What Are Human Growth Hormone Injections? Benefits and Side Effects

human growth hormones steroid shot

Updated August 2022

As we get older, the production of human growth hormone (HGH) naturally slows, but it doesn’t affect us in the same way as children.

Many people are turning to human growth hormone injections for their potential anti-ageing effect or to improve performance in the gym or at sports. Here, we share all the benefits and side effects of growth hormones to help you see the full picture of their use and whether they’re right for you.

What Are Human Growth Hormones? 

Human growth hormone (HGH or GH) is the naturally occurring hormone that helps humans grow. It is primarily produced in the growth stage of life, peaking at puberty and then slowly declining later in life.

HGH help build, repair and maintain brain and organ tissue, build bones, and promote cell growth and regeneration.

It’s a vital hormone produced by the pituitary gland. If a child is deficient in natural growth hormone (HGH) and suffers from poor growth, a doctor may prescribe synthetic human growth hormone so they can build strong, healthy bones and organs. Growth hormone deficiency is a rare condition but must be addressed. 

Pituitary gland 3d illustration

Uses of Growth Hormones

Growth hormones are usually used for various medical conditions, although it has become more common for people to use them for other reasons.

Potential users for growth HGH treatment are:

Turner syndrome — A genetic disorder that can affect a girl’s development.

Prader Willi syndrome — A genetic disorder that can cause reduced muscle tone, low sex drive and the feeling of being constantly hungry. This condition is rare.

Chronic kidney disease.

HGH deficiency or insufficiency.

Children born small for gestational age.

Short bowel syndrome — Meaning that someone isn’t able to properly absorb nutrients due to the small intestine being reduced through illness or surgery.

HGH deficiency due to rare pituitary gland tumours.

Muscle wasting.

While the above conditions are considered serious reasons for human growth hormone treatment, they can also be used to improve athletic performance or someone’s general quality of life. Some potential uses are:

Loss of muscle mass

Increased abdominal fat

Decreased sexual performance

Lack of energy

Mood swings

Disrupted sleep.

What Are the Benefits of HGH for Adults?

Young woman relaxing in summer sunset sky outdoor.

If you have an actual growth hormone deficiency, supplementation can improve your quality of life.

While not all of these benefits are true for every person, it’s wise to speak to a healthcare professional to help you to achieve the results you’re hoping for. A good doctor should be able to set realistic expectations about what you can achieve.

Results are unlikely to happen overnight, but with HGH treatment taken over time, you can hope to achieve some of the following benefits:

Improved mood and mental health

Improved energy levels

Better quality of sleep

Increased muscle mass and strength

Ability to lose weight and keep it off if used alongside a healthy diet

Increased libido and sexual performance

Lower cholesterol

Balanced testosterone levels

Better mental acuity and memory

Improved bone mass

Better immune system function

Replenished and rejuvenated skin

Faster recovery from injuries and wounds.

Signs of Growth Hormone Deficiency

Tape measure around woman's waist

If you’re concerned that you might have a growth hormone deficiency, you should consult a medical professional. They should be able to help you run the proper tests and diagnose you more accurately.

There are some signs you can look out for:

More body fat, particularly around the waist

Reduced bone mass

Less stamina during physical activity

Struggling to build muscle mass

Feeling anxious or depressed

Exhaustion or fatigue

Feeling sensitive to temperatures.

You should also be mindful that this list is not exhaustive, and if you have one or several of the symptoms listed, it doesn’t mean you definitely have a growth hormone deficiency.

If you are unsure, it’s best to book a consultation with a doctor.

Can Human Growth Hormone Stop the Ageing Process? 

You may have seen adverts claiming HGH is the next fountain of youth. For adults using HGH for anti-ageing, who don’t have a growth hormone deficiency, there is no reliable evidence of this.

Some studies show a host of benefits from taking HGH, but Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, professor of neurological surgery and professor of medicine, said that:

“Most studies do not actually support the concept that GH administration for elderly individuals, who are secreting relatively low GH, can actually improve functional performance, and furthermore, the potential for toxicity is higher among the elderly population.” 

If anti-ageing is your goal, the best option is to speak to a professional for some considered medical advice. They may recommend an alternative solution like Botox or a Non-Surgical Facelift.

