PCT, or post-cycle therapy, is a phrase every steroid user has heard at least once. Because there’s no talk about steroid cycles without mentioning running a PCT. Unfortunately, not all steroid users are fully aware of the importance of PCT with HCG. While some of them misuse it, others ignore it. You need to know the top 3 PCT products are HCG, Anastrozole, Tamoxifen ( Nolvadex ), and Clomid.
For this reason, we want to talk about PCT in the finest details: what is pct, what are pct steroids, what is its main goal, what to expect, and maybe the critical question for many of you is how to implement it properly.
More than this, there are cases when PCT is not required at all. We will shed light on situations when using post-cycle therapy would cause more harm than good and conversely. Advise you about cycles when the use of PCT is imperative.
What is Post Cycle Therapy For Steroids?
Post-cycle therapy is the process that starts when a steroid cycle comes to an end and consists of supplementation with various drugs. The aim is to help you control your estrogen levels, normalize your testosterone level, and speed up recovery.
When taking AAS, our natural testosterone production is suppressed. The degree anabolic androgenic steroids shoot down testosterone production varies from one compound to another, and if you don’t keep a close eye on your estrogen and progesterone levels, they can go wild, causing serious health problems, such as gynecomastia or high blood pressure.
A range of medications can be taken during steroid cycling to keep estrogen. And progesterone levels are within normal limits, but testosterone production will continue to be altered.
And when you cease steroid use, natural testosterone production is still down, and you need to help your body return to normal again. So, the main purpose of PCT is to stimulate testosterone production, helping to keep gains made during a cycle and stay healthy.
Related Post: Is Post-Cycle Therapy (PCT) Really Necessary?
How Post Cycle Therapy Works?
First, a PCT delivers great results when steroids have been used properly. If you damaged your HPTAbyh misusing AAS, don’t expect PCT to treat this. Also, be aware that PCT help to restore testosterone production. But don't expect to bring it to the levels it was before getting involved in steroid use.
With all this in mind and assuming that you have run your steroid cycle properly, here’s how PCT works: it stimulates your pituitary to create more LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), which as a result, activates testicles to create more testosterone. As simple as this.
Do you know how long it may take for our body to recover without implementing PCT? A year or even longer is needed for natural testosterone levels to reach normal limits. The main problem is that low testosterone levels for so long might lead to a range of low testosterone conditions and risk your health in general.
On the other hand, when a PCT is implemented, the testosterone level is slowly increasing, helping your body to function normally. And this shortens recovery time and makes the steroid cycle successful.
When to Consider PCT?
As a matter of course, PCT begins at the end of a steroid cycle and last for several weeks. The duration greatly depends on the steroid cycle itself and its duration. But there are some exceptions when skipping a PCT is the best you can Do.
No Need to Run a PCT if You:
- Plan to be off-cycle for less than 12 weeks.
The reason behind this recommendation is that there’s no need to stimulate your natural testosterone production when only in a few weeks it will be suppressed again. It’s a huge pressure on your body that may turn into serious damage.
Running a PCT is Mandatory When:
- Planning to be off-cycle for an extended period, at least 12 weeks.
If you are about to pause for at least 12 weeks or 3 months, then having a PCT is required. Contrary to the reason stated above, such an extended period will allow your body to recover and raise testosterone levels while AAS gets out of your system. A smooth transition means more muscle preservation and a healthy return to your normal life.
PCT Cycle Supplements and Dosage:
So far, we know what is PCT, how it works, and when to consider it; now it's time to discuss the pct steroids that have to be taken during a PCT and in what dosages and when.
The basic supplements for PCT are Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM), with Tamoxifen Citrate (Nolvadex) and Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) being the most common options.
How do they work? By stimulating LH and FSH production, as explained above. Regarding which one is best to use, both are quite effective, so make sure you add at least one to your PCT.
#2. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG):
A good addition to any PCT, but not mandatory, is HCG, an extremely powerful peptide hormone improving SERMs' action on LH. In other words, the hCG action is especially effective in avoiding testicular atrophy or, if it has already occurred, in treating it.
But at the same time, taking hCG in high dosage for an extended period can damage your HPTA. Causing your body dependent on this drug. Another hormone that can be added to a PCT of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). We’ve talked about it here.
What you should know about this hormone is that it helps save muscle mass gained during a cycle and keeps the fat level pretty low. But there is a limitation to its use: add it to your PCT only if you have used it on-cycle because it’s the kind of drug that should be taken for a long period for noticeable results.
#3. Aromatase Inhibitors (AI’s):
AI’s are often used during a steroid cycle, but adding them to a PCT is also good. As they are known for decreasing estrogen levels effectively.
The most common drugs in this category are Arimidex or Letrozole, and you can read here how much of them is needed during a testosterone-only cycle.
Now is the moment to reveal how the type of steroids you are taking affects when a PCT should start. Largely we can talk about two main situations:
- When a steroid cycle ends with a long ester gear, such as Testosterone Enanthate/Cypionate/Decanoate/Undecanoate, Parabolon (Trenbolone Enanthate/Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate), Equipoise (Boldenone Undecylenate) or Deca-Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate).
- Or with a short ester gear, such as Testosterone Propionate/Suspension, Winstrol(Stanozolol ), Nandrolone Phenylpropionate (NPP), Trenbolone Acetate (fina), Masteron (Drostanolone Propionate ).
In the first case, SERMs should be started within 2 weeks from the last injection. But things change a little if you plan to use hCG. Take hCG for 10 days after the last injection, take it for 10 days, and after this, begin your SERMs treatment.
In the second case, when your cycle ends using a small ester gear, you rely only on SERMs for recovery. Then you should take Clomid or Nolvadex 3 days after your last pin. The above-mentioned scheme is available for hCG use, with the main difference being that hCG use will start not 10 but 3 days after the last injection.
As for dosage, when we talk about SERMs, with Clomid and Nolvadex being the most common, the amount you take makes the difference. Because otherwise, they have, in the biggest part, the same properties. Nolvadex is much stronger than Clomid, so 40mg of Clomid equals 150mg of Nolvadex.
Regarding hCG dosing, 500iu to 1,000iu daily for 10 days in a row, as described above. HCG therapy is followed by 40mg of Nolvadex or 150 mg of Clomid treatment daily for 2 weeks. You have two other weeks of PCT in front of you. This time with a decreased dosage of Nolvadex (20mg daily) and Clomid (100mg daily).
In the case of harsher cycles, one or two more weeks of SERMs may be required with Nolvadex or Clomid. The dosage was reduced by 10mg for Nolvadex and 50mg for Clomid.
Coming Off Steroids - Best PCT practices:
Post-cycle therapy is designed to help you restore your natural testosterone production and speed up the recovery process. Missing it may lead to low testosterone symptoms, conditions loss of muscle mass gained during the cycle. And much longer recovery time, up to one year or even more.
However, not every cycle should be followed by a PCT, as mentioned above. If you are about to stay off steroids for less than 12 weeks, you can skip it.
That’s because your testosterone production will be suppressed in just a few weeks. As a result of steroid use, no need to put additional stress on your body. I hope that our information about SERMs, Aromatase Inhibitors, and HCG that are recommended to be used during a PCT will be of help to you.
You need to know the top 3 PCT products: HCG, Tamoxifen ( Nolvadex ), and Clomid.
HCG + Anastrozole is taken in the first week of the steroid cycle. Arimidex must be taken half 1mg each other day during the whole AAS cycle.
Tamoxifen + Clomid combination is a must - and should be taken on the last steroid week, for 2-3 weeks after.
Make sure you do the blood work before and after your steroid cycle - to check your pre and post hormones levels.
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