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Thread: Ditch Androgel for Cyp? If so, how much?

  1. #1
    Beetlegeuse's Avatar
    Beetlegeuse is offline Junior Member
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    Ditch Androgel for Cyp? If so, how much?

    This is a little complicated because I am beholding to the VA for mt TRT, which means I have very little say-so in steering my course of treatment. And it isn't in my best interest that I let them know I'm also on hCG . Skip to "Conclusion" if you can't be bothered with the details.

    Part A
    When the VA first put me on TRT, I weaseled out of pinning because I was leery of needles and I expected the Androgel to do the same job. But I'm a bit more AAS-literate now, and I've been self-medicating with hCG for several months. A 31-gauge needle injecting water sub-q doesn't exactly line up with a larger bore needle injecting Cyp IM, but I now look at a lifetime of pinning with less dread due to the fact that I've been doing it on the small-scale until it's become routine.

    Part B
    I firmly believe I'm benefiting from the Androgel but I've reached the point where I'm willing to consider I might see notably better results by switching to Cyp (which I believe is the VA's injectable of choice). On two separate occasions my VA PCP has made me come in for pre-9 am endocrine panels, with it specified that the Androgel should be administered 2-3 hours prior. In neither of those cases did my Total T number exceed 200. Pre-TRT it was very low 100s. The VA doesn't routinely test for Free T and my observation has been that they base all diagnoses off Total. I know Total doesn't carry a lot of diagnostic weight on this board, but that's all I have to work with.

    Part C
    Somewhere along the way I introduced hCG into the mix but the one time the VA called me in specifically for a pre-9 am test I had stopped the hCG five fulls days prior to let it clear my system. Total was <200. However, if the acne and spread of body hair is any indication, I'm pretty sure the hCG gives me a significant boost in endogenous Test production. I feel like I'm turning into Teen-Wolf. Plus the feeling of well-being and libido and "morning wood" are considerably better with hCG than without. I know conventional wisdom is that hCG doesn't much boost natural Test, but consider that even when I'm juiced my Total T is pretty low by the standards of this board. So an increase in natural that most of you guys hardly would notice is a significant improvement to me.

    So last week I went in for a routine exam but I only had taken a break from hCG four days previous, not five, after my regular (three-day) dose of 300 IUs). And I administered Andro (1.62%, four pumps =~81mg of topical Test) about 18 hours before the bloodwork (as opposed to two hours stipulated for the pre-9 am testing). My Total T was 365.

    In the five years or so I've been on TRT, I can count the number of times I've been >300 on one hand (on the odd case when they have done Free T, it's always been in the teens). The hCG has done a stellar job of keeping "the boys" inflated but I can't imagine that it would have so dramatic an effect on endogenous production four days after administration. And unless the VA's test protocol is screwy, testing 18 hours after administering Androgel should have seen my T number in decline. So I'm clueless why the number should have been substantially better than usual, unless the hCG is that persistent. Which I'm not convinced of.

    Conclusion:
    Long story short, my VA PCP is sending me to see a urologist for the first time in a couple of years on account of a problem with chronic crotch pain I started a thread about. And I'm considering asking her to switch me to injectable with the goal of more. More. MORE. So what I'd like is to be able to go in with is a sense of what Cyp dosing I might agree to without losing any ground to my current regimen. Yeah, without adequate bloodwork numbers I know I'm asking you to look into a crystal ball, but being as this is the VA, I'll have a very limited ability to steer the doc's decision-making. The more I know, even in general terms, the better able I'll be to anticipate and possibly head off the conversation once I feel it's taken a wrong turn.

    I know Androgel isn't highly regard here so I'm half expecting some replies of "don't bother, just switch," or similar. But anything material you can give me is appreciated, even if it's just generalities.

  2. #2
    Gallowmere's Avatar
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    Anecdote: I advised a hypogonadal friend to make this exact switch. Hes noticed a pretty solid uptick to well being, gym performance and his diet is progressing much better. Imo, Androgel is overpriced dogshit that has the fun added risk of accidentally giving your girlfriend a mustache.

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    jwh7699 is offline Member
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    I have received Test Cyp from the VA in the past. They discontinued it a year ago because they thought if I just dropped some weight it would go back to normal after being on TRT for 5 years. Anyways.

    I never did the gel. They gave me 200mg/ml Vials. They told me to inject it once a week, but I injected it how I wanted to do it. I injected 60mg 2 x a week, Wed. & Sat. I injected HCG on the same days. I got the HCG outside the VA. HCG will not raise your Total T it will raise your Free T though. Most people can have High Total Testosterone , but low Free T and feel only So-So, but when they raise the Free T they feel much better.

    So, just take the 200mg/ml Vials. Suggest that you heard this enough for one week and then dose it how you want. I would suggest a lower dose like the 60mg 2 x week, but don't tell them you're doing it that way. They won't see a difference in your blood work whether you inject it once a week or twice a week. They'll ask you to come in and do some labs before your next injection, that's it.

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    EllisWyatt is offline New Member
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    I got mine from the VA. The endo prescribed 100 mg every other week originally. After 8 weeks of no noticable results, she upped me to 100 mg a week. I switched that to 50 mg Tuesday and Friday. I am starting 40 mg E3D this week. Between that and my CPAP I am feeling a lot better. Undiagnosed sleep apnea and low T are double trouble.

