Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) essentially holds only one valid major use within the anabolic steroid using community, and that is for the purpose of maintaining, increasing, or restoring proper endogenous Testosterone production. HCG doses are best utilized in conjunction with other Testosterone production stimulating compounds during PCT (Post Cycle Therapy), and the use of HCG alone for the purpose of hormonal recovery after an anabolic steroid cycle is highly advised against. The practice of using HCG solitarily as the only hormonal recovery agent following the end of a cycle is a bygone practice of the pre-1990 era that is obsolete.
The understanding of HCG and all other drugs has improved vastly ever since bodybuilders in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s have utilized anabolic steroids. In fact, the majority of anabolic steroid users from the 1960s – mid 1980s did not even utilize any compounds for the purpose of hormonal recovery, and the term PCT did not even exist at that time. When the use of HCG became increasingly popular (circa 1980), it was the only compound utilized. Since then, the medical and scientific understanding of such things has increased exponentially and there should be no reason for any informed and properly educated individual to utilize HCG on its own for PCT.
HCG is one compound among the anabolic steroid using community (as well as the general public) that is highly misunderstood and misused. The misuse of HCG among the general public as a fat loss agent has already been covered in detail, but it is the misuse among the anabolic steroid using community that is of primary concern here. The misuse of HCG can actually become dangerous and serve to work against the recovery of the HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis), and possibly cause permanent damage to the Leydig cells of the testes if utilized too frequently, too long, or if HCG doses are too high (desensitization of the Leydig cells to LH and FSH). At the same time, if improperly used, HCG can simply end up putting the user back to ‘square one’ and leave nothing accomplished.
It is very important to understand some preliminary details and considerations where HCG use is concerned. First of all, HCG use has demonstrated to increase aromatase activity in the body via increased testicular aromatase expression. Aromatase is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of androgens into Estrogen, and so the result with HCG use is that of an increased level of Estrogen in the body in addition to the Testosterone production stimulation. Many users have reported developing gynecomastia as a result. The rising Estrogen levels that can result from HCG are also bound to cause suppression of the HPTA and endogenous Testosterone production, hence the previous statement about the user bringing them back to ‘square one’ if HCG doses are misused. Therefore, the use of an aromatase inhibitor is essential during HCG use.
The use of HCG, although central to a single purpose, is actually very diverse in the manner by which it can be used, and the protocol of HCG doses, as there are a myriad of different protocols and uses that have been developed over the years. Only the most effective and prominent protocols will be covered here.
Within the medical establishment, HCG is approved for the treatment and recovery of hypogonadism, where prescription protocols refer to several different methods of treatment:
– A short-term 6 week long period of HCG therapy
– Long-term therapy of a one year period maximum
– A patient customized program dependent on the individual as discussed between the patient and doctor
Medical prescription HCG doses recommend 500 – 1,000IU of HCG are to be administered 3 times weekly for a 3 week period, after which HCG doses are reduced to the same amount only twice weekly. For long-term therapy, a higher dose of 4,000IU administered 3 times per week is recommended for a 6 – 9 month period. Following this period, the HCG doses are to then be lowered to 2,000IU 3 times per week for a remaining 3 month period.
HCG in particular cannot be categorized into the three tiers of users (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) as normally outlined and listed in common profiles of the different compounds and drugs. This is due to the fact that HCG is an ancillary drug not particularly used for the purpose of performance enhancement, but instead is utilized to maintain, increase, or restore proper endogenous Testosterone production.
The use of HCG doses during anabolic steroid use must only be performed under very specific conditions and circumstances, and the following must be made pertinently clear to the reader considering HCG use during anabolic steroid cycles:
HCG should not automatically be utilized during an anabolic steroid cycle unless the cycle is of an extremely long length (12 or more weeks), and/or the individual is prone to very quick and very severe suppression/shutdown of the HPTA.
Unless an individual exhibits very difficult recovery of endogenous Testosterone production following a cycle, there is no need to utilize HCG during anabolic steroid cycles to maintain testicular function. This is especially true if anabolic steroid cycles are kept short (8 – 10 weeks), as testicular atrophy (if it does occur) will not have remained so for long enough periods of time that there would be difficulty resuming testicular function. If an individual engages in an anabolic steroid cycle of very long cycle lengths (12 weeks or longer), the use of HCG doses every week during the cycle might be necessary due to the extended time in which testicular atrophy will remain. In excessively long cycles, testicular atrophy can result in greater difficulty in hormonal recovery during PCT as a result of desensitization to gonadotropins.
