PCT - Post-cycle therapy guide
It's all too easy to pay little attention to what might actually be the most important component of your steroid use while you're entirely focused on organizing your steroid cycle, your exercises, and your nutrition. Post-cycle therapy (PCT).
Your natural hormone system is drastically altered by a steroid cycle. You might completely stop making natural testosterone. Restoring your hormone balance is one of the main aims of post-cycle therapy.
Post-cycle therapy (PCT) is a crucial step that requires just as much consideration and preparation as your steroid cycle itself.
It requires taking a number of prescription drugs that you might or might not have easy access to, and it also necessitates that you comprehend how they all function and the ideal combination, dose, and duration for your post-cycle therapy plan.
Everything you need to know about post-cycle therapy and how to apply it to your daily activities is included in this guide.
Post-cycle therapy should be given the same emphasis as all other aspects of your bodybuilding program in order to improve results and safeguard your health.
Do I Require a PCT After Using Steroids?
The PCT's Importance
You must complete post-cycle therapy because your body's regular testosterone production has been halted. Your natural testosterone production may be extremely little to nonexistent after a steroid cycle, depending on the steroids you used, how long your cycle was, and other personal circumstances.
Consequently, getting your exam back on track is a key justification for starting PCT. At the end of a cycle, stopping the use of steroids ends the anabolic condition your body is in, which might make it tough to retain the gains you've worked so hard to achieve.
Therefore, the following factors are crucial for post-cycle therapy:
restoring the natural production of testosterone
keeping your muscular mass (muscle gains)
regaining control of your body's natural processes following steroid use
You might think of post-cycle therapy (PCT) as a post-cycle detox. In essence, you will be asking your body to function normally once again without the impact of steroids. The ultimate objective is to be able to exit your steroid cycle with as much of your muscular gains as you can keep and a hormonal system that is totally functional and normal.
Top 3 Testosterone Stimulating Substances for PCT HPTA Recovery
In terms of importance, the three primary types of compounds are:
SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
Aromatase Inhibitors (AI)
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
There are various SERM kinds, and each has advantages and disadvantages. The names you will hear most frequently when discussing the use of SERMS in post-cycle therapy (PCT) are:
Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid),
and Tamoxifen (Fareston)
Although Clomid is thought to be the most effective of the three, it also carries a higher chance of more major side effects.
SERMs are made to counteract estrogen's effects. However, despite what the word "selective" in their name suggests, SERMs don't completely mitigate against estrogen.
Instead, while the effects of estrogen may be suppressed in some parts of the body, they may actually be amplified in other parts of the body. This indicates that there is a balance between the possible benefits and drawbacks of SERMs, making it obvious that, like any drug class, they are not a panacea for treating your estrogenic side effects following a cycle. But when taken properly, SERMs are still regarded as a well-liked post-cycle therapeutic choice and continue to give bodybuilders good results.
SERMs are helpful for reducing the effects of one of the most dreaded and agonizing side effects of using anabolic steroids in gynecomastia because they operate as an estrogen antagonist (decrease estrogen on breast tissue) and are frequently used as a breast cancer treatment for women (gyno).
The main advantages of employing SERMs are:
stimulate the synthesis of testosterone
blocking estrogen's effects (reducing estrogen)
aid the body's natural hormones to function once more
may support lowering cholesterol
Regardless of the steroids you've been using, SERMs are an essential part of post-cycle therapy, but due to their conflicting effects on estrogen, they shouldn't make up the complete protocol. The effects of estrogen may be increased in some situations by acting as an agonist rather than an antagonist.
However, when it comes to particular SERMs, vision problems may be the adverse effect that concerns people the most. Given that it is one of the more strong SERMs on the market, Clomid in particular carries a risk of this potentially major health issue.
Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs)
Similar to SERMs, aromatase inhibitor medications lessen the effects of estrogen when normal levels rise excessively as a result of testosterone levels raised by steroid use. Among the aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are:
Androstatrien-3,17-dione or arimitstane (ATD)
AIs, on the other hand, reduce the amount of estrogen that is circulating in the body by preventing the conversion of androgens into estrogen, which ultimately leads to higher estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels, in contrast to SERMs, which act to block estrogen in the tissue cells.
The following are the main advantages of using aromatase inhibitors:
To prevent testosterone from turning to estrogen, block the enzyme aromatase.
reduce estrogen to cause a rise in testosterone
Stop or reduce gynecomastia
also, lessen the estrogenic consequences of HCG
While the advantages of using aromatase inhibitors are undeniable, there are some risks as well, including the potential for hair loss, hot flashes, a higher risk of blood clots, irregular heartbeat, and joint and muscular pain.
