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Thread: Low free Testosterone after PCT

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    Low free Testosterone after PCT

    Hello guys, i did my BW 1 month and half after finished my PCT. My cycle was a bit long, 16 weeks with Test E ( 250mg/week ) and Deca ( 300mg/week ) and the last 4, i removed deca and used 300mg/week of Tren Ace. During cycle i did HCG 250UI e3d, and 18 days later, after last Test E shoot, i started PCT following the well-known Austinite's standard protocol ( Clomid and Nolva, without HCG ). In other words, i followed all the best practices we know as all the educational threads tell.

    My PCT was 4 weeks long, and finished around 1 month and half ago. 4 days ago, i did my BW and checked several panels, among which free testosterone , total testosterone, E2 ( i will check tomorrow SHGB, Albumine, LH and FSH ). I didn't get the paper with the results yet, because my analyst told me them by phone; when i will get them, i will post it here.

    What came out, was the total testosterone was 4,16 ng/ML = 416 ng/DL; but E2 was 1.9 pg/ML ( in Italy an E2 ultra-sensitive essay does not exist ) and free testosterone was around 1.50 ( reference range 4-28 ).

    I don't remember with precision the reference range, but what is sure is that total testosterone is good, but the free one and E2 are very very low.

    Further, i always feel a bit tired, even if sex drive and erections are not so bad but not as they were before and/or during AAS cycle.

    My liver and lipid panels are perfect. My HCT was at the lower limit ( 39.7% on 39%-50% range ), my hemoglobin 13.7 and my RBC 4,60... all almost the lower limit ( i guess this could be related to low free testosterone ).

    My tests are not little, they seem to be of regular dimensions, not evident atrophy signs.

    It's a pretty strange having total testosterone in a discrete range and the free one and E2 so low. In the meanwhile, i will investigate about SHGB, albumine and LH to give a more complete scenario.

    What does it could be the cause ? Do you have any suggestions ? I don't hope to enter at 39 years old, in TRT for the rest of my life...

    Some help will be very appreciated.

    Thank you for your time.
    Last edited by Slacker78; 10-09-2017 at 01:59 PM.

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    Everyone responds differently to pct. You simply may need more time to recover. You'll know more tomorrow when further tests come in, particularly SHBG which binds free T. Odds are it high at the moment. Post them up when you get them please.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Everyone responds differently to pct. You simply may need more time to recover. You'll know more tomorrow when further tests come in, particularly SHBG which binds free T. Odds are it high at the moment. Post them up when you get them please.
    Yes Kelkel, thank you. I will post them in a few days. I thought at SHBG too and as far as i know, its level could be higher when exist liver or thyroid problems. My liver seems to be ok, all its parameters are in perfect health. I did thyroid panel around 1 years ago and it was all ok and i have no any hypo-hyper thyroidism symptom.

    Excluding these factors, what could cause SHBG to raise ?

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    Lots of things influence shbg from insulin to GH, getting older and probably moreso estrogens. Right now you're hormones are still "in flux" so I'd give it time to settle before I did anything drastic. Make sure your D3 is optimized.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Lots of things influence shbg from insulin to GH, getting older and probably moreso estrogens. Right now you're hormones are still "in flux" so I'd give it time to settle before I did anything drastic. Make sure your D3 is optimized.
    Uhmmm... for example, high androgens level tipical when we are in AAS cycle, might affect SHBG making it raising for a sort of compensation attempt ?

    Forgive my ignorance: what is D3 ?

    EDIT: Vitamin D3, yes i've a supplement. I will take it for a while.
    Last edited by Slacker78; 10-09-2017 at 04:38 PM.

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    No, elevated androgens normally will suppress shbg. Then when you come off the pendulum swings back to whatever their norm is.
    Next blood work test your D3 (25-OHD) level so you know you're taking enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    No, elevated androgens normally will suppress shbg. Then when you come off the pendulum swings back to whatever their norm is.
    Next blood work test your D3 (25-OHD) level so you know you're taking enough.
    Ok Kelkel, thank you. I willl post next results very soon. In general, other to wait the body restore its hormonal homeostasis, is it an usual practice starting another little PCT with SERMs and/or HCG in order to provide an additional stimulus ?

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    Update:

    LH: 4,42 ( 1.1 - 7.0 )
    Total Testosterone : 372 ng/DL ( 1 week ago it was around 416 ng/DL )
    Albumin: 4,86 ( 3.5 - 5.5 )

    I tested E2, 1 week ago in the previous BW and it was 1.9 pg/ml, so i didn't test it again as i expect about the same low values and it's compatible with low testosterone issue.

    For SHBG i have to wait some day more.