For the purpose of maintaining testicular function during an anabolic steroid cycle, a standard dose of 250 – 500IU of HCG doses administered 1 – 2 times weekly (each injection spaced evenly apart during the week) should be performed if necessary. 500IU should never be exceeded for such a use.
It has been clearly stated earlier in this section of the profile that the use of HCG alone is a very bad idea for the purpose of endogenous Testosterone production recovery during PCT. HCG is, for all intents and purposes, synthetic Luteinizing Hormone, and LH just like any other hormone in the human body works on a negative feedback loop whereby when excess exogenous sources of a hormone is detected by the HPTA, the body will suppress or shut down its own endogenous production of the hormone. It would therefore actually be counterproductive to administer HCG doses alone for hormonal recovery during PCT as many bodybuilders did prior to the 1990s. Although it might have worked for some, the majority of individuals doing this ended up with more endocrine and recovery problems than they had attempted to fix. This is an old outdated practice of the pre-1990 bodybuilders and should not be used.
HCG should ideally be utilized as a part of a multi-component PCT protocol whereby HCG is utilized for the first 1 – 2 weeks of PCT, while the other components of the PCT protocol are utilized for the remaining weeks of the total PCT program (4 – 6 weeks total). The best possible addition to HCG in a PCT protocol is Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate), as studies have demonstrated that HCG and Nolvadex utilized together have exhibited a remarkable synergistic effect in terms of stimulating endogenous Testosterone production, and that Nolvadex will actually work to block the desensitization effect on the Leydig cells of the testes caused by high doses of HCG.
Furthermore, it has been outlined early on in this section of this profile that HCG will increase testicular aromatase expression, causing Estrogenic side effects as a result of HCG use. The combination of HCG and Nolvadex must also therefore be utilized with an aromatase inhibitor (AI). However, the use of HCG with Nolvadex leaves only the most valid choice being Aromasin(Exemestane), as studies have demonstrated that when the other two AIs (Letrozole or Arimidex) are utilized with Nolvadex, Nolvadex will decrease blood plasma concentration of Letrozole as well as Arimidex. Therefore, the best possible choice of aromatase inhibitor in order to mitigate the increased aromatase activity caused by HCG administration would be Aromasin.
Finally, HCG doses for the purpose of hormonal restoration during PCT are that of 500IU daily for the first 1 – 2 weeks of PCT. The higher and more frequent HCG doses are only necessary during the first initial weeks following the termination of an anabolic steroid cycle in order to provide an initial ‘jolt’ of Testosterone output after an anabolic steroid cycle where extended periods of testicular atrophy might have occurred.
Aside from medical use for the purpose of ovulation induction in females that are infertile, there is no need for anabolic steroid using females to resort to the use of HCG, it is for the most part useless for this purpose.
HCG within the medical field is primarily administered via intramuscular (IM) injections, although it can also be administered subcutaneously, which has also become just as frequent as IM injections. Studies have found that when intramuscular and subcutaneous injections of HCG were compared, the results were almost the exact same for both, indicating almost no difference between the two. The only difference between the two methods of injection is the difference in the rate of release from the injection site and the time required for peak blood plasma levels to be reached (6 hours for IM, and 16 – 20 hours for subcutaneous). The majority of anabolic steroid users will elect to inject HCG subcutaneously.
HCG should always be contained inside vials or ampoules as a lyophilized (freeze dried) powder that must be reconstituted with the proper amounts of bacteriostatic water (or sterile water) prior to administration. How many IU of HCG an individual will obtain from a given amount in a syringe is also dependent on how much bacteriostatic or sterile water the HCG powder is reconstituted with. The more water it is reconstituted with, the more diluted the concentration will be, and vice versa with less water.
HCG should always be kept refrigerated after reconstitution (approximately 2 – 8 degrees Celsius or 35.6 – 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Due to the fragile nature of the protein hormone, if kept at room temperatures after reconstitution, the molecule will become denatured and destroyed, and the HCG will be ineffective. Violent shaking of the reconstituted HCG will also destroy the delicate protein molecule, and violent shaking should be avoided when reconstituting or otherwise.