T Nation

3 Months Post PCT - Low T


Estradiol: 15.2

Well I received my blood results back today and found some discouraging news.

I’m a 25 y/o male, 5’10, 190lbs, 10-12% BF. No ED issues, minor fatigue, slight mental fogginess, no depression, no MAJOR or glaring symptoms to speak of.

I’ve been training seriously for the past 5 or so years, my diet is also logged daily and well accounted for.

Previously I’ve run a single cycle of Test E and Dbol for 12 weeks, proper PCT for 5 weeks (nolva, clomid, OTC support supps), HCG throughout. I felt pretty ‘normal’ after 3 weeks of PCT. Lost some strength over time, but overall came out of the cycle stronger than I started and with more muscle. I was happy with my results.

I decided to get bloods in preparation for a second cycle that I’ve laid out. I’ve attached a copy of my results for you to review. It looks like I’m at the low end of the spectrum. My question is, am I still recovering or am I headed for a life of TRT?

Thank you in advance for all of your help and support.

Pyrrhic, it seems like it would be very difficult to answer if you are still recovering.

Effectively you are in the lower end of the range, but you are telling us you have no signs of low testosterone. Maybe you operate perfectly well at that range because it was your natural levels? Odds are you were probably higher, but everyone is different. Who knows?

However, don’t you typically go into a cycle knowing that one of the biggest risks is that your Testosterone levels will be permanently negatively effected?

If you are that concerned about it, why not give yourself more time before hitting another “cycle” and see if your levels get higher and you get a better sense as to where you should be normally?

Also, I thought the post PCT bloodwork was primarily to see if your Cholesterol / lipid profile was normalized before hitting another cycle? Guys seem concerned that they keep their testicles working for fertility reasons and such, but I’ve never heard them trying to reach “normal” pre cycle Testosterone levels before hitting another cycle, as the primary concern is they have their cholesterol / blood pressure in order so as to not put themselves at greater risk of heart trauma.

You very well could be heading toward needing external hormones for the rest of your life. Given that’s a very real risk, is that really something you are willing to live with?

Pyrrhic: Please read the advice for new guys sticky and provide more info.

If you have a lot of body hair and virilized facial bone structure, that suggests that one has had high T levels and that lower T levels would be a real burden. For someone who appears less virilized, they may do quite well on lower T levels. So you can see that a particular lab number does not tell the whole story.

LH/FSH and TT levels are consistent suggesting that the testes are OK. So the HP in the HPTA is not working well. There are suggestion in the sticky for factors to consider. Also read the sticky - things that damage your hormones

FT would have been interesting as it is really what gets the job done. The T+SHBG in TT does nothing.

You ran HCG througout your PCT??? Not proper protocol if so…

[quote]SixString wrote:
Pyrrhic, it seems like it would be very difficult to answer if you are still recovering.

Effectively you are in the lower end of the range, but you are telling us you have no signs of low testosterone. Maybe you operate perfectly well at that range because it was your natural levels? Odds are you were probably higher, but everyone is different. Who knows?

However, don’t you typically go into a cycle knowing that one of the biggest risks is that your Testosterone levels will be permanently negatively effected?

If you are that concerned about it, why not give yourself more time before hitting another “cycle” and see if your levels get higher and you get a better sense as to where you should be normally?

Also, I thought the post PCT bloodwork was primarily to see if your Cholesterol / lipid profile was normalized before hitting another cycle? Guys seem concerned that they keep their testicles working for fertility reasons and such, but I’ve never heard them trying to reach “normal” pre cycle Testosterone levels before hitting another cycle, as the primary concern is they have their cholesterol / blood pressure in order so as to not put themselves at greater risk of heart trauma.

You very well could be heading toward needing external hormones for the rest of your life. Given that’s a very real risk, is that really something you are willing to live with?

[/quote]

A very informative, honest, and sobering reply. I really do appreciate you taking the time to type that up and respond to me. Although some of what you said was hard to take on the chin, you’re absolutely right.

A couple things to fill in the gaps…

-Comprehensive Cholest./Lipid profile analysis was done by my primary care physician approx. 4 weeks after PCT. While I did not get an actual print out/fax of the results, he told me that everything came back fine. I know that’s not the answer you nor I was looking for…but that’s all I’m left with.

