hormone levels (though these are developing during adolescence, which leads to your hormones levels being unsteady). If you take supplemental testosterone, your body concludes you are producing too much and shuts down the production in your testicles. If you receive extra testosterone for too long, you testicles can actually "forget" how to make testosterone, so that when you stop taking the supplements, your hormone levels drop way too low. Taken too long, the testes actually shrink and stop producing as much sperm -- in other words, you would damaging your ability to have children along with your ability to have sex.

Worse, taking too much testosterone in your adolescent years throws off your system that controls your growth. It thinks you are older than you really are, and you stop growing sooner than you would have without the supplements.

Taking excess testosterone has serious side effects. You can get too much of it. Since a man's moods are tied to his hormone levels, men who take too much testosterone tend to be overly aggressive, easily angered and depressed. Since many parts of your body are tied to testosterone, too much of it throws other systems out of whack. For instance, too much testosterone is known to cause liver damage. Since it promotes growth, people who take testosterone and other anabolic steroids have much higher incidences of cancer (uncontrolled cell growth).

There are some boys whose bodies does produce enough testosterone to trigger proper growth and development. These boys do benefit receiving just enough testosterone to offset the amount that they are lacking. But to determine if you don't have enough testosterone, your doctor would need to order a blood test to measure how much testosterone you are actually producing. If you are low, the doctor will then need to determine why it is low. You might be having a different problem, such as a problem in your thyroid, that results in low testosterone. The real problem needs to be fixed first, if it can be fixed.

Because you have some characteristics of development, I would conclude that your body is producing some testosterone. It may be that you are just a late bloomer. In such a case, your doctor will tell you just to be patient and let your body take care of itself.