Post Cycle Therapy is a vital part of bodybuilding and steroid use since it’s one of the best ways to avoid suffering from the negative side effects of anabolic steroids. However, not everyone knows how to properly execute a good Post Cycle Therapy. What everyone needs to know is that failing to do a proper PCT after a steroid cycle can lead to more harm than good. There are a lot of consequences in not doing a PCT. Side effects such as hair loss, gynecomastia, decreased sex drive, and lethargy are just some of the possible side effects that can occur without proper PCT. In this article, we will show you how you can properly do a PCT after doing a Testosterone Cycle. Let us begin.
What is a PCT?
Post Cycle Therapy is a treatment used after anabolic steroid cycles to alleviate the negative effects of the drugs. It’s a rather self-explanatory name, but it’s worth repeating to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) basically heals any harm done to the body after a steroid cycle. Hormones injected into the body through these medicines during the steroid cycle might cause damage to specific cells and organs.
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These harms include alterations in blood plasma lipid (fat) levels, increases in estradiol (estrogen), suppression or complete shut down of natural testosterone production, and so on.
Post Cycle Therapies are intended to restore normal levels of the hormones that cause damage to cells and organs.
Many of the health concerns connected with anabolic steroids may arise in some users if proper PCT is not followed after steroid cycles.
The degree of these adverse effects varies according on each individual user’s response to the cycle, dosage, and so on.
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However, it should be emphasized that many of these health issues may result in lasting harm to the user’s system if the body’s natural testosterone production is not restarted after an anabolic steroid cycle (thus the existence of Post Cycle Therapy).
But, before we go any further, let’s go through some of the well-known reasons why PCT is required following steroid cycles.
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What is the Best PCT Protocol?
There are different post cycle therapy protocols available. The protocol that is most commonly prescribed by physicians is the HCG protocol. It consists of a series of injections, which are administered daily for a period of time. This way, the person’s hormones can recover and clear the body of the side effects that come from steroids. The protocol may be administered in a single round or several rounds, depending on what is best for the individual. Some doctors may prescribe continuous shots of HCG, but this is not always recommended, as daily injections are often safer to ensure that there are no complications.
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When Should I Start Post Cycle Therapy?
The answer to this question can and will vary depending on the person who is going to do the Post Cycle Therapy. Typically, a PCT should begin after every hormone cycle and should be continued until all active ingredients are out of the system. However in some cases, the PCT can be delayed until the person has reached their goal and does not need to gain any more weight. The PCT can also be stopped before a patient has completely finished the prescription to avoid any unwanted side effects.
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How Long Does PCT Last?
The short answer is that it should last until your body returns to normal, which might take anywhere from 1-3 months depending on how much you took during your steroid cycle. However, because every person’s body reacts differently to steroid use, there is no clear rule for how long PCT should persist.
It is critical that you do not discontinue your post-cycle therapy vitamins until your body has recovered to normal. This can be difficult to detect because many men report a large fall in arousal after steroid cycles, although this is only transitory.
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It is critical to remember that when you use anabolic steroids, your endocrine system will be momentarily shut down. When the cycle is through, your body’s natural testosterone levels may take some time to recover to normal.
An essential reminder: PCT must be continued until the body’s natural testosterone levels have been restored.
What Drugs are Used for PCT?
Generally, there are a lot of drugs that can be utilized during a Post Cycle Therapy, but there are certain drugs that are specific to a certain kind of PCT depending on the steroid cycle that was done beforehand. Here are some of the most common drugs that are used in PCTs:
Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate)
Clomid is one of the most common drugs that can be used to PCT Testosterone. Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) is a selective estrogen receptor modulator, or SERM. It has anti-estrogen characteristics and was originally intended to be used as a contraceptive. Clomid, on the other hand, has anti-progesterone characteristics and is used as a post-cycle therapy (PCT) after anabolic steroids. Clomid works by inhibiting the action of estrogen in the body. As a result, testosterone levels and libido will grow. Clomid as PCT is now believed to be the most effective technique for restoring testosterone levels in men who have used anabolic steroids to increase sports performance.
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For a variety of reasons, Clomid is commonly recommended over other PCT medicines. It has a longer half-life than other drugs, which means that it remains in the body for a longer period of time after administration. This suggests that it will be more effective at decreasing estrogen levels while having fewer side effects. Furthermore, Clomiphene Citrate is safe to use throughout pregnancy and does not have the severe side effects that other PCT medicines do.