The goal of utilizing aromatase inhibitors as part of your post-cycle therapy (PCT) regimen is to stop that cycle from happening, reverse it, and enhance testosterone production.
When using HCG in your post-cycle therapy routine, AIs are also crucial because aromatase inhibitors are required to reduce the estrogenic effects of HCGs.
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
HCG is a hormone that can assist in reversing or preventing some of the more severe negative effects associated with steroid usages, such as testicular atrophy and probable infertility brought on by decreased sperm production. Men with low testosterone and infertility use it medically.
The following are advantages of utilizing human chorionic gonadotropin:
restores and boosts testosterone production in the body
restores the size and functionality of the testicles
boosts the production of sperm
prevents the deterioration of the muscle you've acquired
Fatigue, headaches, depression, gynecomastia, leg, foot, and hand swell are some potential side effects of HCG. Prolonged usage might also impede the synthesis of sperm and testosterone. HCG should be utilized with an aromatase inhibitor and a SERM in a post-cycle plan. Using HCG alone during post-cycle therapy protocol not only has no purpose or advantage, but it will also result in a decrease in luteinizing hormone.
Instead, to prevent an increase in estrogen levels brought on by HCG's effects on boosting aromatase activity in testicles, always combine HCG with an aromatase inhibitor and a SERM.
SERMS for the PCT
Clomid PCT drugs
The purpose of Clomid is to increase female fertility. It does this by activating the pituitary glands to raise LH (luteinizing hormone) and follicle-stimulating hormone levels, which in turn stimulates the synthesis of testosterone in males.
The most typical application of Clomid is in post-cycle therapy protocol, which is intended to reestablish natural testosterone production. The following are some advantages of utilizing Clomid for post-cycle therapy:
stronger compared to Nolvadex
may block estrogen
stimulates the natural synthesis of produce testosterone
positively influences liver function and cholesterol levels
Vision issues and mood changes are possible negative effects of taking Clomid. Blurriness, floaters, light sensitivity, and other visual issues might occur. While the majority of these visual side effects are often curable, higher or longer-term Clomid usage might result in certain more severe and permanent issues. On the more extreme end of the spectrum, this can involve cataracts, fluid buildup in the macula, and even vision loss.
The best time to begin Clomid post-cycle treatment is two weeks after your steroid cycle concludes. However, you can begin taking Clomid as soon as 5 days following the end of your cycle if you're using a testosterone ester with a shorter half-life (like Propionate).
Following a modest to moderate testosterone cycle support, 50mg of Clomid per day for three weeks is thought to be enough. If you're thinking about utilizing Clomid for a post-cycle treatment (PCT) cycle,
for post-cycle therapy, Clomid (PCT medications)
Your body runs with far higher testosterone levels than you'd usually be able to create when you're on a steroid cycle using synthetic testosterone or derivatives of the hormone. The body simply stops producing regular testosterone, or at least reduces it to a very low level, as a result of realizing this. When you quit taking steroids, your body's intake of synthetic testosterone abruptly stops, which can result in a severe crash and dangerous low T negative effects.
Post-cycle therapy is therefore an essential component of your steroid use because it helps your body get back to normal hormone function. If PCT wasn't available, waiting for your T levels to return to normal—if they ever did—would be a very difficult uphill battle. Because many anabolic drugs signal the body to stop producing testosterone while synthetic testosterone is being used, Clomid is helpful when incorporated into a post-cycle therapy plan after a steroid cycle when testosterone levels will have been lowered to a very low or even nonexistent level of hormone production.
In order to prevent the harmful effects of low testosterone, PCT aims to restore endogenous testosterone to normal levels. Low libido, muscle loss, body fat accumulation, depressive symptoms, lack of energy and strength, difficulty concentrating, and more are some of these. The steroid compounds you've used throughout your cycle and the length of each steroid's active life will determine when you should start taking Clomid. This may be the best post-cycle therapy.
Short-lived steroids may require you to begin post-cycle therapy (PCT) as soon as your steroid cycle is complete, however, some other big-ester steroids may require you to wait two weeks before beginning PCT because the steroid effects continue to be felt for a while after your steroid cycle. Don't leave hormonal imbalances.
To regain normal testosterone function and return levels after a few weeks to what they were before your steroid cycle, it may take many weeks or even months, depending on how heavily you use steroids. When it comes to efficient post-cycle therapy, Clomid is a potent instrument, but it's not the only one.
