T Nation

Cycling off TRT: Minimize Side Effects

To anyone with knowledge of TRT or who has gone off:

I don’t think I need TRT and want to see if after 2 years on it I can produce my own T. I will get the LEF.org male panel blood test when I should be back to normal production to test T (I still want to keep my prescription so not testing through endo)

  1. If currently on 20g daily Androgel, ksmans 250 EOD hcg protocol and anti-aromatase inhibitor; what would be the effect of stopping cold turkey? Aren�??t my testes still working with the hcg? Should I take a large dose of hcg to jump start the equipment?

  2. How long would it take them to get back to normal production and/or am I at normal production now with the hcg use?

  3. The LH & FSH levels, how long for them to get back to normal? Also if I had to go to Doctor for yearly blood tests how long for them to go dormant again after going back on TRT?

  4. Anything I should know about stopping TRT or any tips on preserving lean mass?

  5. Would it still be advantageous to take a drop or two EOD of anti-aromatase inhibitor to keep e2 low?

If interested here is my story.

In April of 2006 (I was 36, 5�??6, less than 5% BF (136lbs average weight that month. For years, I have taken morning weight everyday, and then at end of month averaged 5 days for monthly weight. I used to be 162 and chunky before started running/Cardio in 2004.) So 2006 March I was sent to a hemoglobin specialist for low white/red blood cell count to get Okayed for a pre-op checkup. I knew nothing about TRT or T-Nation and just told the doctor my symptoms: I was irritable, weak & had no Libido.

I self diagnosed myself with Runners Anemia due to 100+ mile running mileage weeks(jogging 2-3 times a day) + other cardio & eating a lot of soy; however the doctor had never heard of that and prescribed TRT 5mg patch through my regular crappy HMO doctor. I went along because my HMO paid most costs and I guessed it could improve my performance and knew something was wrong. Well after a couple months the patches kept sweating off, and I ended up on Androgel 10mg per day.

Long story short I got an injury and applied myself heavily into Strength training with the occasional marathon and found T-Nation through TRT searches. I went to an endo for prescription for hcg per KSmans protocol and recently added his recommended anti-aromatase inhibitor. The endo at first wanted me to go off TRT for proper tests to see if I really needed TRT, but I pointed out I�??d be miserable and wanted to stay on. He did some alternate tests but said we can�??t be sure I needed it. Oh my T-Levels were like 200 and even during first year & half on TRT always low like around 200-400 but that could have been because I stopped applying Androgel for a day or so before blood tests.

These two years my Nutrition, Training & Rest have been excellent and the first year on TRT I went from 136.2 to 161.7 (25.5lb mostly muscle �?? newbie gains and muscle memory) and this April I averaged 169 so just over 7lbs this last year and I basically applied 20g Androgel this whole last year. I still do a little to much cardio, but have reduced it greatly from 2 years ago. I�??m about 9-12% Body Fat now.

Well everything is good and my last tests were TotalT 794 with normal 241-827 ng/dL & FreeT 277 out 34-194 pg/mL & Free Weaky Bound 582 out 84-402 ng/dL so I�??m close high normal T. Unfortunately the pharmacies have stop giving me double my prescription (See old thread) and being as I�??m about to run out of the Androgel pump - this seems like a great time to find out if I can produce my own Testosterone without all the Cardio now. It also a good idea to let everything be natural for a couple months.

If possible I would like to save up my prescription and maybe do a semi ‘cycle’ once or twice a year�?�

Thanks for any help/information.

ok, i think that androgel is a bag of shit from what i have read and been told from other users i know.
I do not have any direct experience though so i will advise you on the safest route.

Get your self some tamoxifen or clomiphene (clomid) discontinue androgel, run it for 4 weeks @ 20mg per day,
do you have any testicular shrinkage?
if so, then infact the androgel has shut your production down.

Before you discontinue androgel, research and use hcg to stimulate lutenising hormone production, this will bring your boys back up to size giving your the best and fastest chance of recovering natural test production.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]testanabol wrote:
ok, i think that androgel is a bag of shit from what i have read and been told from other users i know.
I do not have any direct experience though so i will advise you on the safest route.

Get your self some tamoxifen or clomiphene (clomid) discontinue androgel, run it for 4 weeks @ 20mg per day,
do you have any testicular shrinkage?
if so, then infact the androgel has shut your production down.

Before you discontinue androgel, research and use hcg to stimulate lutenising hormone production, this will bring your boys back up to size giving your the best and fastest chance of recovering natural test production.[/quote]

I have my doubts if the androgel has had any effects on my gains over these 2 years and thats one reason to cycle off. My gains were really sort of good, normal newbie gains so I also doubt I will lose any lean mass.

I’m already on low dose hcg and the testes should be functioning (no shrinkage), thats why I was thinking if I just stop, if everything would immediatly resume as normal.

I also wondered if TRIBEX would be advisable when stopping androgel.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
I must have missed the part where you explain why you feel you no longer need TRT.