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Clomid Side Effects
Because Clomid has been around for a long time, we are well aware of its side effects. Visual impairment is one of the most common issues that people face. Some Clomid users notice blurred vision, spots, and flashes.
Most people only notice these side effects when they take higher doses of Clomiphene or exercise for longer periods of time. It can be taken as a fertility drug for months at a time. However, it will only be taken for a month by men who are recovering from a steroid cycle.
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If you have any visual problems while using Clomid, it is best to avoid anything that could harm you or others. Clomid users may experience long-term vision impairment, albeit these issues are rarely serious or irreversible.
Heat flashes, nausea, stomach discomfort, headaches, and other side effects are possible with clomiphene. However, it should be noted that only a small fraction of people will have any sort of negative effect from using Clomid.
Another drug that can be used in a PCT for Testosterone is Nolvadex. Tamoxifen Citrate, often known as Nolvadex, is Nolvadex’s chemical compound and generic name. It is available in tablet form in dosages of 10mg or 20mg per tablet. This is a prescription-only medication that cannot be acquired without one.
Nolvadex was originally created as a breast cancer therapy drug, and as expected, it plays an important role in decreasing estrogen levels, so preventing cancer progression.
It achieves this by connecting to estrogen receptors in that area of the body, preventing estrogen from binding, and lowering or eliminating estrogen’s action on breast tissue. It just so happens that men who use anabolic steroids want this exact effect: to halt breast tissue growth caused by increased estrogen action.
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Nolvadex has no direct influence on the body’s estrogen levels. Instead, it binds to specific estrogen receptors, blocking the estrogen from attaching and hence from working normally. While Nolvadex is very helpful in the breast area, it can also be an estrogen agonist in other parts of the body, which means it can act like estrogen, primarily harming the liver.
However, before you get concerned about estrogen activity, bear in mind that some estrogenic activity in the liver has a benefit for cholesterol, and with some steroids having a negative effect on cholesterol, this added benefit of Nolvadex is welcomed by steroid users.
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Nolvadex Side Effects
The majority of the side effects of Nolvadex have been connected to its use as a breast cancer treatment SERM for women. However, because it has been used by male anabolic steroid users for a long time, there is enough anecdotal evidence and personal experience to highlight some of the negative effects that are typical in guys. For the sake of this essay, we will not discuss the negative effects of Nolvadex for women who are taking medication to treat breast cancer.
Not only does the medication affect the female body differently, but when taken as cancer medication, it is used for a much longer amount of time than when used by men to reduce estrogen side effects when on steroids or during post cycle therapy. As a result, the long-term negative effects of Nolvadex use aren’t particularly concerning.
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So, what are some of the long-term side effects to be mindful of when using Nolvadex, either during the cycle or after it?
- Acne – While it is not the most common adverse effect of Nolvadex, it is regarded the most likely. This is because your testosterone levels will start to rise, and acne is merely a natural side effect of rising testosterone levels in some men; not all guys are predisposed to acne, and if you aren’t, you’re unlikely to suffer this side effect.
- Nausea or stomach cramping – Although conceivable, this is an exceedingly unusual side effect of Nolvadex that the vast majority of men will never experience.
Cognitive impairment, hot flashes, and even other types of cancer are side effects of Nolvadex for cancer medicine; nevertheless, they are not recognized as a danger factor for males using this drug for performance enhancement objectives.
The simplest way to prevent or eliminate the possibility of long-term Nolvadex side effects is to keep the dosage at a safe range.
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Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, or HCG, is a medicine obtained from the urine of pregnant women. Because their bodies cannot distinguish between HCG and natural testosterone, which women make to aid with placenta formation, supplementing with HCG is straightforward and will quickly boost the quantity of natural testosterone produced.
Hormones are required for us to be physically powerful. Testosterone is the major hormone that boosts metabolism and aids in muscular growth. Many bodybuilders have used anabolic steroids to help with muscular growth, which also significantly elevates testosterone levels.
When steroid use is discontinued, a hormonal imbalance may occur, causing the body to function with insufficient testosterone. It is crucial to remember that this type of imbalance can lead to other problems such as gonad malfunction, increased fat storage, and melancholy.
When administered correctly and in conjunction with post-cycle treatment, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin allows the user’s natural testosterone production to gradually increase again without experiencing any unwanted side effects or long-term harm.
