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  1. #1
    carmine09's Avatar
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    hcg/pct ?? need help!!

    i am supposed to start my pct today.. my ? is i wanted to run my hcg 10 days ago but will not be able to get it until this weekend.. should i run the hcg after my pct. cause from my knowledge u should not run hcg while on pct..

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    bump

  3. #3
    Caz84 is offline Junior Member
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    Firstly, before i can suggest hcg usage and a pct, what were yout taking throughout your cycle? And how long ago was your last shot?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caz84
    Firstly, before i can suggest hcg usage and a pct, what were yout taking throughout your cycle? And how long ago was your last shot?
    i am experienced with the game.. my pct is fine.. i ran a 22 week cycle of test e 500 mg per week and eq for 18 weeks @ 400.. i ended my test e now 15 days ago and began my pct.. i wanted to run hcg at the end of my cycle for 10-12 days to help maximize my normal test coming back to normal.. but i know that you should not mix pct and hcg at the same time.. now because i am running late with getting my hcg i wanted to know if i should run it after i stop pct?

  5. #5
    grasshoppa is offline New Member
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    I came across your question and thought this article might be helpful.

    I am new here and checked to see if there was any rules against posting articles and couldn't find any. So here it is.

    By: William Llewellyn
    O.K. You have been on an awesome 4-month cycle of Sustanon and Dianabol . You’ve gained a massive 20 lbs, and are extremely pleased with your results. You can’t stop looking in the mirror. But there is a problem now starting to eat away at you. You are going to run out of steroids very soon (you know you need a break anyway), and your testicles are the size of raisins.
    Your body is producing less testosterone than a 9-year-old girl, and you are scrambling to figure out what to do to avoid a nasty post-cycle crash that could potentially strip away some of your hard-earned muscle. The opinions on how to restore endogenous testosterone production post-cycle seem to be different everywhere you look.
    What option is best? Without an understanding of exactly what is going on in your body, and why certain compounds help to correct the situation, choosing the right post-cycle program can be quite confusing. In this article I would therefore like to discuss the role of anti-estrogens and HCG during this delicate window of time, while detailing an effective strategy for their use.

    The Axis

    The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis, or HPTA for short, is the thermostat for your body’s natural production of testosterone. Too much testosterone and the furnace will shut off. Not enough, and the heat is turned up, to put it very simply. For the purposes of our discussion here we can look at this regulating process as having three levels. At the top is the hypothalamic region of the brain, which releases the hormone GnRH (Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone) when it senses a need for more testosterone. GnRH sends a signal to the second level of the axis, the pituitary, which releases Luteinizing Hormone in response.
    LH for short, this hormone stimulates the testes (level three) to secrete testosterone. The same sex steroids (testosterone, estrogen) that are produced serve to counter-balance things, by providing negative feedback signals (primarily to the hypothalamus and pituitary) to lower the secretion of testosterone when too much of this hormone is sensed.
    Synthetic steroids, of course, suppress testosterone the same way. This quick background of the testosterone-regulating axis is necessary to furthering our discussion, as we need to first look at the underlying mechanisms involved before we can understand why natural recovery of the HPTA post-cycle is a slow process. Only then can we implement an ancillary drug program to effectively deal with it.

    Testicular Desensitization

    Although steroids suppress testosterone production primarily by lowering the level of gonadotropic hormones discussed above, the big roadblock to a restored HPTA after we come off the drugs is surprisingly not the level of LH itself. This problem is made clearly evident in a study published in Acta Endocrinologica back in 1975(1). Here blood parameters, including testosterone and LH levels, were monitored in male subjects whom were given testosterone enanthate injections of 250mg weekly for 21 weeks.
    Subjects remained under investigation for an additional 18 weeks after the drug was discontinued. At the start of the study, LH levels became suppressed in direct relation to the rise in testosterone, which is to be expected. Things looked very different, however, once the steroids had been withdrawn (see Figure I). LH levels went on the rise quickly (by the 3rd week), while testosterone barely budged for quite some time. In fact, on average it was more than 10 weeks before any noticeable movement started.
    This lack of correlation makes clear that the problem in getting androgen levels restored is not the level of LH, but in fact testicular atrophy and desensitization to this hormone. After a period of inactivation the testes have apparently lost mass (atrophied), making them unable to perform the workload required by heightened levels of LH.
    Post-Cycle LH Levels

