American College For Advancement In Medicine

ACAM

How Do You Know When it's the Right Time To Take PCT

For every steroid user, their cycle ends in one of two ways. They are either happy with the results that they got from their cycle, or there is enough concern about potential side effects that the steroids are discontinued before it causes any damage to organs and/or tissues. A common concern for users is when it is appropriate time to take post-cycle therapy (PCT).

Each drug will leave you with different lasting effects. Some stay in your system longer than others, but an anabolic steroid’s primary purpose is to increase testosterone levels. Because this function does not end once we discontinue use, we must continue with a PCT plan throughout our recovery process. This article hopes to give you a better understanding of why and how to implement PCT plans.

When you use anabolic steroids, your natural testosterone production shuts down. This is the whole idea behind using these drugs in the first place. When we stop taking the drug, our body will remain in this state for some amount of time until it finally realizes that there are no more exogenous sources of testosterone, and it begins to produce its own again. We can aid our bodies’ attempt at recovery by taking supplements designed to support its function during times when it must do without essential compounds that it normally receives from outside sources.

This point is important; because once your body stops producing its own testosterone, even if it does so at a fraction of what you were injecting before, your prolactin levels will rise as well as estrogen levels. This means the paired function of testosterone and estrogen increase, which we call gynecomastia, and increased body fat, respectively. We can combat this by taking certain compounds such as Nolvadex and/or Clomid or aromatase inhibitors like Arimidex during this PCT process to balance out our hormones back to their natural state; however, all these items must be discussed with your doctor before use.

The longer you use steroids for the more time it will take for your natural production to fully come back online after discontinuation, thus necessitating a longer PCT time period. There is no set plan that we can follow because we do not know how long each steroid stays in our system after we stop taking it. This includes the various different esters that manufacturers put into each and every drug, such as testosterone enanthate or cypionate. For example, this all means that you must tailor your PCT plan to meet your specific needs.

It is also worth mentioning that just because your body produces its own testosterone again does not mean it is back up to full speed. It takes time to re-build all those hormonal pathways that are intimately intertwined with one another inside of our bodies, some may take longer than others, but eventually, they will return. If you have an extensive history of steroid use, however, then expect some permanent changes in some cases; this damage is irreversible due to the fact that these compounds affect more than just testosterone; they affect your body on so many levels.

There are some things that can be done to help speed recovery along, but no matter what you do, it is going to take time so expect the process to last for several months before everything is back up and running at 100%. Simply put, this means if you have been using steroids for a long period of time, then you need to plan on a longer PCT than someone who just got into the game because you took more or stronger compounds for more cycles over a shorter time span.

Use of anti-estrogens during PCT will vary depending on your previous use history as well as how advanced it has become. If you used AAS for an extended period of time and your body is showing signs of developing gynecomastia, then you need to use some form of anti-estrogen during your PCT; some people do not show any indication or symptoms, so they will not feel the need to use one at all. If, on the other hand, you are only just beginning with AAS and developing gynecomastia, it can be due to many different reasons that would require a professional diagnosis before anything could be done about it; steroids are but one possibility.

Some believe that an AAS-induced case of gynecomastia is permanent once it develops, but there are many who have successfully reversed this condition through various treatment options, including surgery. The best course of action for anyone experiencing this symptom is to seek a professional diagnosis as soon as possible so you can be assured of getting the proper treatment to resolve your particular case.

In terms of how long you should run an anti-estrogen during PCT, this will vary depending on the form that you choose to use and also what you are trying to combat. It is not uncommon for people to use items such as Tamoxifen Citrate for a full 12 weeks after their cycle is complete; however, most end up settling anywhere between four to six weeks which is still usually enough time for any developing gynecomastia problems to subside. If you are running an aromatase inhibitor, then it will be much shorter because they do not interact with estrogen receptors as anti-estrogens do. This is not to say that they are any better than an anti-estrogen; in fact, both serve very different purposes when trying to combat the estrogenic side effects of AAS use.

Tamoxifen Citrate or Nolvadex, as it is more commonly known, works by binding with two receptors in target tissues; these are referred to as estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) and estrogen receptor alpha (ERα). Binding with the ERs blocks the ability for estrogen hormones to bind with these sites, which prevents the various physical manifestations associated with them, such as gynecomastia. The reason why this happens at a cellular level is that without high levels of circulating estrogen available, testosterone will act on other cells that are receptive to its presence.

Aromatase inhibitors work by blocking the production of testosterone into estrogen through the aromatization process; it does this by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen in the first place. This is not done at a cellular level but rather enzymatically, and depending on what form you use; it can be extremely effective in terms of minimizing any chance of estrogenic side effects such as gynecomastia while still allowing you to retain all or most of your gains from AAS use. It should also be noted that this type of PCT will not help if there is already existing ED due to low circulating levels of testosterone within your system, so keep that in mind before making a decision between which to use.

Another reason for using anti-estrogens during PCT is because they cause a dramatic increase in LH and FSH which will help your body produce more testosterone; this could be beneficial to keep as much of your gains as possible after you stop AAS use, but it can also make the process longer because the LH and FSH surge can potentially stall your recovery by restricting the number of available hormones that are present within cells to react with. Whether this plays a positive or negative role will depend on how long you were on cycle as well as what you used and what type of results you wish to experience afterward.

The final reason why people choose anti-estrogens over aromatase inhibitors is simply that they cost less than the latter. Some feel that the benefits that PCT will give them are not worth spending extra money on an aromatase inhibitor when they can get away with using a much simpler anti-estrogen instead.

