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As Testosterone Propionate is, of course, Testosterone, it suffers from moderate aromatization which results in the Estrogenic side effects of bloating, water retention, elevated blood pressure (as a result of the bloating), and risks of gynecomastia. This soft and puffy look that bloating brings to the physique is generally undesirable for most users that wish to engage in cutting cycles or lean mass cycles. Therefore, Testosterone Propionate must be utilized with an aromatase inhibitor in order to disable the aromatase enzyme and eliminate the water retention effect of the Estrogen conversion, which should result in a harder looking physique without the soft puffiness. In doing so, Testosterone can successfully be utilized as a ‘hardening’ and cutting compound, as well as for lean mass gains. Some individuals prefer the water retention, convinced that it aids in protecting tissues and connective tissue from the stressors of heavy strength gains and heavy lifting, and therefore Testosterone is preferred as a bulking and strength gaining compound in this case. In any case, Testosterone is also an excellent compound for all-out bulking and strength gaining cycles, which is what its main use seems to be among bodybuilders and athletes. It is a very versatile compound that can provide the anabolic strength necessary for bulking phases.
In androgen-responsive target tissues such as the skin, scalp, and prostate, the high relative androgenicity of testosterone is dependant on its reduction to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for this metabolism of testosterone. The concurrent use of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor such as finasteride or dutasteride will interfere with site-specific potentiation of testosterone action, lowering the tendency of testosterone drugs to produce androgenic side effects. It is important to remember that both anabolic and androgenic effects are mediated via the cytosolic androgen receptor. Complete separation of testosterone’s anabolic and androgenic properties is not possible, even with total 5-alpha reductase inhibition.