-This blood-work was meant to serve as a post/pre analysis, killing two birds with one stone. First in that it would check to verify my cycle went according and the PCT was sufficient. Second in that it would serve as a baseline for the future post cycle results. Sounds stupid? I’m sorry, but it’s 50 dollars out of pocket privately and my insurance doesn’t cover comprehensive blood tests without probable cause and I didn’t want to look suspicious. I received a lipid/cholest. profile just by saying high cholest. ran in my family.

-I’ve been lifting and eating with purpose since I was 15 and have always been the slowest to grow. My peers put in half the effort with twice the results. I waited until I was 24 to introduce anabolic’s, thinking I would be ‘safer’. It’s something that means a lot to me, for various reasons, and I’m never going to abandon this lifestyle…So to answer your question…While I’d like to avoid TRT at all costs…Yes it is something I’m prepared to live with.

-The blood was taken at 12:30PM and I wakeup to train at 4:30AM. Maybe I should supplement with Vit. D, Zinc, and DAA for a couple weeks and retest at 7AM?

Again…Thank you for your post.

[quote]KSman wrote:
Pyrrhic: Please read the advice for new guys sticky and provide more info.

If you have a lot of body hair and virilized facial bone structure, that suggests that one has had high T levels and that lower T levels would be a real burden. For someone who appears less virilized, they may do quite well on lower T levels. So you can see that a particular lab number does not tell the whole story.

LH/FSH and TT levels are consistent suggesting that the testes are OK. So the HP in the HPTA is not working well. There are suggestion in the sticky for factors to consider. Also read the sticky - things that damage your hormones

FT would have been interesting as it is really what gets the job done. The T+SHBG in TT does nothing.

[/quote]

Thank you sir for your response and information. I will begin combing through those materials immediately.

I do have a significant amount of body/facial hair. Although I do shave practically all of it…I’d estimate that the growth has slowed marginally at best. I still shave my face every other day. On cycle I had to shave every day and growth was noticeably more significant.

The HP suggestion is particularly helpful!

Unfortunately my insurance isn’t the best and if I want blood-work it has to come out of pocket. This test nets me about 50 dollars where as any test which targets FT is an upwards of 200. But I’ll continue to shop around.

I appreciate your response and will adhere to your suggestions.

[quote]Ned wrote:
You ran HCG througout your PCT??? Not proper protocol if so…[/quote]

I apologize for being vague. I ran HCG throughout cycle, but since it is suppressive, stopped it the same week my 12wks of test ended.

1-4wk Dbol @ 50mg
1-12wk Test E @ 600mg
2-12wk HCG @ 1000IU/wk
15-20wk Nolva 40/40/20/20/10
15-20wk Clomid 100/50/50/25/12.5

[quote]Pyrrhic wrote:

[quote]Ned wrote:
You ran HCG througout your PCT??? Not proper protocol if so…[/quote]

I apologize for being vague. I ran HCG throughout cycle, but since it is suppressive, stopped it the same week my 12wks of test ended.

1-4wk Dbol @ 50mg
1-12wk Test E @ 600mg
2-12wk HCG @ 1000IU/wk
15-20wk Nolva 40/40/20/20/10
15-20wk Clomid 100/50/50/25/12.5[/quote]

Good.

I personally think guys expect to recover a lot faster than they actually do. Do some reading about HPTA restarts, Just cause LH and FSH are improving or even high, It can take a year or more in some cases for Testosterone levels to follow…

Sorry i dont have any links to these studies as i dont remember where they were found.

There is no reason to stack Nolvadex and Clomid. You were taking a full dose at the end of your taper. Before that your doses of the SERM’s were stupidly high *. This can lead to LH levels that are too high. That can lead to high amounts of T–>E2 inside the tests that anastrozole cannot control and serum E2 levels can be very high. And you risk desensitizing the testes and then when you are off taper, what LH you have is less effective. You should have been using anastrozole during your cycle and taper in varying amounts and cruised on 0.5mg per week in divided doses after the PCT taper.

  • sadly typical in the body building communities. More is not better.