    Post Cycle Testosterone Levels

    Figure I. LH and Testosterone measurements starting 1 week after the last injection of 250mg of testosterone enanthate (pretreated measures were 5 mU/ml and 4.5 ng/ml respectively). Note that between weeks 1 and 5, as testosterone levels are declining due to the cessation of exogenous androgen administration, LH levels are already rebounding. From weeks 5 to 10 testosterone levels are at or very near baseline, to spite the substantial LH levels by this point. No significant increase in testosterone is noted until after the 10-week mark.

    The Role Of Anti-Estrogens

    It is important to understand that anti-estrogens alone do not do much to restore endogenous testosterone release after a cycle. Normally they only foster LH by blocking the negative feedback of estrogens, and we now see that LH rebounds quickly without help anyway. Plus, post cycle there is not an elevated level of estrogen for anti-estrogens to block, as testosterone (now suppressed) is a major substrate used for the synthesis of estrogens in men. Serum estrogen levels will actually be lower here as a result, not higher.
    Any estrogen rebound that occurs post-cycle likewise happens concurrently with a rebound in testosterone levels, not prior to it (note there is an imbalance in the ratio post cycle, but this is another topic altogether). We are seeing no mechanism in which anti-estrogenic drugs can really help here. We can see why this fact would not be difficult to overlook, however. The medical literature is filled with references showing anti-estrogenic drugs like Clomid and Nolvadex to increase LH and testosterone levels, and in normal situations these drugs do indeed increase endogenous androgen production by blocking the negative feedback of estrogens.
    Combine this with the fact that just as many studies can be found to show that steroid use lowers LH levels when suppressing testosterone, and we can see how easy it would be to jump to the conclusion that post-cycle we need to focus on restoring LH. We would miss the true problem of testicular desensitization unless we were really looking into the actual recovery rates of the hormones involved. When we do, we immediately see little value in using anti-estrogenic drugs.

    HCG

    So we now see, contrary to the dominating opinion of the times, that anti-estrogens alone will do little to raise testosterone levels in the early weeks of the post-cycle window. This leaves us to focus on a very different level of the HPTA in order to hasten recovery: the testes. For this we will need the injectable drug HCG. If you are not familiar with it, HCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin , is a prescription fertility agent that mimics the bodies own natural LH.
    Although the testes are equally desensitized to this drug as LH (they both work through the same mechanism), we are administering it as a measured drug and are therefore not constrained by the limits of our own LH production. We similarly can use HCG to provide a bolus dose of LH (of our choosing), which works only to augment the recovering LH levels we already have in the body. In essence we are looking to shock them with an overwhelmingly high level of LH activity, coming from both endogenous and exogenous sources.
    We want it to reach a level far above what our body, even when supported by anti-estrogens, could possibly do on its own. The result can be a rapid restoration of original testicular mass and functioning, which would allow normal levels of testosterone to be output much sooner than without such an ancillary program. What we are looking at now is HCG actually being the pivotal post-cycle drug, while anti-estrogens are relegated to a supportive role at best.