If you are running high doses of AAS or are unwilling to make any changes to your cycle, then it would be best for you to use Tamoxifen Citrate during PCT even if for nothing more than its ability to minimize off-cycle symptoms such as loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and other common side effects. Your dosage should be at 20mg per day, which is usually split between 10mg taken twice each day because this ensures all estrogen receptors throughout your body have equal amounts of the drug available at all times. On the other hand, if you are mildly affected by potential estrogenic side effects and feel you have a good handle on your cycle, then it would be best to use an aromatase inhibitor during PCT instead.

A very common example of this type of AAS is Deca Durabolin which is known for being one of the more suppressive compounds in terms of natural testosterone production due to its high-level conversion into estrogen via aromatization. And because Deca does not convert into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at any rate, there is no need to – as suggested by some – run a whole cycle with nothing but an anti-estrogen present since they do not interact strongly with the 5-alpha reductase enzyme.

Some examples of commonly used AAS include Testosterone Cypionate, Testosterone Enanthate, Trenbolone Acetate, Trenbolone Enanthate, Boldenone Undecylenate, and Nandrolone Decanoate just to name a few. Normally you would run 500mg-750mg per week for eight weeks or less, depending on your desired results or goal. To minimize the risk of side effects, it is best to use at least 50mg per day of Nolvadex, if not more.

There are two types of PCT that can be used after an AAS cycle ends; one involves using anti-estrogen drugs during PCT, which will significantly reduce the risk of side effects, while the other involves using aromatase inhibitors. One example is Tamoxifen Citrate which is a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) that works by occupying estrogen receptors in breast tissue and in various parts of your brain, which causes an indirect increase in LH production from the pituitary gland due to its anti-estrogen status there.

Another reason why some people choose not to run a SERM during a PCT is that it may or may not be effective at minimizing any potential symptoms of low testosterone, such as loss of sex drive, muscle mass, and general physical energy levels. If you are going through PCT after running AAS for eight weeks or less, then it would probably be in your best interest to use an anti-estrogen drug such as Tamoxifen Citrate if you are mildly affected by estrogenic side effects, but if not, it would be better for you to use an aromatase inhibitor instead.

Author’s note: The main reason why some people choose to use Cycles of Nolva after their AAS cycle ends is that they believe this will help them maintain most or all of the gains they made during their AAS cycle. Whether this belief is true or false is up for debate and depends on what types of drugs were used, how long the user was on a cycle, and other factors that affect individual results.

For example, when Deca Durabolin is orally ingested in large doses and/or for a long duration, it does convert into the more androgenic Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) via reduction by 5-alpha reductase. However, this does not mean that using an anti-estrogen during PCT is necessary due to the fact that Dihydrotestosterone’s affinity for binding with sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is much weaker than testosterone’s, which means it cannot compete against exogenous testosterone while attached to SHBG in your blood.

Author’s note: This misconception about Deca comes from some studies done on primates in which large doses of nandrolone decanoate were injected instead of being administered orally. And when compared to other AAS, nandrolone has an extremely low affinity for SHBG. Of course, there are plenty of other studies that show Deca does not convert into DHT in the human body, but only time will tell which studies are more accurate.

The idea behind using both SERMs and AIs during PCT is to inflict selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) activity on Estradiol/estrogen receptors throughout your body while at the same time inflicting aromatase inhibition (AI) on aromatase enzymes that break down testosterone into estrogen. Using a combination of these two types of drugs would create synergistic effects; SERM activity can block estrogenic side effects, while AI activity minimizes the risk of testicular shutdown. Author’s Note: The combined use of SERMs and AIs can be quite synergistic, but neither one on its own is necessarily “superior” to the other.

  • 10 weeks on 500mg test E + 500mg Tren E + 400mg Boldenone Undeclynate per week
  • Author’s note: The bolded text in the quote above is what would generally be considered “acceptable” for an eight-week cycle.
  • 09 Weeks : Test cyp-300 mg wk 1 – 6; NPP-150 mg eod wks 7-9; Equipoise 200/week (1400 total); Halotestin 10/day (in AM), 0.5 (in PM).
  • 07 Weeks: Test Cyp-300 mg wk1-6; NPP-150mg EOD wks 7-9; Equipoise 200/week (1400 total)
  • 06 Weeks : Test cyp-300mg wk 1 – 6; NPP 150mg eod wks 7-9; equipoise 400/wk (2800 total); Halotestin 10/day (AM), 0.5 Dbol 30 min prior to lifting.
  • Author’s note: The bolded text in the quote above is what would generally be considered “acceptable” for an eight-week cycle.
  • 12 weeks on 500mg test E + 500mg Tren E + 400mg Boldenone Undeclynate per week
  • Author’s note: The bolded text in the quote above is what would generally be considered “acceptable” for an eight-week cycle.
  • 12 weeks on 500mg test E + 500mg Tren E + 400mg Boldenone Undeclynate per week
  • Author’s note: The bolded text in the quote above is what would generally be considered “acceptable” for an eight-week cycle.
  • 14 Weeks : Test cyp-300 mg wk 1 – 6; NPP-150 mg eod wks 7-9; Equipoise 200/week (1400 total); Halotestin 10/day (in AM), 0.5 (in PM).
  • 10 Weeks : Test cyp-300 mg w1-6; NPP 150mg eod wks 7-9; equipoise 400/wk (2800 total); Halotestin 10/day (AM), 0.5 Dbol 30 min prior to lifting.
  • Author’s note: The bolded text in the quote above is what would generally be considered “acceptable” for an eight-week cycle.