  5. #5
    Beetlegeuse's Avatar
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    This is not how I expected this to turn out.

    My doc talked me out of switching. Sort of. First he pointed out that I've had a few tests with Total T between 300 and 600 (tests I'd never seen the results of). And he intimated that if "they" knew my numbers were that good, this faceless "they" would take away my TRT. And he talked about the "rollercoaster" effect of Cyp. And of course I bit my tongue and didn't offer that I intended administering smaller doses more frequently.

    And he brought up my hematocrit. According to him, topical doesn't increase Hct, only injectable. Which I know is bullshit because my Hct now runs 4-5 points higher than it did before TRT. But if injectable raised it another 4-5 points, the VA would label me polycythemic, have me leeched (or whatever method the VA uses to reduce blood volume) and order me to stop taking Test until my Hct was as low as they'd like.

    So he didn't explicitly say 'No' but he definitely was hostile to the idea. And it was my first visit to this guy and I didn't feel like getting on his bad side on our first encounter, so I rolled with it.

    The funny thing is when my original urologist put me on the gel, the pharmacist changed it to injectable. The VA has a program where pharmacists get a kick-back if they change the physician's prescription to something equivalent but cheaper (and apparently there is no oversight of this procedure). My urologist found out about the change and he emailed me to let me know what was going on. He suggested I skip the VA's "patient advocates," who by rights should have been the first point of contact in my complaint "chain of command" (but, let's face it, they're just VA civil servants) and go straight to the facility manager. Which I did. I argued my case and she overruled the pharmacist and got my androgel reinstated.

    And after all that, now I can't get switched back. Because my new urologist thinks Androgel is the greatest thing since titty bars. Go figure.

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    EllisWyatt is offline New Member
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    The VA has a great website called my health e vet where you can log in and get all of your test results. You can also manage your prescriptions. I don't see why your doc won't let you switch delivery methods. At my VA they teach you how to inject yourself and then after you do it once in their office they send you everything in the mail. Ask to see an endocrinologist instead of a urologist. They might be better versed in TRT methodology.

  7. #7
    Beetlegeuse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllisWyatt View Post
    The VA has a great website called my health e vet where you can log in and get all of your test results....
    Wallaby damned. I'm on my health e-vet but I'd only used it for secure messaging and prescription renewals. I wasn't aware they were posting test results and I didn't give the VA credit for doing something so forward-thinking, so I hadn't rooted around to find them. But you're right, they're there.

    Thanks for the heads-up, EllisWyatt.

  8. #8
    Obspowerstroke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beetlegeuse View Post
    This is not how I expected this to turn out.

    My doc talked me out of switching. Sort of. First he pointed out that I've had a few tests with Total T between 300 and 600 (tests I'd never seen the results of). And he intimated that if "they" knew my numbers were that good, this faceless "they" would take away my TRT. And he talked about the "rollercoaster" effect of Cyp. And of course I bit my tongue and didn't offer that I intended administering smaller doses more frequently.

    And he brought up my hematocrit. According to him, topical doesn't increase Hct, only injectable. Which I know is bullshit because my Hct now runs 4-5 points higher than it did before TRT. But if injectable raised it another 4-5 points, the VA would label me polycythemic, have me leeched (or whatever method the VA uses to reduce blood volume) and order me to stop taking Test until my Hct was as low as they'd like.

    So he didn't explicitly say 'No' but he definitely was hostile to the idea. And it was my first visit to this guy and I didn't feel like getting on his bad side on our first encounter, so I rolled with it.

    The funny thing is when my original urologist put me on the gel, the pharmacist changed it to injectable. The VA has a program where pharmacists get a kick-back if they change the physician's prescription to something equivalent but cheaper (and apparently there is no oversight of this procedure). My urologist found out about the change and he emailed me to let me know what was going on. He suggested I skip the VA's "patient advocates," who by rights should have been the first point of contact in my complaint "chain of command" (but, let's face it, they're just VA civil servants) and go straight to the facility manager. Which I did. I argued my case and she overruled the pharmacist and got my androgel reinstated.

    And after all that, now I can't get switched back. Because my new urologist thinks Androgel is the greatest thing since titty bars. Go figure.
    My opinion, if you are on trt anyway,run your total t numbers higher. You want benefits for your ass pain. I would ditch that gel and start running my own bloods with test cyp.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obspowerstroke View Post
    My opinion, if you are on trt anyway,run your total t numbers higher. You want benefits for your ass pain. I would ditch that gel and start running my own bloods with test cyp.
    I have to admit I'm coming around to your way of thinking. I've also read about joint health benefits from AASs like Deca and EQ, which also is something that interests me. Until now I've been a little short on opportunity because there's no one in my circle of acquaintances (at least that I'm aware of) who is into this, so I lack for a source. But being as THIS IS MY 100th POST on this forum, I'm hoping someone will be willing to help a brutha out. <hint, hint>


  10. #10
    TRTdrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowmere View Post
    Anecdote: I advised a hypogonadal friend to make this exact switch. He’s noticed a pretty solid uptick to well being, gym performance and his diet is progressing much better. Imo, Androgel is overpriced dogshit that has the fun added risk of accidentally giving your girlfriend a mustache.
    Lol! Some guys are into gals with mustaches.

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