HCG Side Effects
Misusing human chorionic gonadotropin produces undesirable side effects. This includes an increased risk of acquiring conditions such as ovarian cysts, liver tumors, and prostate cancer.
Although HCG is used to assist women in becoming pregnant, guys who misuse it face the same health concerns and may face life-threatening complications. HCG is FDA-approved, but it should only be taken under the guidance of a doctor because it might have significant side effects when used to treat male infertility.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin also has the potential to disrupt your menstrual cycle, which most women do not desire when using the medicine. This is also one of the main reasons why most bodybuilders who use it only take it in small, safe doses once every 10 to 12 days.
Sportsmen and bodybuilders may take AndroGel or Andriol instead of another steroid for HCG. This may be a good decision because it will allow you to avoid the bad consequences of anabolic steroid abuse while still reaping the same benefits.
Including Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in your post-cycle treatment is one of the most effective ways to stimulate natural testosterone production without experiencing any harmful side effects. However, many bodybuilders use HCG to increase their own testosterone levels, which can lead to more profitable gym sessions.
Before taking human chorionic gonadotropin for therapeutic purposes, see your doctor to determine the appropriate dosage for you. They will assist you understand how long you should take this health supplement based on your needs and any potential bad side effects.
Bodybuilders should take HCG in small doses 10 days before starting their steroid cycle and again six days after their final testosterone or anabolic steroid injection, such as Deca Durabolin, Dianabol, or Anavar. This can help you avoid developing too much body fat, which may result in the loss of your hard-earned muscle mass.
Furthermore, some users claim that using HCG in little doses helped them lower their cortisol levels. This is useful because it prevents testosterone from being converted into estrogen, which can lead to more effective workouts and faster muscle building gains.
PCT for Women
It is no secret that a Post Cycle Therapy for women differs from the Post Cycle Therapy of men. The reason behind this is that women generally experience a much slower recovery and need a specific treatment that is different from the treatments that men use in PCT. Generally, women who undergo Post Cycle Therapy use similar products to men, but at a different dosage. Some of the female-specific PCT drugs include Clomid (lower dosage), Lupron, Androderm, and Nolvadex (lower dosage).
What are the Different Types of Legal PCT Supplements?
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): This is used to treat medical disorders caused by low levels of specific hormones, such as estrogen. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings can be caused by low estrogen levels. HRT is also used to prevent bone loss in elderly women. The most prevalent type of HRT is a progesterone-estrogen combo. Other kinds of HRT, such as using simply a progestin, are also available. HRT is frequently prescribed after menopause to alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause.
Anti-Androgen Medications: An anti-androgen medication is one that blocks the body from producing testosterone (a male sex hormone). This family of drugs is used to treat advanced prostate cancer and other types of cancer in men.
Anti-androgens can be taken orally, injected intravenously, or used topically.
Flutamide, nilutamide, and bicalutamide are the most often used anti-androgen medications.
Hormone Blocking Medications: Hormone blockers are pharmaceuticals that prevent the body from producing hormones that induce particular behavioural or physical changes. They are frequently used to treat hirsutism (excessive hair growth) and menstruation issues.
Estrogen Blockers: Estrogen blockers are medications that prevent the hormone estrogen from acting on your body. They are used to treat breast cancer and other female reproductive system malignancies. Tamoxifen is a well-known estrogen blocker. Tamoxifen is an anti-estrogen that works by binding to and inhibiting estrogen receptors. This implies it keeps estrogen from connecting to these receptors and activating estrogen’s growth-promoting actions. Tamoxifen can also help to inhibit the formation of new cancers. It can, however, induce a lack of sexual drive in some women, thus it should be used with caution. Raloxifene and fulvestrant are two other estrogen blockers.
Progesterone Blockers: Progesterone is a female reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries that stimulates ovulation and menstruation. It also aids in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and the maintenance of pregnancy. After menopause, progesterone levels fall. Some of the symptoms that women suffer include hot flashes and anger.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Post Cycle Therapy is a delicate, yet necessary part of bodybuilding and steroid cycles. It can be done in many ways, and can result in different outcomes as well. This is one of the best and safest ways to avoid experiencing the negative side effects of anabolic steroid use, and can even help other people suffering from various health-related problems. If you are looking for the best way to alleviate the side effects of Testosterone, then a proper Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) can be good for you.
Read about “What is Post Cycle Therapy” here.