What Are Human Growth Hormones Usually Used For?    

Men, in particular, use the hormone for athletic or aesthetic reasons since it can help improve muscle mass and reduce body fat.

Some sources say synthetic HGH improves athletic performance, but the scientific evidence to prove this is lacking. HGH is also banned by many professional sports leagues and athletic associations, resulting in fewer studies on growth hormones.

However, a group of researchers reviewed 44 studies on growth hormones in athletes. They found that:

“After receiving daily injections for an average of 20 days, the subjects who received GH increased their lean body mass (which reflects muscle mass but can also include fluid mass), by an average of 4.6 pounds.”

While this is a substantial gain, the researchers couldn’t find any connection to improved performance or increased strength. 

Many people are using a combination of steroids and HGH to get maximum results in the gym. You may experience increased metabolism, a gain in muscle mass and a decrease in body fat, and improved mood and cognitive function.

However, your mileage will vary and you may discover the side effects aren’t worth the benefits. If you want to use performance-enhancing drugs, we are here to help without judgement. It’s much safer if you use the help of a professional to mitigate the side effects these drugs can cause.

What Are the Side Effects and Risks of Taking HGH?

young women holding her knee from knee ache

Without the guidance of a doctor, taking human growth hormones can have severe and dangerous side effects. These include:

Joint Problems

Muscle Aches

Carpal tunnel syndrome



Swelling of feet and hands

Changes in blood sugar insulin

High blood pressure

Liver Damage.

Talk to your doctor immediately if you are taking growth hormones and experiencing any of the above symptoms. There are no studies on the effects of long-term use of growth hormones, so please be careful and seek the guidance of a doctor. 

How Does Human Growth Hormone Treatment Work? 

Female Doctor Injecting Male Patient With Syringe To Collect Blood Sample

Human growth hormone replacement therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for those who suffer from short-term or long-term pituitary disorders. The benefits of this natural remedy include increased muscle mass, better sleep patterns and reduced fatigue while promoting faster healing rates after exercise sessions.

HGH replacement therapy is available in two forms: self-administered or as injections from a doctor. The best results will come with treatments administered for months and sometimes years to optimise your body’s natural production of HGH levels.

Your treatment will start with a blood test to check your growth hormone profile, along with a consultation with a growth hormone expert.

If it’s decided that growth hormone treatment is a good fit for you, then you will be prescribed a course of HGH injections and be taught how to administer them, or the doctor will administer them for you.

The doctor will likely want to follow up with you after your course to evaluate how you’re feeling and run more blood tests.

How to Choose a Human Growth Hormone Specialist?

If you’ve weighed up the benefits vs risks of HGH injections and think they might be for you, the next step would be to choose a specialist in HGH treatments.

It’s difficult to know where to start when choosing a doctor to work with. If you have something serious like Turner syndrome or another genetic condition, we advise consulting with your regular doctor first.

However, if you’re searching for HGH treatment to increase muscle mass or improve your general wellbeing, it’s important to look for a specialist.

Look for the following in your human growth hormone specialist:

A licensed medical professional

Member of various medical boards or associations

Great testimonials from other happy patients

An expert in men’s health conditions or specifically HGH use.

The practitioner or clinic should be able to offer you a blood test, followed by a consultation and a plan that’s bespoke to your particular needs. They should also be interested in following your progress during treatment.

Harley Street MD offer a discreet, professional service, free of judgement, with one of our men’s health or human growth hormone (HGH) experts.


Do you think you have a growth hormone deficiency, or are you considering using hormones to enhance your performance in the gym? Book a free, no-obligation consultation with our men’s health experts so we can help you through the process.


Founder at Harley St M.D.
Dr. Chia Tan is a UK trained medical doctor that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine and testosterone replacement therapy. He is qualified as a medical doctor since 2003 and has since trained extensively. He has been featured in several leading magazines as well as invited to appear on TV to discuss aesthetic medicine and the latest cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Chia Tan
Latest posts by Dr. Chia Tan (see all)
rcgp gmc rcs-ed rcgp
gmc rcs-ed rcgp gmc