    I guess the tests does not respond as they should, although they do not show atrophy signs. It would seem a primary hypogonadism, as the LH signal shoots the Leydig cells, but they emit a weak reply ( T production ) Is there something i can do, other than "waiting" ( and praying ) ?

    I'm guess i should begin a brief HCG cycle...
    Last edited by Slacker78; 10-10-2017 at 07:50 AM.

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    I'd wait for your final labs before you consider another pct.
    Your LH value is good.
    Are you testing standard estradiol or E2 Sensitive? Standard estradiol can be quite inaccurate especially at lower mens levels.
    416 TT to 372 is nothing to worry about.

    How old are you Slacker and approx how many cycles have you run?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    I'd wait for your final labs before you consider another pct.
    Your LH value is good.
    Are you testing standard estradiol or E2 Sensitive? Standard estradiol can be quite inaccurate especially at lower mens levels.
    416 TT to 372 is nothing to worry about.

    How old are you Slacker and approx how many cycles have you run?
    I'm 39 years old. I ran 3 AAS cycles ( always Test and Deca only ), always following the best practices here exposed. Never had problems. Just the last cycle i got Tren Acetate for 5 weeks at 300mg/week as i told. Always monitored blood panels and all was always ok, without significant fluctuations. My T level always returned to normal baseline level.

    In Italy there's no E2 ultra-sensitive essay available. I always tested E2 in this lab and i've learned in time with those values, to understand ( even listening my body feelings ) what is my E2 "good spot" ( between 20-35 pg/ml ).

    Do you think problem is related to tests ?
    Last edited by Slacker78; 10-10-2017 at 08:39 AM.

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    Well, sometimes standard estradiol is accurate, other times it's not. It's a crap shoot really.
    Guys T levels can start to drop in their 30's, then add AAS on top of that and you can obviously speed up the process. You're doing the right thing though. Investigate everything first, try to correct the issue and if it fails, then look into TRT. This way you can enter into replacement with a clear conscience if needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Well, sometimes standard estradiol is accurate, other times it's not. It's a crap shoot really.
    Guys T levels can start to drop in their 30's, then add AAS on top of that and you can obviously speed up the process. You're doing the right thing though. Investigate everything first, try to correct the issue and if it fails, then look into TRT. This way you can enter into replacement with a clear conscience if needed.
    Yes. But the low T level could explain the low E2 level too and the poor responsiveness tests. I actually feel a bit letargic, and this is compatible too. I've already did the last BW so could i take something, even transiently without affect nothing in a significant way, to improve my mood and my energy ? low HCG course could me help ?

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    Yes, of course it could explain it. If anything I'd run another pct and consider maybe two weeks of eod HCG (moderate dose) prior to starting it. Don't run HCG solo as over time it's suppressive to LH function.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Yes, of course it could explain it. If anything I'd run another pct and consider maybe two weeks of eod HCG (moderate dose) prior to starting it. Don't run HCG solo as over time it's suppressive to LH function.
    Ah ok. In the meanwhile, could i start a brief course with HCG 250UI/ML EOD to test how could i feel ? In the worst case, i should start another PCT after last results lab ( SHBG ). So finishing HCG after 2 weeks, it could be perfect to start with standard PCT. Further, a T level progressive increasing during HCG, could prove my tests are recovering a bit of their functionality.

    HCG 250UI/ML is the minimum... or do you suggest me an higher dosage ?
    Last edited by Slacker78; 10-10-2017 at 09:03 AM.

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    Well, I still fall back to my first thought of simply giving things more time. That said, I'd go with 500 eod if it were me. Any rise in E2 from it would be beneficial for you at the moment.

    Edit to add that you could also just do an HCG stimulation test (google it) to see if your boy respond appropriately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Well, I still fall back to my first thought of simply giving things more time. That said, I'd go with 500 eod if it were me. Any rise in E2 from it would be beneficial for you at the moment.

    Edit to add that you could also just do an HCG stimulation test (google it) to see if your boy respond appropriately.
    Ok, thank you so much Kelkel. I will update you asap.

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    Kelkel, i've found just HCG 1000UI/ML in my pharmacy. Could i shoot it the same, maybe E3D or E4D instead EOD ?

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    You could. I'd go every 3 days at that dose. I'd still prefer doing half that amount eod if possible, as you're not starting this from just coming off cycle. You already have some function, just not optimal. Not to be the bearer of bad news but remember, even if the leydig cells do respond to the stimulation with an increased T level it does not mean that function will be better once the LH mimic is stopped. We hope so but you'll have to wait and see for that answer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    You could. I'd go every 3 days at that dose. I'd still prefer doing half that amount eod if possible, as you're not starting this from just coming off cycle. You already have some function, just not optimal. Not to be the bearer of bad news but remember, even if the leydig cells do respond to the stimulation with an increased T level it does not mean that function will be better once the LH mimic is stopped. We hope so but you'll have to wait and see for that answer.
    Yes, that's plausible. Leydig cells might be damaged in a irreversible way, and the HCG stimulus could just boosts the healthy part of them. This is what every AAS user has to take in account.

