Post cycle therapy (PCT) or PCT is a set of measures aimed at quickly restoring the endogenous (own) production of testosterone after taking anabolic steroids (AS), in order to minimize the phenomenon of recoil – loss of muscle mass and strength after a course of AS and other negative consequences of taking anabolic steroids.
The backtracking process is inevitable, and whether it is more or less so is entirely up to you and your actions after class – in other words – you need to do a PCT.
A properly executed PCT will minimize rollback and help maintain most of the muscle mass gained on the course. But if you act incorrectly, or worse, if you do nothing, everything you have gained will be lost to you, largely or completely. PCT should always be done, no matter how easy or weak the course is.
Some sources on the Internet express the opinion that if the course of steroids is “the first”, or if the duration of the course did not exceed 6 weeks, and the drugs were not “heavy”, then the PCT does not is not necessary.
This is a very dangerous illusion that can lead to such bad consequences:
- The development of gynecomastia after the course,
- Long-term recovery from endogenous (own) hormone production and loss of all acquired muscle mass,
- Changes in hormonal balance towards estrogen and subsequent fat gain after class.
- Low libido (erection problems) after class
WHY DOES THIS RECOVERY PHENOMENON OCCUR?
Absolutely all anabolic steroids are nothing more than a synthetic analogue of the male sex hormone – testosterone or its derivatives, which act in the human body exactly like the hormones produced by the endocrine glands.
Our body is a complex self-regulating system, and parts of the brain such as the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are responsible for regulating the natural level of testosterone (sex hormones), and the testicles are responsible for producing it. (The so-called arch of the hypothalamus-pituitary-testicles (HH))
Testosterone levels are regulated by a feedback mechanism. Basically, if there is a lot of testosterone (sex hormones) in the body (and when using anabolics, the level of testosterone rises much more than natural values), the hypothalamus gives an “order” to the pituitary gland, which, in turn, gives an “order” to the testicles to shrink, and if the course “Severe” or prolonged, then the subsequent cessation of testosterone production (complete or partial testicular atrophy (subatrophy) ). It also slows down spermatogenesis. This is one of the reasons why some people notice that the testicles become smaller during AS classes.
As mentioned above, the use of exogenous testosterone for a long time and in high doses can lead to complete or partial testicular atrophy.
Complete testicular atrophy is not reversible. This leads to infertility and stopping the production of its own testosterone and spermatogenesis. After “gaining” complete atrophy, you will be forced to inject exogenous testosterone for the rest of your life.
You don’t have to worry about atrophy. You can still prevent testicular atrophy by taking the proper medications which will be discussed.
Subatrophy (partial atrophy) is a reversible process that can be blocked by purchasing gonadotropin. In case of partial atrophy, after the abolition of AS, the functionality of the testicles, after some time, will be completely restored. However, the recovery process should not be “left to chance”. If this process is not stimulated, the recovery lines will be significantly delayed, which will directly affect the amount of restoration after the course.
Also, if you use steroids prone to aromatization – that is, conversion to estrogen, then the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular arc will be suppressed several times stronger. Because high estrogen is an additional signal for the hypothalamus to reduce testosterone production.
It should also be taken into account that there are steroids that do not aromatize, but quite strongly suppress testosterone production. These include nandrolone and trenbolone, which are progestins, i.e. are not converted into estrogen, but are able to bind to progesterone receptors in the pituitary and thereby inhibit the production of testosterone.
HOW TO MINIMIZE THE REBACK (SUPPRESSION OF TESTOSTERONE PRODUCTION (ATESTICULAR TROPHY)?
- Use non-flavoring drugs (primobolan, turinabol, oxandrolone, boldenone, stanozolol)
- Use drugs with a short period of action – not working 24 hours a day. (For example, methandienone has a half-life of 6 hours, if you take half the daily dose at 7 am and 12 pm there will be almost no deletions)
- Practice short, “solo” courses of steroids, lasting up to 6 weeks
- Do not use combined courses of steroids (2 or more drugs) of any duration without the use of gonadotropin
- Use gonadotropin on AS courses of any complexity and duration, immediately 3 weeks before the end of the course (if the course does not exceed 8 weeks). Or every 3 week course, if you plan a course longer than 8 weeks (guaranteed way to prevent testicular atrophy)
I would like to add that light courses lasting up to 6 weeks (on which drugs are used, the period of action of which does not exceed 5 days) moderately inhibit the hypothalamus-pituitary-testes arc.
To recover from such courses, anti-estrogen drugs are used – clomid and tamoxifen, however, they are used after courses of any complexity.