Since Nolvadex was created to treat breast cancer, its generic name is Tamoxifen. Its main objective is to prevent estrogen from attaching to receptors, particularly in the breast tissue.
Gynecomastia's negative side effects are lessened by Nolvadex. For the majority of persons on a typical steroid cycle, this is a helpful and well-liked post-cycle therapeutic substance.
The principal advantages of Nolvadex are:
Gynecomastia is prevented, and natural hormonal function is restored.
Less risk of side effects than Clomid.
Offers both pro-testosterone and anti-estrogenic properties.
Can keep their cholesterol levels low thanks to the liver's estrogenic agonistic activities.
Aids in maintaining low levels of estrogen.
Nolvadex side effects may include headache, upset stomach, hot flashes, a probable decline in IGF-1 levels, decreased libido, and potential hair thinning or loss.
Nolvadex can be begun two weeks following the end of your cycle if you've completed a straightforward testosterone cycle. However, some bodybuilders frequently use it both during and immediately after the cycle in order to maintain high testosterone levels by inhibiting estrogen binding. Although some procedures call for administering Nolvadex for as little as 21 days, the suggested duration is 4 weeks. Nolvadex must be dosed correctly if it is to function as intended, just like all other SERMs and any other medications you use as part of your post-cycle therapy program. There are numerous examples and suggested dose regimens for Nolvadex for post-cycle therapy, and they can differ significantly.
One suggested dosage is 40 mg per day for the first week, followed by 20 mg per day for the following two weeks, and 10 mg per day for the final two weeks. One of the suggested dosages for a three-week treatment is 100 mg on the first day, 60 mg for 10 days, and then 40 mg for the final 10 days.
Use of Nolvadex in Gynecomastia
Nolvadex targets the breast tissue as part of its role as an anti-estrogen breast cancer treatment medicine, making it extremely helpful for preventing the dreaded gynecomastia in male anabolic steroid users. Nolvadex pct supplements attach to estrogen receptors in the breast area, essentially stopping the action of estrogen there, which can cause cancer to advance there.
This is exactly what needs to be done in order to prevent gynecomastia from developing as one of the side effects of numerous AAS that are related to estrogen blockers. Nolvadex has demonstrated efficacy in this area, which accounts for its widespread use before and after steroid cycles.
Nolvadex on cycle use to prevent male breast growth is a well-known anabolic androgenic steroids user technique. Many people who use this medication for this purpose report good results, but not everyone will.
Nolvadex may not be sufficient to prevent you from having gyno as a side effect of steroid use if you are using steroids that are highly aromatizing or if you are extremely sensitive to gyno; in these circumstances, you may need to use aromatase inhibitor medications.
The only time Nolvadex is used to increase testosterone function is during post-cycle therapy. While Nolvadex administered during a cycle is crucial for treating gyno, it will not have a beneficial effect on testosterone when it is up against the potent testosterone-suppressing effects of most steroids.
Nolvadex or Clomid? Which is best for PCT? Or Both?
When compared to Clomid, Nolvadex has the advantage of a lower probability of major adverse effects. The vision impairments and probable long-term eyesight issues associated with Clomid are the most alarming potential adverse effects and are the obvious reason for concern. Because Nolvadex is weaker than Clomid, which is thought to be quite potent, some people think about using both. However, this does not reduce the chance of side effects; in fact, it is probably going to make them worse.
Combining these two SERMs for post-cycle therapy serves little use; instead, pick one based on the kind of cycle you underwent. For a simple or moderate cycle, Nolvadex will do, but for a more intense or prolonged cycle, additional strength Clomid may be needed to restore normal hormone function and lessen the more severe decline in natural testosterone and increase in estrogen.
PCT Aromatase Inhibitors
Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) reduce the level of estrogen and stop the production of estrogen. Numerous steroid users will consume an AI both during and after the steroid cycle.
Because it can reduce the levels of current estrogen and prevent the synthesis of new estrogen, the estrogen-lowering medication Arimidex is helpful for bodybuilders.
Here are just a few advantages of Arimidex:
prevents the production of more estrogen
reduces current estrogen levels
aids in preventing gyno
lowered chance of acne lowered water retention
Blood pressure is reduced
Testosterone is restored
Additionally, there are certain adverse outcomes. For instance, Arimidex loses its effectiveness when used with Nolvadex, causing headaches, nausea, and painful joints.
Similar to Aromasin, Arimidex is frequently used for both post-cycle therapy and steroid cycles in order to prevent an increase in estrogen at any point during the cycle.