    Finalizing The Program

    An ideal post-cycle recovery program will focus on two things really. The first is hitting the testes hard with HCG. It is important, however, not to overuse this drug. Taken for too long, or at too high a dosage, the LH receptor will actually become desensitized to LH(2), which may further exacerbate our post-cycle problem instead of helping it (this is why I am not in favor of regular HCG use on-cycle). My experience with HCG has led me to feel comfortable using it for a course of three weeks, at a dosage of maybe 5000-7500IU weekly.
    Often the last week I limit the dose to 2,500IU, unless the cycle has been particularly long or potent. This is timed so at least half of the total administered drug dosage will be given when there is still exogenous steroid in the body. On our graph above this would be at about the 3-week mark after the last injection of testosterone.
    This will give the testes some time to get back into shape before the baseline is actually hit with T levels. Secondly, Anti-estrogens are used to play a supportive role at the same time, so 20mg of Nolvadex or 50-100mg of Clomid would typically be added (my last article for Mind and Muscle discusses the comparative differences with these two agents). This is to combat the suppressive effects of estrogen as testosterone levels start to go back up, as well as potential side effects (HCG has been shown to increase testicular aromatase activity as well (3)).
    Although in the first couple of weeks the anti-estrogen does little, it may indeed be helpful when testosterone levels actually start to get back up near normal. To further stimulate the HPTA, and support continuingly high LH levels, the anti-estrogen remains to be used for 2 to 3 weeks after the HCG therapy has been stopped. A sample program, as it would be instituted in our sample post-cycle window, is provided below.
    Sample Post-cycle Plan:
    Week Amount
    Week 3: 5000IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
    Week 4: 5000IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
    Week 5: 2500IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
    Week 6: 20mg Nolvadex daily
    Week 7: 20mg Nolvadex daily
    Week 8: 20mg Nolvadex daily

    In Closing

    I hope this article provided a well-needed new look at the mechanisms involved in post-cycle testosterone recovery. Indeed I believe it should debunk a commonly held belief these days, as we seen now that those advocating the sole use of Clomid post cycle are sorely missing the mark. The problem goes much deeper than just getting LH levels back.
    In fact, we see that LH doesn’t even need much help kicking back into gear, and a drug like Clomid will do very little to help this anyway in the absence of significant estrogen levels anyway. HCG is a drug with undeniable usefulness during the post-cycle window, and many bodybuilders have been much too quick to abandon it. It is truly fundamental to an effective recovery program, and would not consider any dose or combination of anti-estrogens or aromatase inhibitors capable of doing the job without it.

    Hope this helps.

    Grasshoppa

  6. #6
    Titan1 is offline Member
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    No hcg should be used during the cycle because if you use it after your cycle then its a temporary solution you still have to recover from the hcg so during cycle here im gonna post something that a real doctor has written and not some steroid "guru":Since I've been hanging out here a bit lately, I've been getting quite a few emails from guys wanting individualized advice on their cycles. In the first place, I cannot design cycles, nor do I prescribe steroids (just ancillary medications). That would be a violation of my Oath as a physician, and DEA law to boot. Also, obviously I cannot afford to give away free Consultations. So, I'll post my PCT Protocols here, for anyone who may choose to use them.

    Also, I'm just running to catch a plane for Las Vegas, attending the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine International Conference. I guess they are supposed to publish an article I wrote on how to administer TRT for men. Wish me luck!

    Here it is:

    I advise my AAS patients to use small amounts of HCG (250IU to 500IU) two days each week, right from the beginning of the cycle. This serves to maintain testicular form and function. It makes more sense to me to keep the horse in the barn, so to speak, then to have to chase it across three counties later on. I am also a big fan of maintaining estrogen within physiological ranges. Both therapies have been shown to hasten recovery.

    Any more than 500IU of HCG per day causes too much aromatase activity. Some feel aromatase is actually toxic to the Leydig cells of the testes. You are then inducing primary hypogonadism (which is permanent) while treating steroid-induced secondary (hypogonadotrophic) hypogonadism (which is temporary--hopefully).

    If 250IU or 500IU on two days each week isnt enough to stave off testicular atrophy, then I recommend using it more days each week (as opposed to taking larger doses). In fact, I wouldnt mind having a guy use 250IU per day ALL THROUGH the cycle. Those that have tell me they thus avoid that edgy, burned-out feeling they usually get. They also say they simply feel better each day. Subjective reports, to be sure, but they are hard not to appreciate. Especially when HCG is so inexpensive.