    The HCG dust is inside a glass bottle each of 1000UI/ML; i inject the water solution in it, shake it and i aspirate back in the syringe. There's a rubber cap on top the bottle, that i hole to inject/aspirate the mix; i don't know if i can keep half of mix apart and use it after some day without risk contamination, even i preserve it in a good place. Do you have idea if it could preserve its sterilization level doing so ?
    Last edited by Slacker78; 10-10-2017 at 03:27 PM.

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    If using bac water just pick up a sterile vial. It will last several months that way.
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    Kelkel, i have SHBG result:

    SHBG: 42 mmol/l ( ref: 11 - 78 ). What do you think it about ?

    I'm doing HCG ( 500 UI / EOD ) as we stated days ago.

    P.S: someone suggested me also to add a low dose of proviron to help in this phase. What do you think ?
    Last edited by Slacker78; 10-18-2017 at 05:38 AM.

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    SHBG is mid-range which is just fine.
    Negative on the proviron . It's just a temp solution to lower shbg.
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    Update:

    I'm at 500UI of HCG EOD from 2 week almost. I've done BW yesterday. My total Testosterone increased to 832 ng/DL as expected. Fortunately, my tests are functional still LH is lower as it's 1.03 as expected too. I just waiting for E2 result and i think it will be a bit higher, because i often feel a bit of anxiety, palpitations and other tipical high E2 symptoms ( i know by now the high or low E2 tested on my skin ). My E2 sweet spot is around 20-30~ pg/ML.

    I though to lower the HCG dosage maybe, trying 250UI EOD.

    What do you think ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slacker78 View Post
    Update:

    I though to lower the HCG dosage maybe, trying 250UI EOD.

    What do you think ?

    Yes. You understand your bodies feedback so listen to it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Yes. You understand your bodies feedback so listen to it!
    I think this is a sign of my body tells an hormone imbalance where too much E2 ( as too much HCG ) is involved. A lump under skin, even called ACNE.

    I have another one is littler, near my pectoral ( No Gyno ). It seems a little underskin cyst. I hope this will disappear in time, after balancing the hormones, without leaving this lump under my skin.

    Low free Testosterone after PCT-img_20171029_064238.jpg
    Last edited by Slacker78; 10-29-2017 at 12:14 AM.

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    Kelkel, now i'm at 3 week of HCG ; i've decreased the dosage from 500UI EOD at 250UI ED and i feel pretty better. A great mood improving, energy, concentration, mental focus and so on. Should i stop HCG and taking clomid now, do you think ? I should continue HCG from life really i think in time i will need TRT if i want continue to aim to mantain a good physique form.

    What do you advice me right now ?

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    Probably a good indicator that your boys are producing. Now it's time to implement serms and get your pituitary functioning on it's own and hope for the best. And yes, everyone will need TRT eventually if they care about their test levels, which I know you do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Probably a good indicator that your boys are producing. Now it's time to implement serms and get your pituitary functioning on it's own and hope for the best. And yes, everyone will need TRT eventually if they care about their test levels, which I know you do.
    Here we are. I have stop HCG 10 days ago and started Clomid at 50mg/ED. Yesterday ( so after 10 days of Clomid ) i did a BW to check LH, Free test and E2 in progress. The results are the same as the beginning; i improved as stated above with HCG, but stopping it, i returned to the same test deficiency:

    LH = 4,4 ( 1,1 - 7 mIU/ml )
    Free Testosterone = 4,19 ( 2,27 - 10,30 ) ng/ml ---> ( 419 ng/dl)
    E2 = 1,7 ( < 40 pg/ml )

    As i told some post ago, it seems there's the same situation as the beginning, where LH was good but Testosterone-E2 wasn't. It's evident that my E2 ( during HCG course as before, i had Test at 832 ng/dl and E2 at 30 pg/ml ) reaches an healthy state when totale testosterone amount is around that threshold; further, when my total testosterone falls down ~400 ng/dl, E2 production lower vertiginously, because the free testosterone amount probably is very low to be available for E2 conversion.

    Whether it was caused about testicles HCG dependency ( during my last cycle i did regularly 250UI E3-4D, with no abuse ) or generic hypogonadism state, now i don't know if i should wait a while still, or to getting in TRT.
    Last edited by Slacker78; 11-15-2017 at 12:11 PM.

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    It may be to soon. If your testicals responded well to stimuli from HCG then it makes sense they'd respond to stimuli from actual LH. I try and be patient a while more and retest in about 4 weeks if you can hold out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    It may be to soon. If your testicals responded well to stimuli from HCG then it makes sense they'd respond to stimuli from actual LH. I try and be patient a while more and retest in about 4 weeks if you can hold out.
    Ok Kelkel. But for what i know, testicles might be sensitized to mimed LH ( HCG ) and desensitized to actual LH. This could explain why they respond well to HCG and not in optimal way to the actual LH. I don't know if it could be my case....
    Last edited by Slacker78; 11-15-2017 at 02:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slacker78 View Post
    Ok Kelkel. But for what i know, testicles might be sensitized to mimed LH ( HCG ) and desensitized to actual LH. This could explain why they respond well to HCG and not in optimal way to the actual LH. I don't if it could be my case....
    LH surges are brief HCG has much more sustained levels in comparison, it's as simple as the Leydig cells get some more time to respond, imo.

    PS. Welcome on the TRT bandwagon...

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    Last edited by bizzarro; 11-15-2017 at 02:48 PM.

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    I have a tough time thinking that your testicals would be desensitized to endogenous LH and not exogenous LH at the same time. I think it would be all or nothing. Still think time may be the issue. Or I hope that's all it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    I have a tough time thinking that your testicals would be desensitized to endogenous LH and not exogenous LH at the same time. I think it would be all or nothing. Still think time may be the issue. Or I hope that's all it is.
    So, if they respond to HCG they should respond to endogenous LH. If it's, maybe the LH natural production is too much low for my "asleep" testicles. Anyway, should i continue with Clomid i think for a while. Could it be useful to shoot with a a low HCG ( e.g. 250UI/E3D ) dosage, while i taking Clomid 50mg/ED in order to enforce it in 2 ways ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bizzarro View Post
    LH surges are brief HCG has much more sustained levels in comparison, it's as simple as the Leydig cells get some more time to respond, imo.

    PS. Welcome on the TRT bandwagon...

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    No, don't mix hcg and clomid. Counter productive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    No, don't mix hcg and clomid. Counter productive.
    I was imaging, being one might exclude the action of the other one. Removing Proviron during this phase as we stated weeks ago, is there something could i do to raise a bit my testosterone without affect the physiological HPTA activity ( hard question but i try ...) ?


    P.S: i'm taking vitamin D3 as supplement to boost a little...

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    I understand your question. AAS suppresses shbg thus elevates T, but even low dose Stanozolol or var would over time be suppressive. Maximize your D based on BW and take it with a large meal as it's fat soluble. Don't go above range though. Only other thoughts would be stinging nettle if it works for you, and that's probably subjective.

    Re Vit D as an example I run 10K IU's per day based on BW. It keeps me in the 80's on the normal scale of 30-100.
    Last edited by kelkel; 11-16-2017 at 09:59 AM.
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    Kelkel.... i was thinking about a doubt. I tested several times PRL during my cycle, especially when i switched to Tren for the last 6 weeks; it was in range without problems but i didn't test it again in the blood work i did weeks ago ( i'm off cycle as you know ). Now i'm thinking that my LH value is ~4.40 as i reported above, i would say normal, and my Testosterone and E2 was low even though in range, but not optimal. When i did HCG , LH lowered as expected ( it decreased to 1.1 ) and Testosterone and E2 raised... all was good. When i stopped HCG, i started to used Clomid ( 50mg ED ) and when i tested again after 10 days of this, my LH come back to ~4.40 value with the same low Testosterone and E2.

    As my tests responded to HCG, but they do not seem to respond well to endogenous LH, could the problem related to pituitary and/or PRL which do not allow to hypothalamus to perform its work ? Being the weak negative feedback sent to hypothalamus caused of low testosterone, shouldn't LH production be higher ? Consider the last BW i did, i was under Clomid... so the stimulus to LH production should be stronger. This could move the problem to secondary hypogonadism...

    In brief: could pituitary do not provide for some reasons an enough LH output ?

    Correct me if i told a nonsense.
    Last edited by Slacker78; 11-23-2017 at 03:42 PM.

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    The only possible answer is to check prolactin again, what were levels last time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bizzarro View Post
    The only possible answer is to check prolactin again, what were levels last time?

    Sent from my GT-I9105P using Tapatalk
    I tested it about last 2 weeks before the end of cycle, when i was under Tren ( 100mg EOD ). It was on 7,2 ( 3 - 17 ng/mL ). After i got PCT and finished it. Now it's passed about 4 months.

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