T Nation

DHEA vs HCG vs TRT w/ my Labs

Hello, 30 year-old male, difficulty with muscle building (despite strict surplus/protein diet). Difficulty with focus and sleep. No problem with erection frequency/quality but I have lost a lot of sensation over the years, difficult to orgasm. Frequent joint pains. Plan to have children in 3-4 years.

Testosterone Total: 714 ng/dL (264 - 916)
Free Testosterone(Direct): 12.7 pg/mL (8.7 - 25.1)
Dihydrotestosterone: 58 ng/dL (30-85)
DHEA-Sulfate: 346.2 ug/dL (138.5 - 475.2)
Luteinizing Hormone(LH): 3.6 mIU/mL (1.7 - 8.6)
Prolactin: 10.8 ng/mL (4.0 - 15.2)
Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1: 159 ng/mL (98 - 282)
Estradiol, Sensitive: 17.0 pg/mL (8.0 - 35.0)
Sex Horm Binding Glob: 67.7 High nmol/L (16.5 - 55.9)

So I have a lowish FT due to my high SHBG. My E2 is also pretty low and from what I’ve read it could be contributing to the joint pain and decreased erection sensitivity. Not interested in stinging nettle root to decrease SHBG (not a heavy drinker but currently abstaining from alcohol to see if that helps). A few questions:

  1. It seems that I would benefit from a modest increase in FT and E2. Since I want to remain fertile can I try DHEA for this? I know most people don’t advocate monotherapy with DHEA because it increases E2 but maybe this would be a good option for me if I’m ok with small E2 increases. I also understand that my DHEA is in the normal range but I want to try to get it to ~500. I was thinking 25 mg DHEA nightly to start out.

  2. What role would HCG monotherapy play for me? Does HCG produce similar changes in labs as DHEA supplementation?

  3. If I take DHEA what is the consensus on supplementing pregnenolone?