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Blood work knowledge & HCG's effect on HPTA

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I decided to write this based on a number of PMs and other questions I have recieved regarding HCG.

First lets start with HPTA.
HPTA stands for hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (or sometimes gonadal) axis.  HPTA is a reference we give the combined function of the hypothalamus, pitultary gland, and testes so we can speak of them as a single system.  The hypothalamus produces GnRH (Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone), this hormone tells the pituitary gland to release LH (Luteinizing Hormone). LH travels from the pituitary through the bloodstream to the testes where it triggers the production and release of testosterone.  No LH means the testes shut down testosterone production, which means... your balls shrink (temporarily of course).  If you don't understand this just get this, Hypothalamus makes GnRH -> Pituitary makes LH -> Testes makes Testosterone.  If any one part of that system fails, the end result fails, which means no test production.

Now, what happens when we take AAS?
When a male takes AAS (I'm assuming everyone knows that means Anabolic Androgenic Steroids), the body natural feedback loops shut down it's testosterone production.  These natural feedback loops are like the proportional-integral contol loops we use in things like air conditioning, if its too cold, the compressors shut down.  Like in electronic controls (good ones anyway) there is a hysterysis to inhibit the system from bouncing back on and off. The body has to see the deficiency or surplus for a period of time before stopping or secreting hormones.  So when AAS are introduced the Hypothalamus (the beginning of our HPTA loop) shuts down production of GnRH.  With no GnRH the pituitary makes no LH, which means the testes makes no testosterone.  Now this is okay while we are on AAS because WE ALL USE TESTOSTERONE AS THE BASE OF OUR CYCLES RIGHT? :)  You don't have to use test while on AAS, but it is wise to as to keep your body functioning as normal as possible, not to mention the anabolic and androgenic benefits of test.  But let's continue, so we have been taking AAS for some weeks now and are ready to stop.

What does our body do when we stop?
When you stop taking AAS your body will continue to metabolize them for some time depending on the drug.  For example Testosterone Enanthate has a half life of 10.5 days.  What this means is that 10.5 days after injecting 500mg of Test E your body will have metabolized 250mg.  So in another 10.5 days your body will have metabolized the remaining 250 then right? - Wrong.  In an additional 10.5 days your body will have metabolized half of what is remaining, which is (1/2) * 250 = 125.  So in total, after 21 days the body has metabolized 375 out of 500mg of the Test E.  The formula for half lives is [Injection-(AmountAllreadyMetabolize d*(2)^(-TimeInDays/HalfLifeInDays))].  The easiest way to do this is to make an excel spreadsheet.  You can then find out exactly what your levels will be at any given time during your cycle.  The average adult male body produces between 40 and 120mg of test per week (That is a rather large range because of ages, obviously younger is higher).  What we want to do is find out at what point will the test we were injecting metabolize at a rate near what our normal body levels are at.  For a male in good condition who is between 25 and 35 I'm going to day that the average test level is around 70mg/week or 10mg/day.  For test E 18 days after injecting 500mg the body will be metabolizing about 10mg/day for that last injection, BUT the previous weeks injections are still metabolizing as well, this is where Excel comes in handy. In reality after 18 days your body is still metabolizing nearly 28mg/day of the test.  This is why a PCT needs to start later with long esters, they stay with you for a long time.  Now, just because our test levels are still above normal doesn't mean our body isn't starting to see negative effects.  Our estrogen levels and possibly progestin are rising.  This is what the nolvadex/clomid is for.  Some people wait 2 weeks after last injection for these, this is usually fine, but there is no reason you can't start taking them right away.  It is much harder to know or calculate estrogen and progestin levels than test (without bloodwork).  Don't be afraid of the anti Es! 

"Jesus christ you made me read this whole fucking thing that was supposed to be about hCG and you haven't even mentioned it yet!"  Okay the goal of hCG is to start up testosterone production.  The way HCG does this is by mimicing LH.  Remember this is Step 4 in the 6 step HPTA process.  It does NOT restart the Hypthalamus, therefore does not produce GnRH, therefore does not stimulate the pituitary.  However, the pituitary does not need to produce LH since the hCG is mimicing it.  The key to all of this is timing.  As I mentioned there is a hysterysis built in that will not allow the hypothalamus to start up right away, so what we want to do is to stimulate the rest of the HPTA system so that when the hypothalamus is ready the rest of the system is out of atrophy and ready to produce, namely the testes.  So once our test levels starts to approach our normal level (generally about 3 weeks depending on the esters) we can start with HCG injections, I personally do the following:
Day 1 3000IU
Day 4 1500IU
Day 7 750 IU
Day 10 500IU


500 IU ED for 2 weeks

There are a number of different ways, but most of them implement the use of 3-10,000 IU over the course of 10-14 days.  The goal is to stimulate the testes without producing too much testosterone that it further hinders the hypothalamus.  If you start the HCG too early, which is what most people do, then you will help keep your test levels up enough that it will take even longer for the hypothalamus functions to restart, thus resulting in atrophy of the testes again and wasting a bottle of hCG and a few weeks of recovery. 

Is HCG really necessary?
As with most things, it is really dependant on your body.  Some people don't recover well and go through depression, mood swings, and other physical and psychological problems during a post-cycle.  Using hCG properly can significantly reduce these feelings.  Will your body come back to normal without it? Yes, barring rare disorders and circumstances.  If you experience significant or even moderate psycological effects or lethargy during PC I highly recommend using hCG.

hCG is one of the most misunderstood and misused ancillaries involced in AAS.  I hope this was able to help some people who didn't fully understand it's workings. Please feel free to ask any questions!

* Modified for changes to the hCG dosages

Good Stuff RDW. EVERY Guy inquiring about 1st time  AAS use should get this page link & read it.
They most all fail to realize the most important thing - Resumption of natural testes function.
You cant mess w/ the AC system if you dont know how it works.....

Arnold jr:
Thanks for writing this RDW...this has been needed on this board for a good while now...hopefully it will clear some things up for some of the guys.

Yes good work!

willie mosconi:
didn't mass with class pass away a while back?


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