x
Almost there! Please complete this form and click the button below to gain instant access.
EliteFitness.com FREE Email Series: How You Can Use Winstrol, Masteron, HGH, and Testosterone for a Perfect, Muscular Physique!
- -
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.
- -

View Poll Results: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

Voters
36. You may not vote on this poll
  • I take HCG while on Cycle only.

    13 36.11%
  • I take HCG as part of my PCT.

    17 47.22%
  • I do not use HCG.

    6 16.67%

Do you take HCG while on Cycle?


Welcome to the EliteFitness.com Bodybuilding Site! Please join this discussion about Do you take HCG while on Cycle? within the Anabolic Steroids category.

Excerpt: I have been on a couple other boards in the past and there seems to be many different opinions about HCG and when you should take it. I typically follow the Swale protocol and run it while I am on cycle and never run it during PCT. This is what I have always done, and it seems to work. This seems to be true for others on different boards that also recommend not taking HCG during PCT. Here is a quote from Swale who is a MD: I advise my AAS patients to use small amounts of HCG (250IU to

Read more or register here to join the discussion below...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
  1. #1
    Good Broly aceofspades's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    202
    Rep Power
    55

    Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    I have been on a couple other boards in the past and there seems to be many different opinions about HCG and when you should take it. I typically follow the Swale protocol and run it while I am on cycle and never run it during PCT. This is what I have always done, and it seems to work. This seems to be true for others on different boards that also recommend not taking HCG during PCT.

    Here is a quote from Swale who is a MD:

    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 isn’t enough to stave off testicular atrophy, then I recommend using it more days each week (as opposed to taking larger doses). In fact, I wouldn’t 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 SERM’s 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 can’t “fool” the body—it 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 ground—and we don’t 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

    Just wondering how many people here follow this protocol on this board.

  2. #2
    Good Broly aceofspades's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    202
    Rep Power
    55

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    This is also more information about HCG.

    Drug Class: Leutenizing Hormone (LH) - Gonadotropin
    Active Life: 64 hours


    Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone produced in the placenta of the female body during the early months of pregnancy. It is in fact the pregnancy indicator looked at by the over the counter pregnancy test kits, as due to its origin it is not found in the body at any other time. Medically, human chorionic gonadotropin has been used for the treatment of undescended testicles in young males, hypogonadism (underproduction of testosterone) (1) and as a fertility drug used to aid in inducing ovulation in women. In veterinary practices, it can also be used to rapidly induce ovulation, most often in cows and horses.

    For male steroid users, HCG can mimic the action of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the body. Luteinizing hormone is a pituitary hormone that is released and signals the manufacture of testosterone in the testicles. It is this ability that enables the compound to help restore the normal function of the testes to respond to endogenous luteinizing hormone. This ability can be dramatically reduced after a long period of inactivity, as is the case when administering anabolic steroids. Even when the release of endogenous LH has been resumed to it's normal levels, testosterone levels may not return to normal because of the extended time of inaction that the testes were exposed to (2).

    Individuals will also often use HCG to combat testicular atrophy, a result of the hypothalamus pituitary testes axis shut down. While this atrophy is more of a symptom of a side effect of anabolic steroid use rather than something that can be dangerous to a user, many individuals are concerned about testicular atrophy and turn to human chorionic gonadotropin to help and alleviate it. For this purpose, HCG is quite effective.

    As is fairly obvious by the preceding, human chorionic gonadotropin offers female athletes no performance enhancing qualities and is useless for this purpose.


    Use/Dosing

    It is important to note that HCG should only be run while a user is still on cycle and not during PCT. This is due to human chorionic gonadotropin actually being suppressive to the hypothalamus pituitary testes axis. Obviously this is something to be avoided when attempting to "re-start" your natural testosterone production. Ensure that the last shot of HCG is taken within several days of the start time of post-cycle therapy so that it has cleared the system of the user and the compounds being taken for PCT can function as intended.

    High doses of human chorionic gonadotropin also have been shown to cause a large amount of aromatase activity. Since a user would obviously want to keep aromatase to the lowest level possible, small and frequent doses would be most effective while keeping side effects to a minimum. The side effects and risks associated with HCG will be dealt with later in this profile, however obviously there are several concerns that a user must take into consideration when choosing a method and dosing with a compound such as this.

    Human chorionic gonadotropin can be injected either using intramuscular or subcutaneous injection methods. There is no evidence showing that either method is more effective or potent than the other. Some users complain of a sharp sting when injecting the compound. However this pain quickly dissipates.

    Once constituted, human chorionic gonadotropin must be refrigerated. Depending on the type/brand of HCG a user has it could last from approximately four to eight weeks. Constituting the powder of the compound with bacteriostatic water may add some shelf life but this increase is not dramatic by any means, extending the life of the constituted compound by only days.

