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HCG and PCT

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h4x

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HCG and PCT

Post by h4x on Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:44 am

Using HCG

It is my opinion that HCG is probably one of the most misunderstood and misused compounds in bodybuilding. Hopefully this information will go some way towards rectifying that for the members of FORUM.ROIDS.BIZ. HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and is not a steroid, but a natural peptide hormone which develops in the placenta of pregnant women during pregnancy to controls the mother's hormones. (Incidentally, this is the reason you may hear of people testing for growth hormone (HGH) with a pregnancy testing kit - If their HGH shows 'pregnant', they've been ripped-off with cheaper HCG - but I digress slightly).

Its action in the male body is like that of LH, stimulating the Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone even in the absence of endogenous LH. HCG is therefore used during longer or heavier steroid cycles to maintain testicular size and condition, or to bring atrophied (shrunken) testicles back up to their original condition in preparation for post-cycle Clomid or Nolvadex therapy. This process is necessary because atrophied testicles produce reduced levels of natural testosterone, this situation should be rectified prior to post-cycle Clomid or Nolvadex therapy.

HCG administration post-cycle is common practice among bodybuilders in the belief that it will aid the natural testosterone recovery, but this theory is unfounded and also counterproductive. The rapid rise in both testosterone, and thus oestrogen due to aromatisation, from the administration of HCG causes further inhibition of the HPTA (Hypothalamic/Pituitary/Testicular Axis - feedback loop discussed above); this actually worsens the recovery situation. HCG does not restore the natural testosterone production.

The typically observed dosing of 2000 to 5000IU every 4 to 5 days causes such an increase in oestrogen levels via aromatisation of the natural testosterone that this has been responsible for many cases of gynecomastia.

From the above discussion it is clear that HCG is best used during a cycle, either to:

1) Avoid testicular atrophy, or
2) Rectify the problem of an existing testicular atrophy.

HCG Dosage
Smaller doses, more frequently during a cycle will give best overall results with least unwanted side effects. Somewhere between 500IU and 1000IU per day would be best over about a two-week period. These doses are sufficient to avoid/rectify testicular atrophy without increasing oestrogen levels too dramatically and risking gynecomastia. This dosing schedule also avoids the risk of permanently down-regulating the LH receptors in the testes.

It is important for the HCG administration to have been completed with 6 or 7 clear days before the onset of PCT in order to avoid inhibition of the Nolvadex and/or Clomid therapy. Also, a small daily dose (10-20mg) of Nolvadex would normally be used in conjunction with HCG in order to prevent oestrogenic symptoms caused by sudden increases in aromatisation.

Presentation and Administration of HCG
Synthetic HCG is often known as Pregnyl (generic name) and is available in 2500iu and 5000iu (not ideal for the above doses!). Administration of the compound is either by intra-muscular or subcutaneous injection. It comes as a powder which needs to be mixed with the sterile water. The powder is temperature-sensitive prior to mixing and should not be exposed to direct heat. After mixing, it should be kept refrigerated and used within a few weeks - though there are sterility issues which need to be considered after mixing.

Summary and Presentation of Clomid and HCG
Clomid and/or Nolvadex are more effective than HCG post cycle, but some long-term users like to use HCG during a cycle, or to prepare the testes for Clomid and/or Nolvadex therapy.

Clomid is available in 50mg tablets most commonly, but also comes in 25mg capsule, often in boxes of 24 tablets. Tamoxifen is made by a number of manufacturers and comes in 10mg or 20mg tablets, most commonly 30 x 20mg tablets. HCG generally comes in kits of three ampoules of powder needing to be mixed with the provided injectable water as 1500IU, 2500IU or 5000IU per ampoule kits.


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Biggin

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Biggin on Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:25 am

Anutha solid post Imo! Reps h4x, keep throwin good reads with that quality bro, I smells a $350.00 paycheck coming to ya!!


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h4x

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by h4x on Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:20 pm

LOL... thanks for the bump brutha


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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Ironworker on Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:11 pm

Please don't take this as a dis in any way because you've shared the very accepted, commonly repeated, and even doctor reccommended mythology about testicular atrophy.

Atrophy occurs because some mass is shrinking. The testicles contain 2 types of cells, Leydig and Sertoli. In addition, they are filled with a continuous, spiraling network of "tubes" which transport sperm as it matures, finally releasing the fully grown sperm cells upon ejaculation.