    The testes are then ready, willing and able to again produce testosterone at the end of the cycle. LH levels rise fairly rapidly, but endogenous testosterone production is limited by lack of use. I also want to make sure a SERM, such as Clomid or Nolvadex , is at effective serum dosage (around 100mg QD for Clomid, 20-40mg QD for Nolvadex) when serum androgen levels drop to a concentration roughly equal to 200mg of testosterone per week. That is when androgenic inhibition at the HP no longer dominates over estrogenic antagonism with respect to inducing LH production. Of course, if the fellow has been doing Clomid or Nolvadex all along the way (and I now prefer Nolvadex over Clomid, due to the possibility of negative sides from the Clomid), he is all set to simply continue it at the end (no need to switch from one to the other). BTW, I see no evidence of any benefit in using BOTH SERMs at the same time. I used to think a couple of weeks of the SERM was enough; now I like to see an entire month after the last shot of AAS (and migration of long to short esters as the cycle matures). Tapering the SERM is probably a good idea during the last week, as well.

    I want my patients to stop taking HCG within a week after the end of the cycle. The testosterone production it induces will further inhibit recovery, as will using Androgel , or any other testosterone preparation, while in recovery. There is no escaping this, as there is no such thing as a bridge. Just because you are not inhibiting the HPTA for the entire 24 hours does not mean you are not suppressing it at all. IOW, you cant fool the bodyit is smarter than you are.

    I like arimidex during the cycle (in fact, consider use of an AI while taking aromatisables a necessity) but it ABSOLUTELY should not be used post cycle (even though it has been shown to increase LH production) because the risk of driving estrogen too low, and therefore further damaging an already compromised Lipid Profile, is too great (this also drives libido back into the groundand we dont want that, do we?).

    All this is meant to get my guys through recovery as fast as possible (the real goal, yes?). So far, all of them who have tried it have reported they are recovering faster than when they have tried other protocols.
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  7. #7
    Caz84 is offline Junior Member
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    I think here it is important to remember that prevention is better than cure. So a dose of 250-500iu hcg every 4 days (as the active life of hcg is 4-5 days, this will keep its concentraion in the blood stable.... Not like in the above article).

    Now to carmine09's question. I see no reason in using hcg after your post cycle, as your LH levels would have already returned to normal, and your testes stimulated. The problem with long cycles is that the testes go without stimulation for a long time and therefore become desensitized, so when they eventually become stimulated, it takes a while for them to kick back in. Thats why, as i suggested above, hcg throughout a cycle to ensure that they do not become desensitized will best aid recovery.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    carmine09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caz84
    I think here it is important to remember that prevention is better than cure. So a dose of 250-500iu hcg every 4 days (as the active life of hcg is 4-5 days, this will keep its concentraion in the blood stable.... Not like in the above article).

    Now to carmine09's question. I see no reason in using hcg after your post cycle, as your LH levels would have already returned to normal, and your testes stimulated. The problem with long cycles is that the testes go without stimulation for a long time and therefore become desensitized, so when they eventually become stimulated, it takes a while for them to kick back in. Thats why, as i suggested above, hcg throughout a cycle to ensure that they do not become desensitized will best aid recovery.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks Bro!! and wow some long articles!! Thanks!!
    I thought i planned this cycle out to a 10.. i think i will add hcg in to the whole mix next time!!
    And my pct is going good.. just tired.. but my buddies are coming back and i never lost my sex drive.. thank god!!

  9. #9
    vein-x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carmine09
    Thanks Bro!! and wow some long articles!! Thanks!!
    I thought i planned this cycle out to a 10.. i think i will add hcg in to the whole mix next time!!
    And my pct is going good.. just tired.. but my buddies are coming back and i never lost my sex drive.. thank god!!
    congrats man! as for PCT, did you run nolva or clomid and @ what dosages?

  10. #10
    carmine09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vein-x
    congrats man! as for PCT, did you run nolva or clomid and @ what dosages?
    i am running both for pct..
    clomid day 1 300mg

    the next ten days 100mg ed
    the next 20 days 50mg ed

    Nolva 20mg ed

    cycling clen . throughout pct.

    i also added in trib..

    So far i only lost a 2-3 of pds and it has been a month since my last injection yesterday.. so im pretty happy.. i feel i lost bloat weight. currently 196 @12%bf

    and eat eat eat!!!!
    Last edited by carmine09; 09-15-2005 at 11:02 AM.

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