    There are numerous effective ways with which a user can administer human chorionic gonadotropin throughout their cycle. However, one must ensure that they do not run it at such a dose that damage is caused and that the Leydig's cells are desensitized to luteinizing hormone which could impair an individual's ability to produce testosterone naturally. Some evidence has shown that doses as low as 800 to 1200 ius can cause at least temporary damage Leydig's cells in some individuals (1). However, the medical literature and many doctors who specialize in hormone replacement therapy and/or endocrinology still prescribe much larger doses of HCG despite this. Doses in excess of 3000 ius have been recommended and prescribed by doctors to help stimulate testosterone production in patients suffering from hypogonadism. However, like many compounds, there is very little research regarding the use of human chorionic gonadotropin for the reason that most steroid users administer it.

    A majority of users have anecdotally reported that frequent small doses are the norm for steroid users attempting to maintain at least minimal testicular function during their anabolic steroid cycles. However the timing, doses, frequency and durations of administering the drug vary quite widely amongst users. For the most part this is due to the lack of credible information available to users about how to go about using the compound effectively. However, there are some absolutes when using human chorionic gonadotropin.

    First, more frequent dosing is nearly always better to use rather than increasing the dose size. Due to the fact that HCG aromatizes and it is believed that it may be the estrogen, along with other factors, that may cause testicular desensitization (3) large doses would only cause more problems for a user. However, smaller more frequent doses should enable an individual to use a substantial dose of the drug spread out over several days while minimizing the risk of damage. Anecdotally users report administering the compound from twice per week to every other day, with some even choosing to inject everyday at very small doses.

    In terms of frequency of injections users often find that it is determined by the length of time that they are planning on running the compound which influences their decision about dosing length. For example, some individuals will begin administering HCG during the last few weeks of their cycle prior to beginning their post-cycle therapy (PCT). The belief is that by doing so you will "shock" the testicles back into functioning just before PCT begins so that they can start to perform normally. Usually a user will choose to administer the human chorionic gonadotropin several times per week, even in some cases running it for several consecutive days at comparitavely high doses.

    Another often used method is to run HCG throughout a user's cycle with less frequent injections. The theory behind this method is that it is much easier to attempt to maintain testicular function throughout a cycle rather than to try and "re-start" proper functioning. Most often when users are using this method of administration injections are done at a minimum of twice per week beginning in the first or second week of a steroid cycle, with them being conducted to a maximum of every three days. Of course a user may vary the dosing frequency as he sees fit depending on how he reacts to the compound. Usually it is the rate of testicular atrophy that a user will use as a guide as to when to increase his dosages and/or the frequency of injections.


    Side Effects/Risks

    As noted earlier, the primary risk associated with human chorionic gonadotropin is causing testicular desensitization and damage to the Leydig cells of the testes resulting in permanent impairment to natural testosterone production (4). It is the aromatase activity that occurs with HCG that some feel is actually toxic to the Leydig cells of the testes (3). If this sceanrio plays out an individual would be causing permanent damage to their natural testosterone production (hypogonadism). This is why relatively small doses of the compound should be administered at a time. If large doses are taken it is likely that some damage may occur.

    One way to minimize the risk of permanent damage is to use tamoxifen throughout the administration of HCG. Studies have shown that human chorionic gonadotropin can, at least partially, block the conversion of 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (17 OHP), which is a testosterone precursor, to testosterone. Obviously this is something that a user would want to avoid. However tamoxifen has been shown to protect against this effect quite effectively (4). Therefore, it would appear that by using tamoxifen while running HCG a user could help to ensure that desensitization of the testes does not occur. However, it should be noted that if a user is not running large amounts of human chorionic gonadotropin desensitization should not be an issue and tamoxifen would be unnecessary. Despite this, for those users that administer large amounts of HCG it is advisable that they also use tamoxifen for this reason.

    Due to the fact that there exists luteinizing hormone and human chorionic gonadotropin receptors in various tissues in the body other then gonadal, this indicates that human chorionic gonadotropin can have an effect on these tissues resulting in possible negative side effects when administered. Such case of this is the possible development of gynecomastia in users (5). It appears that the use of human chorionic gonadotropin in a small number of users has resulted in some men developing gynecomastia that is not related to their estrogen levels or increased levels of prolactin, the most obvious causes of gynecomastia in steroid users. Rather, in a very small minority of users it seems that the increased amount of circulating luteinizing hormone or the human chorionic gonadotropin itself can interact with these receptors in the breast tissue causing a reaction resulting in the development of gynecomastia (5). It is unknown at this time the actual mechanism by which this is accomplished, but it does appear to occur frequently in a small number of men. As well there is no known method to combat this side effect in men who experience it, leaving the only option to treat this effect the cessation of human chorionic gonadotropin administration altogether. Fortunately it appears that when this is done the gynecomastia that has developed begins to dissipate rapidly and becomes unnoticeable within a matter of days or weeks in the majority of cases.

    So knowing that the ability of the testes to aromatize androgens could potentially be heightened several times greater than normal when using HCG (2), it is fairly obvious that it should only be used as a quick stimulus to the testes and not something that is used to constantly barrage them in an attempt to keep them functioning (6). If used correctly the compound is capable of aiding in recovery of natural testosterone production post-cycle, but like all compounds it's use must be tempered with the correct knowledge and application.