The Leydig cells, in response to Luteinizing hormone, form and release testosterone into the body. HCG acts like LH in stimulating ONLY the Leydigs to release testosterone. Follicle Stimulating Hormone acts on the Sertoli cells to produce buds of sperm in a long branch, much like grapes on a vine. HCG supresses FSH, effectively reducing sperm production.
The Sertoli and their branches of sperm make up the bulk of mass in the testicles. Shutting down the Sertoli cells causes the bulk of testicular atrophy. HCG will, in fact, keep the balls small.
However, Clomid will stimulate FSH release from the pituitary even during shutdown. Unfortunately, Clomid will begin to shut down FSH release if used longer than 2 weeks, which is why the 2 week limitation of use during PCT.

Just want to clear up a long-held, but false belief in the volumizing effect of HCG on the testicles.


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h4x

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by h4x on Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:47 pm

Not at all bro, I value your input and knew that the atrophy aspect was debated but thought the other information about HCG was worth posting up. Get off my shrunken nuts bro....lol.


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Ironworker

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Ironworker on Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:41 pm

h4x wrote:Not at all bro, I value your input and knew that the atrophy aspect was debated but thought the other information about HCG was worth posting up. Get off my shrunken nuts bro....lol.

LOL! knew you could take my 8" stiletto heels directly on your nads!


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Biggin

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Biggin on Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:29 pm

These type threads bring out the best in bros Imo..


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Ramblin

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Ramblin on Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:23 pm

Ironworker wrote:Please don't take this as a dis in any way because you've shared the very accepted, commonly repeated, and even doctor reccommended mythology about testicular atrophy.

Atrophy occurs because some mass is shrinking. The testicles contain 2 types of cells, Leydig and Sertoli. In addition, they are filled with a continuous, spiraling network of "tubes" which transport sperm as it matures, finally releasing the fully grown sperm cells upon ejaculation.

The Leydig cells, in response to Luteinizing hormone, form and release testosterone into the body. HCG acts like LH in stimulating ONLY the Leydigs to release testosterone. Follicle Stimulating Hormone acts on the Sertoli cells to produce buds of sperm in a long branch, much like grapes on a vine. HCG supresses FSH, effectively reducing sperm production.
The Sertoli and their branches of sperm make up the bulk of mass in the testicles. Shutting down the Sertoli cells causes the bulk of testicular atrophy. HCG will, in fact, keep the balls small.
However, Clomid will stimulate FSH release from the pituitary even during shutdown. Unfortunately, Clomid will begin to shut down FSH release if used longer than 2 weeks, which is why the 2 week limitation of use during PCT.

Just want to clear up a long-held, but false belief in the volumizing effect of HCG on the testicles.

I'm of the opinion that when IW was a teenager, HCG beat him up and stole his girlfriend, because he hates that shit, lol.

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Ironworker on Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:22 pm

Ramblin wrote:I'm of the opinion that when IW was a teenager, HCG beat him up and stole his girlfriend, because he hates that shit, lol.

Stole my girlfriend......


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Biggin

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Biggin on Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:21 pm

Cause he lost his BALLSACK, LMFAO!!


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Testoxyl Enanthate 375mgs/week.
Sustaxyl 162.50mgs/eod.
Primoxyl 200mgs/week.
Nandroxyl 300mgs/week.
Trenboxyl Acetate 150mgs/eod.
Oxandroxyl 80mgs/ed.
Anadroxyl 100mgs/ed for 1 more week.
Kalpatropin 9ius/ed.
Proviroxyl 50mgs/ed.


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Natetrig

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Natetrig on Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:44 am

This is an extract from the power pct program, you can look up the studies online.

When you take AAS, your body stops making natural hormones (i.e., test). Once you stop taking steroids, you can be left with a gap until your body starts making its own again, which can take months. Here, you can be faced with low levels of androgens and normal levels of corticosteroids. Corticosteroids have a pronounced catabolic (muscle-depleting) state on our bodies, and without the androgens to balance the catabolic effects of corticosteroids, a good deal of your new muscle mass may be lost. To help your body maintain its size, you will want to restore endogenous (natural) testosterone production quickly. The methods for doing this seem to be different everywhere you look: "Take hCG, don't take hCG, use an aromatase inhibitor, just take Clomid, forget Clomid and just take Nolvadex." What option is reall best? Without an understanding of what is really happeningin your body, and why certain compounds help to correct the situation, choosing he correct PCT program can be quite confusing.

The HPTA Axis

The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis (HPTA) 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 purpose of our discussion, we can look at this regulating process as having three levels. At the top is te 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 counterbalance things, by providing negative feedback signals (primarily to the hypothalamus and pituitary) to lower the secretion of testosterone. Synthetic steroids send the same negative feedback. This quick background of the testosterone-regulating axis is necessary to furthering our discussion, as we need to first look at the underlying mechanism 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 supress testosterone production primarily by lowering the level of gonadotropic hormones, the big roadblock to a restored HPTA after we come off steroids is surprisingly not LH. This problem was made clearly evident in a study published back in 1975. Here, blood parameters, including testosterone and LH levels, were monitored in male subjects who were given testosterone enanthate injections of 250mg weekly for 21 weeks, a low dose for even a beginner's cycle. 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 was to be expected. Things looked very different, however, once the steroids had been withdrawn. 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 in testosterone production started at all! This lack of correlation makes clear that the problem in getting androgen levels restored is not necessarily the level of LH, but more so testicular atrophy and desensitization to LH. After a period of inactivation, the testes have lost mass (atrophied), making them unable to perform the required workload. The protracted post-cycle window can, likewise, no longer be looked at as one of low testosterone and low LH. Much of it actually involves low testosterone and normal (even high) LH.

The Role of Anti-Estrogens

It is important to understand that anti-estrogens alone are inadequate to restore normal endogenous testosterone production after a cycle. These agents ordinarily increase LH levels by blocking the negative feedback of estrogens. But LH rebounds quickly on its own post-cycle, without help. Plus, there is not an elevated level of estrogen for anti-estrogens to block during this window, as testosterone (now suppressed) is a major subtrate used for the synthesis of estrogen in men. Serum estrogen levels are actually lower here, not higher. Any estrogen rebound that occurs post-cycle, likewise, happens with a rebound in testosterone levels, not prior to it (there is an imbalance in the ratio of androgens to estrogens post cycle, but this is another topic altogether). On their own, we are seeing no mechanism in which anti-estrogenic drugs can effectively help here. I can, however, see why this fact would be easy to overlook. The medical literature is filled with references showing anti-estrogenic drugs like Clomid and Nolvadex to increase LH and testosterone levels in men, and in normal situations they indeed perform this function very well. Combine this with the fact that just as many studies can be found to show that steroid use lowers LH when suppressing testosterone, and we can see how easy it would be to jump to the conclusion that we need to focus on LH. We would miss the true problem, 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 focusing solely on anti-estrogenic drugs.

The Role of hCG

With anti-estrogens alone proving to be ineffective, we are left 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, hCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is a prescription fertility agent that mimics the body's natural LH. Although the testes are equally desensitized to this drug as they are to LH (they work through the same receptor), we are administering it as a measured drug and are, therefore, not constrained by the limits of our own LH production. In other words, we can give ourselves a good dose of the drug (as much LH as we really need), shocking the testes with unnaturally high levels of stimulation. We want it to reach a level above what our bodies, even when supported by anti-estrogens, could do on its own. The result should be a more rapid restoration of original testicular mass, which would allow normal levels of testosterone to be output much sooner than without such an ancillary program in place. What we are looking at now is hCG actually being the pivotal post-cycle drug, with anti-estrogens playing more of a supportive role.

The PoWeR PCT Program

The PCT program outlined below represents what I consider to be an ideal and effective PCT program. It was developed by the doctors at the Program for Wellness Restoration (PoWeR), who have a formidable history helping patients recover from abnormal hormonal functioning following steroid therapy. One of the key doctors on this program, Dr. Michael Scally, claims to have successfully treated more than 100 cases of hypogonadism/hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, and is very well known in the field of androgen replacement therapy. PoWeR published this program as part of a recent clinical study, which involved 19 healthy male subject who were taking supraphysiological (highly suppressive) doses of testosterone cypionate and nandrolone decanoate for 12 weeks. Their HPGA Normalization Protocol focuses on the combined use of hCG, Nolvadex, and Clomid, and is perhaps the only clinical documented post-cycle therapy program to be found in the medical literature (it is amazing how little attention has been paid to hormone normalization in clinical medicine). The most notable variation from a classic PCT stack, such that I have been a longtime supporter of, is the combined use of two anti-estrogens. In this case I cannot say there is a disadvantage to such us; perhaps it is indeed the better option.

NOLVADEX: ran for 45 days from day 1
CLOMID: ran for 30 days from day 1
hCG: ran for 16 days from day 1

Examining the program closely, we note that the testes are hit hard with hCG at the onset of therapy. Its intake, however, is limited to only 16 days. The doctors undoubtedly recognize that when hCG is taken for too long or at too high a dosage it can desensitize the LH receptor. This would only further exacerbate the post-cycle program, not help it. Anti-estrogens are used during and after hCG, with a dosage of 10mg of Nolvadex and 100mg of Clomid per day, rounding out this compliment of drugs. Clomid is used for a shorter period of time than Nolvadex, likely because of the desensitizing effect it too can have (on the pituitary gland) with continued use. Among other things, these two anti-estrogens will continue to foster LH release as testosterone levels start to go back up, as well as combat any potential estrogenic side effects that may be caused by hCG's up-regulation of testicular aromatase activity. Although the first couple of weeks the anti-estrogens probably do very little, they should be much more helpful toward the middle and end of the program. During this clinical investigation, normal hormonal function was restored in all subjects within 45 days of drug cessation. This is a definite success, far more favorable than the protracted recovery window noted in studies without PCT, such as the 250mg/week testosterone enanthate investigation. Such a detailed recovery program should follow any serious steroid cycle. It is the best way to maintain your gains at their maximum, and that is, after all, what we are after.
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mjbwarrior

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by mjbwarrior on Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:23 am

Interesting read here. I've seen it before and I ask the question, Was this study done with more than just one group all taking the same thing? Meaning have more than 1 group, say at least 3, all taking different compounds like 1 group take all 3(nolva, clomid, hcg), another group just nolva, another group nolva, clomid... or something similar to this. A control group taking nothing is not need since we already know what happens there and its not good... Where is the study like that... with something to base the results on??? X group did better than Y group but not as well as Z group etc. etc... Anyone know of anything like that??


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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Natetrig on Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:09 am

Thats a good question, I'm not sure what the answer is, im sure you can find it by reading the actual study. All I know is I read someones blood test resultes on another forum after this pct was completed and their levels were slightly above what they were before cycle. I believe the blood test was taken about 2 weeks after this whole 45 day regime was completed. The person also reported keeping a lot more of their gains than usual. Obvously the power pct program could be disputed, but from what I have seen it is definitley worth a try, expecially with highly suppressive steroid cycles.

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Ironworker on Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:47 am

*sigh* fuckin just try it and get back to us.....


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h4x

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by h4x on Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:23 am

I'm glad I don't have to run PCT, lol.


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mjbwarrior

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by mjbwarrior on Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:59 am

I'll just stick with the Nolva for now untill my TRT days staqrt which should be soon


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Natetrig

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Natetrig on Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:48 am

I don't think i will need this heavy of a pct from a turanaplex cycle which is what im gonna run in 10 days.... but when i do run a more suppressive cycle i will definitley get bloods taken and let you guys know lol.
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mjbwarrior

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by mjbwarrior on Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:43 am

cool... lets us know


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Thesauced

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by Thesauced on Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:17 am

Ironworker wrote:Please don't take this as a dis in any way because you've shared the very accepted, commonly repeated, and even doctor reccommended mythology about testicular atrophy.

Atrophy occurs because some mass is shrinking. The testicles contain 2 types of cells, Leydig and Sertoli. In addition, they are filled with a continuous, spiraling network of "tubes" which transport sperm as it matures, finally releasing the fully grown sperm cells upon ejaculation.

The Leydig cells, in response to Luteinizing hormone, form and release testosterone into the body. HCG acts like LH in stimulating ONLY the Leydigs to release testosterone. Follicle Stimulating Hormone acts on the Sertoli cells to produce buds of sperm in a long branch, much like grapes on a vine. HCG supresses FSH, effectively reducing sperm production.
The Sertoli and their branches of sperm make up the bulk of mass in the testicles. Shutting down the Sertoli cells causes the bulk of testicular atrophy. HCG will, in fact, keep the balls small.
However, Clomid will stimulate FSH release from the pituitary even during shutdown. Unfortunately, Clomid will begin to shut down FSH release if used longer than 2 weeks, which is why the 2 week limitation of use during PCT.

Just want to clear up a long-held, but false belief in the volumizing effect of HCG on the testicles.


great read! thanks bro! newb questions: does clomid also stimulate LH? does nolva raise FSH and LH too? I was planning to use nolva for 4-5weeks after my cycle.. is it gonna shut down FSH like clomid after 2 weeks?

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Re: HCG and PCT

Post by ladas64 on Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:12 am

hi guys , im a 40 years old male , i been in cycles before but it seems to be i have been getting fake stuff most of the time , this time i want to start a cycle with testosterone cypionate 200mg., would this t,cypionate will b good using it alone ? ill appreciatte sugestion .

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