Recovery is quick and does not require PCT for more than a month.
The purchase of drugs for PCT (anti-estrogens) and their use after the AS course solves several problems:
It helps to avoid estrogen-dependent side effects (since the hormonal balance is disturbed on the estrogen side, the development of post-cycle gynecomastia, female-type fatty deposits is possible)
By lowering the level of estrogen, the hypothalamus is signaled that there is not enough sex hormone (testosterone), and to begin increased stimulation of its production by the testicles.
But not everything is so simple… If your journey has been “hard” or long from 8 weeks, then another factor comes into play:
The hypothalamus almost immediately after the abolition and removal of AS from the body, commands the pituitary gland to release gonadotropins, but our underatrophied testicles cannot produce testosterone in the required amount.
Therefore, in such courses, always use gonadotropin either during the course or (at least) 3 weeks before the end of the course.
When to start PCT (complete steroid elimination periods)
You can only start post cycle therapy when the effect of the steroid in the body has ceased!
As a rule, the steroid completely ceases to act in the body after three half-lives of the active substance. (Half-life multiplied by 3). For oral steroids, the duration of action does not exceed 48 hours. That is, starting PCT after oral steroids should be two days after taking the last pill.
For oil-based AS, PCT with anti-estrogen should be started considering the following periods of complete elimination of steroids from the body:
- Nandrolone Decanoate (Deca) – 24 Days
- Boldenone (equilibrium) – 27 days
- Trenbolone acetate – 3 days
- Primobolan (methenolone enanthate) – 18
- Sustanon or Omnadren (testosterone mix) – 24 days
- Testosterone Cypionate – 21 days
- Testosterone enanthate -18 days
- Testosterone Propionate – 6 days
- Nandrolone-phenylpropionate (phenyl) – 9 days
You must understand: That the period of complete elimination of the steroid (we are now talking about drugs that have a half-life of 5 days or more) also depends on the dosage and the duration of the drug. For example, if you put testosterone enanthate for 8 weeks at a dose of 250 mg, after three weeks the testosterone level will be low and PCT can already be started. How about 1000mg? 3 weeks after the last class, testosterone levels will still be high! And there is no point in launching PKT! If you start PCT before the effect of the steroid wears off, recovery simply won’t happen.
It is better after the course on “long” esters and after the approximate time of withdrawal from the drug, to do tests of total testosterone in order to determine the levels of sex hormones and to understand whether it is already possible to start PCT with anti-estrogens, or it is worth delaying it. The approximate testosterone values you can start PCT with are 5-6 nanomoles or less. If testosterone values are trending 10 nanomoles, start post cycle therapy early.
In addition, the analyzes will help identify problems with estrogen imbalance, which at values above the norm will interfere with the restoration of the “arc of HHA”, and bring them back to normal using Anastrozole, proviron or cabergoline.Also, on long-acting steroid cures, it is recommended to come out of the cure on a “short” tune.
PROPIONATE COURSE EXIT
After the course, where long-acting steroids were used – ether chains: enanthate, cypionate, decanoate, undecanoate, undecylenate, before starting PCT, you need to “exit” the course on a short ester – testosterone propionate (manual). Why, we have described in the example that you will find below.
An example of a course “exit” on a short program:
Let’s say you use testosterone enanthate for 8 weeks at 250mg per week. After the last injection, the concentration of exogenous testosterone will gradually decrease within 3 weeks. After one week, half of the used dose will circulate in the blood. A week later, “half” of “half”. etc It looks like all you have to do is wait 3 weeks and you can start PCT. But it won’t be fair.
The half-lives, especially on long cycles, will overlap and exogenous testosterone levels after three weeks will still be high enough to initiate PCT.
Also, if a large dose is used, say 500mg, low testosterone after 3 weeks is out of the question.
Given this characteristic of “long” ethers, it is very difficult to determine “by eye” the period after which the ether will completely cease to actbeing in the body. Therefore, after a week (the half-life of enanthate is 6-7 days), we start injecting testosterone propionate for the residual effect of enanthate – 3 weeks (approximately).
Thus, we maintain “working” concentrations of testosterone in the blood, which allows us to continue training at the same intensity, at least without losing weight and strength, and ideally we will continue to progress.
The half-life of “propik” is one day. That is, after the last injection, the concentration of testosterone will drop rapidly. And after 6-8 days it will be low enough (“by eye”) to start PCT with anti-estrogens. In order to accurately determine whether it is possible to start treatment, you must be tested for sex hormone levels.