Bushy[/quote]

Hi, I felt like the extreme cardio and low calorie diet I was on reduced my testosterone levels. Even my endo could find no reason why I needed the trt, he just kept me on because I was already under treatment and had the symptoms.

The androgel is becoming a mental crutch for me now and I just want to stop before I become addicted & get my ‘normal’ tests done and then evaluate.

Plus I have my doubts that it even gets absorbed all that well, the fact was my last Blood Test were High normal and just above normal.
I shave and shower the area before I apply the gel so it seems to get absorbed a little better.

Still hoping someone has some good advice for my original questions…

No one on here has been on TRT/hcg and then stopped?

Motivations aside, I’ll tackle your questions as asked.

[quote]LiftingLarge wrote:

Should I take a large dose of hcg to jump start the equipment?[/quote]

No. hCG has a suppressive effect on the HPTA. A large dose would be counterproductive.

[quote]
2) How long would it take them to get back to normal production and/or am I at normal production now with the hcg use?[/quote]

It’s not that simple. There’s really no way to tell until you do it. Your body is going to take time to adjust and come back into homeostasis and there is no way to know how long that’s going to take. I’d say a weeks to months time frame is reasonable.

[quote]
3) The LH & FSH levels, how long for them to get back to normal? Also if I had to go to Doctor for yearly blood tests how long for them to go dormant again after going back on TRT?[/quote]
See above.

Personally, I would taper off, but you’ve got your own game plan, so there it is. Excellent nutrition will help, as always.

In my experience, it can’t hurt and may very well help.

Good luck!

HCG does make your testes larger, but it also causes it’s own negative feedback, whilst doing so.
The androgel is probably doing something, as little as it may be, and with frequent HCG injections doing their boost, and the boost from the lowered estrogen from the AI, all together you get your TRT effect.

I personally think you will have a nasty shock a week or two after coming off, so do not lose your prescription whatever you do.

I have not been on TRT as yet, although at 28 it is in the post…:wink: But i do use AAS and have had experience with HCG etc…

I personally think if you need to see for yourself, the do but do not lose the script.

The androderm patches are notorious for bad absorbtion, but seeing as your total level is high, with the other drugs, you will not have a chance to get injections… if you even want them…

So in conclusion, i think you are NOT making your own Test, as HCG is taking the place of FSH OR LH (i cannot remember) and not really ASSISTING your endocrine system.
It is definitely suppressive.

Joe

‘Motivations aside, I’ll tackle your questions as asked.’

Apologies for using a steroid term ‘cycling’ I understand it could annoy some on here and seem illegitimate. I just meant I want to stop TRT temporarily to see if it really is necessary. My libido, mood and CBC is great now, but this could be from the reduced cardio. I also don�??t want to permanently damage my reproductive system.
As most on this forum can probably understand all the hassle, time and expense I went through the first year getting the T dose and hcg prescription from the clueless doctors I have to work with in my HMO, its pretty obvious why I don�??t want to lose it.

No. hCG has a suppressive effect on the HPTA. A large dose would be counterproductive.

I guess I assumed the Testosterone suppressed the LH/FSH and the hcg just mimicked LH/FSH so I would still make my own testosterone and keep the testis from shrinking.

Light Bulb Going Off: So the real issue with stopping for me is when my pituitary starts making LH/FSH again or if it even can (this was never tested by my first doctor)�?� right or wrong?
It would seem beneficial to make sure you could do this every couple years so it doesn�??t go dormant (I understand normally for TRT it is already dormant and that�??s why you are prescribed TRT)

‘Personally, I would taper off, but you’ve got your own game plan, so there it is. Excellent nutrition will help, as always.’

I�??ve seen this taper thing before; but wouldn�??t it just prolong the time I�??m still suppressing my LH/FSH? Since I�??m on the hcg low dose it was my understanding I�??m still making my own natural Testosterone. I don�??t see the benefit of tapering TRT when there has been proper low dose hcg use.

  1. Would it still be advantageous to take a drop or two EOD of anti-aromatase inhibitor to keep e2 low?

'In my experience, it can’t hurt and may very well help. ’

So a low dose AI would be beneficial for almost every for most people to maximize T and lower e2, even if not on TRT?
Thanks Happydog for your time and helpful website.

�??The androgel is probably doing something, as little as it may be�??

Thanks Joe. I have a feeling even with the double (20g+) dose androgel its not doing much for me and that�??s why I want to try a clear blood test in June or July.

If anyone knows a good thread or info on SQ Testosterone injections I would appreciate a link as I would try to have my endo switch the andro to the real stuff if I could just do like 1 SQ shot ED or EOD. I don�??t think I would good at injecting in the muscle and checking for blood. The hcg in the belly fat is easy and I don�??t think there are any veins to worry about there, although I did have some blood leak out from a couple hcg injections over the last year, I may have just nicked the skin exiting�?�? I didn�??t notice anybody ever say to stick and then pull the plunger to check for blood with hcg.