Depending on your cycle, 0.5 to 1mg of Arimidex per day is typically advised. Some men may find that cutting back on Arimidex to just 0.5 mg every two to three days will be adequate if they have been on a lighter or shorter cycle.
For Post-Cycle Therapy, Take Arimidex (PCT)
In post-cycle therapy, when the objective is to restore naturally occurring testosterone levels after they have been severely repressed during a cycle, Arimidex's capacity to boost testosterone production in males makes it beneficial.
Remember that most men won't be able to utilize Arimidex alone as a testosterone stimulant in post-cycle therapy, and some men opt not to use it at all.
Arimidex's extremely potent estrogen-lowering impact, which in certain situations can cause the hormone's levels to drop too low to sustain healthy body functioning, is the major reason it is not used in post-cycle therapy.
The use of Arimidex during post-cycle therapy can block this essential function, preventing you from getting the positive effects you truly need during post-cycle therapy. Although estrogen levels are not a primary hormone for men, it is nevertheless important in small amounts.
The majority of users will choose for SERMs like Nolvadex or Clomid instead of AIs, which can surprise new steroid users who believe AIs must be the greatest option for post-cycle therapy due to their incredibly potent estrogen lowering capabilities.
You can mix these with hCG for the best results during post-cycle therapy, where your main objectives are to restore natural testosterone function, prevent the dreadful symptoms of low testosterone, and guarantee that all or the majority of the advantages from your steroid cycle are maintained.
Despite its outstanding and significant use throughout your cycle itself, Arimidex is rarely the most optimal drug to include in the cycle when it comes to these post-cycle therapy goals.
PCT with HCG
HCG is used medically to stimulate testosterone production in the testicles. Due to the decrease in natural testosterone production activity, HCG is used in pct to accomplish the same goal when steroids are taken.
HCG functions similarly to LH, which encourages the production of sperm and testosterone in the testicles. The testicles may start to enlarge once this occurs, returning to normal natural testosterone levels. HCG is regarded as a quick and efficient technique to recover from a cycle and restore testosterone function, a kind of testosterone booster.
HCG should never be administered without an aromatase inhibitor because it may result in gynecomastia. HCG cycles typically last 4 to 6 weeks.
The recommended dosage for steroid users who want to utilize HCG quickly to restore their LH levels to normal is 2500iu once a week for two weeks.
FAQ - frequently asked questions
What happened if I don't take PCT?
You run the risk of losing the benefits you toiled so hard to achieve during your cycle, rendering the entire process all but pointless (and money). However, more significantly in terms of your health, your testosterone levels may be out of whack for some time following a steroid cycle, leading to issues like gynecomastia, high blood pressure, no libido, and a long list of other issues. In other words, avoid cutting corners here because you don't want to perform a steroid cycle without PCT.
What time should I begin PCT?
Your PCT's time will vary depending on the type and duration of the steroids you utilized. Although shorter-lasting steroids like Test Propionate will have you commencing PCT within a few days of stopping your cycle, PCT typically begins 2 weeks following your last steroid injection. With steroids like Winstrol, PCT may need to start as soon as 12 hours after the last dose.
What are the PCT's key advantages?
PCT is essential if you want to keep the gains you made throughout your steroid cycle and get your endocrine (hormonal) system back to normal functioning, especially when it comes to boosting testosterone production. Gyno impact reduction is a top priority for PCT.
A PCT Cycle lasts how long?
Depending on the steroid cycle you were on and the PCT medications you will be utilizing, a PCT cycle can take anywhere between three and six weeks. For a typical user, the above post-cycle therapy protocol should last four to six weeks.
HCG - Human Chorionic Gonadotropin: What Is It?
HCG is a hormone that is naturally present in women and plays a significant role in pregnancy. In fact, the hormone only forms once a woman is pregnant because the placenta produces it after implantation, and once the level of HCG rises to a certain point, it is sufficient to determine whether a woman is pregnant. If you utilize male steroids, you might then be perplexed as to how or why such a hormone might be helpful to you. HCG is used medically to treat hypogonadism, or low testosterone, in men.
HCG is helpful to steroid users since it performs nearly identically to luteinizing hormone (LH). Because the LH is produced in the pituitary gland and has a comparable function to HCG, luteinizing hormone can be thought of as a pituitary analog to HCG. HCG is particularly pertinent to guys in this situation: LH is essential for promoting the synthesis of natural testosterone. This is why HCG is a well-liked option for PCT use in particular when the restoration of normal testosterone function is necessary following anabolic steroid suppression.