    References

    1. Acute stimulation of aromatization in Leydig cells by human chorionic gonadotropin in vitro. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 76:4460-3, 1979

    2. Llewellyn, William, Anabolics 2004, 2003-4, Molecular Nutrition, pp. 272-3

    3. Levalle OA, Suescun MO, Fiszlejder L, Aszpis S, Charreau E, Guitelman A, Calandra R. Effect of an antiestrogen on the testicular response to acute and chronic administration of hCG in normal and hypogonadotropic hypogonadic men: tamoxifen and testicular response to hCG. Andrologia 1991 Mar-Apr, 23(2):109-14

    4. Smals AG, Pieters GF, Drayer JI, Boers GH, Benraad TJ, Kloppenborg PW. Tamoxifen suppresses gonadotropin-induced 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone accumulation in normal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1980 Nov, 51(5):1026-9

    5. Carlson HE, Kane P, Lei ZM, Li X, Rao CV. Presence of Luteinizing Hormone/Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Receptors in Male Breast Tissues. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Aug;89(8):4119-23

    6. Cantrill JA, Dewis P, Large DM et al. Which testosterone replacement therapy? Clin Endocrinol (oxf) 21 (1984) 97-107

  3. #3
    Da Pope solidspine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Newport Beach
    Posts
    11,325
    Rep Power
    121

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    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

    I don’t think your MD friend has ever done a cycle,

    HCG is like a mini cycle and if you do it alone for pct, and are prone to gyno, guess what, it will give you gyno.

    So with novladex or liquidex, it works great for PCT

    That has been my personal experience.

  4. #4
    Elite Moderator Ulter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    14,364
    Rep Power
    315

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    Swale is NOT an MD. He is also someone who learned most of what he knows by reading AS boards. Taking HCG during the cycle adds estrogen to your cycle. I don't like to do that. I will do it for a week to ten days at a time though just to pump up the testes to normal size.
    No one I know recommends using HCG during PCT unless it's failing and you need a boost. Generally you take it just prior to PCT to get your testes started and ready to run again as Swale has stolen, I mean written, in his article there.

  5. #5
    Da Pope solidspine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Newport Beach
    Posts
    11,325
    Rep Power
    121

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    So if Ulter you don’t recommend

    HGC and novladex, combo for PCT


    What is your advice?

  6. #6
    Good Bro
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    55
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    is it good to do the hcg after your last shoot? for 10 days ed, 500 u.i, then after 4-5 days to start the pct with clomid+ aifm. I noticed that most of the people prefer to do the hcg after cycle before starting pct and to add nolva if need it.

  7. #7
    Good Broly aceofspades's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    202
    Rep Power
    55

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    I typically take HCG while I am on cycle at 250iu 2x per week starting at about the 2nd week and stop before PCT. I have also read taking Nolva along with it during PCT becuase the Nolva stops the HCG from blocking the conversion of 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone to testosterone which is stated in this acticle by Anthony Roberts:

    http://www.mesomorphosis.com/article...le-therapy.htm

  8. #8
    gettinripped
    Guest

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    i'll tell you my experience. i am currently on 250mg ew of test. i WAS taking 250iu's HCG every 3rd day. AIFM was at 2 sprays ed then down to 1 ed. about 3 weeks ago I get itchy, sore nips. Dropped the HCG and upped the AIFM to 2 sprays and all is well now. Point being, HCG will create a problem if your prone, like me. I like th idea of using HCG just prior to PCT though. If I ever run another higher dosed test cycle, I'll try that route. For now, no more test for me. I dont like the way my face looks, all blown up and shit.

    Next Cycle Primo/Var

  9. #9
    Elite Bodybuilder
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    land of Oz
    Posts
    1,679
    Rep Power
    63

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    No HCG for me.

  10. #10
    Good Broly
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    203
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Do you take HCG while on Cycle?

    Quote Quote posted by Ulter
    Swale is NOT an MD. He is also someone who learned most of what he knows by reading AS boards. Taking HCG during the cycle adds estrogen to your cycle. I don't like to do that. I will do it for a week to ten days at a time though just to pump up the testes to normal size.
    No one I know recommends using HCG during PCT unless it's failing and you need a boost. Generally you take it just prior to PCT to get your testes started and ready to run again as Swale has stolen, I mean written, in his article there.
    However Swale IS a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy), attended medical school and IS licensed to practice medicine in Michigan. Furthermore he has published papers in peer-reviewed periodicals. He also probably treats more men for HPTA and steroid-related issues than any other physician in the country. Even if you disagree with his advice, I wouldn't consider him just an internet blowhard.

    I've run HCG throughout cycles (300IU E3D) and found that I felt better in general, avoided some sexual issues, and my recovery did seem to go faster. Taking larger dosages of HCG can possibly lead to higher levels of estrogen via aromatase, however any AI should prevent this. Personally I didn't experience any estrogen issues, but then I was taking arimidex and proviron anyway. Given how inexpensive HCG is, I don't see much of a downside to taking it throughout a cycle.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 27-Nov-2009, 09:31 AM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2009, 01:56 PM
  3. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-Sep-2008, 09:54 AM
  4. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-Mar-2007, 06:37 PM
  5. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-Jan-2005, 05:30 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •