T Nation

Doesn't the "Honeymoon Period" Argue for Higher T Levels?

I had a conversation with my doctor not long ago where he was trying to explain why the honeymoon period feels better. I already understood where he was going and explained as much. But I got to thinking more about it and it raises a bigger question: if taking exogenous T + whatever you’re naturally producing at the beginning of treatment equals higher sustained T levels and feeling better, doesn’t that argue in favor of sustaining higher T levels after the natural production has shut down? Once natural shutdown has fully occurred, you’d need to increase the exogenous dosing to compensate for the loss of residual natural production to maintain the same T levels you had on injections + natural. Assuming estradiol, hematrocrit, etc are all held in check… what am I missing?

It’s not just about having both natural T and exogenous T, the body creates more T receptors when T is low, so when T is increased everything eventually returns to normal.

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Yes, it certainly does. There is a reason guys using testosterone for PED purposes take three, four, five, etc. times a typical TRT dose.

Increasing androgens (for example, with TRT) increases androgen receptors and androgen receptor expression.

I would kill to be able to recreate my TRT honeymoon, shit was like magic. If by honeymoon, you mean feeling elation, building mad muscle standing still, being hornier than shit with almost painful rock hard boners… and all with zero side effects for 3 or 4 weeks.

The fact that it seems to end, and guys will keep raising their dosages chasing after it would indicate that raised levels of testosterone alone are not the only reason for it. There must be some other factor that is involved, whether it be receptors, drug resistance, or the much debated estradiol.

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Me personally, i don’t think it’s so much the extra endogenous T that makes you have that great feeling (yes it helps), but it’s also the network of other hormones and things that are still working correctly prior to shutdown. All the upstream hormones.

When you throw exo T into the equation, a LOT of things become altered other than just T levels.

Everyone has a different response but for me the honeymoon felt like someone removed sandbags from my shoulders that I didn’t know were there, I was beginning to regain the nimbleness of my mind and have a purpose again, and when I exercised my body was asking for more, more, more. I did have side effects though - fair bit of edema for 2 or 3 weeks that disappeared and hasn’t returned. When benefits subsided yes my immediate reaction was I wanted it back and I wanted it to continue growing but I was willing to be patient if it was a gradual curve.

Not sure about just continuously adding more Test due to receptor desensitizing. I just lowered my dose because my anxiety was high and I could sleep. Obviously the receptors are still sensitive if I feel that way. The more anxious I get the less my penis functions.

Is it possible to recreate the “TRT honeymoon” period?
Sustain it if recreated?


I never experienced the honeymoon. I simply made gradual progress and have felt absolutely normal with some boosts here and there. But Ive also had weeks where I felt flat, here and there. My friend just got on TRT a month ago, and he also hasnt had a honeymoon phase. There’s a mental thing about knowing that youre getting on T, so you kinda sorta, make it happen as T levels rise. Honestly, lots of folks expect TRT to be a magic bullet that flies in a constant line forever. Its just better if you dont chase the high. Let it come to you.

I think there is some truth to that. However, I’ve seen some guys who were skeptical and/or doubtful TRT was for them, unsure if they wanted it or even didn’t want it. Often, they are in the office because they are being “encouraged” by their wives or girlfriends. It is not unusual for the SO to be present, I think in part to make sure I get the whole story from their husband/boyfriend. I have been amazed by the quick and dramatic improvements they’ve made, and they are too.

I’ve also found a correlation between how low test is, how unhealthy they are overall and response. Like above, the improvements they report stretches credulity. But, I’ll take it.

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No. When you go from low T to high T the honeymoon period is in part due to the increased dopamine caused by the test binding with androgen receptors in the brain. Or so I’ve read. All of the studies that have been done are with rats mind you.

Point being is it doesn’t last. If you increase test further you may be able to partially recreate that but it would only be temporary again.

No idea, would pay money to find out.

Agreed. In my case, I had fucking low testosterone, secondary, for a long time. Total T was 150 and I felt like ass for years. I swear to the old gods and the new, I felt like a million bucks within 24 hours of my first injection. I think I was ‘high’ for 3 weeks straight. It was a real let down when that ended and a further kick in the nuts when the side effects that brought me to you guys started up by week 4.

This has to do with the point I will make.

I personally don’t think it’s the higher t. I think it’s the testosterone going up that causes that honeymoon.

Once your stable you are steady and good.

What you can do to try to get the feeling is lower dose then increase. See if you get that feeling.

So if you taking 120 a week. Go down to like 80 or 100. Then increase to like 140.

I also felt that burst of greatness when I dropped my dose.

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More or less. It’s going from very low to normal or normal plus and the increased dopamine that comes with it in top of the other achieved benefits. I don’t think that increasing T is going to make more benefits after those additional receptors in the brain are activated but admittedly I didn’t read the studies thoroughly and focused on summaries.

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Agreed. This sounds logical. I wonder what TRT protocols might increase dopamine levels consistently to recreate that “honeymoon period”. As many have mentioned here, it doesn’t happen again, at least not like the lst time in any way or intensity.

The honeymoon period, long gone. . . .

(spouse) “what happened?”
(senior on trt) “I don’t know?”
(spouse) “that was someone else?”
(senior on trt) “yea”
(spouse) “where did he go?”
(senior on trt) “beats me?”


My bet is, taking Adderall or some other stimulant would do the same thing for you. Albeit, it would be a dangerous experiment that could lead to abuse or addiction for some. I didn’t get a Honeymoon period, but I also do not react to stimulants in that way (They are less habit forming than drinking warm water for me). That part might be at least in part related to stimulant/dopamine sensitivity, which would also explain why it goes away.

Are there studies out there that indicate the shutdown is anything other than “immediate”, by which I mean within a day or two? I could be convinced it takes a few more days…but I’d be very skeptical of weeks/months of continued endogenous production. From what I know of other metabolic feedback loops, continued production doesn’t seem likely.

It’s pretty hard to measure shutdown time because the thing you’d measure—testosterone—is being supplied exogenously. We can look at the speed at which LH drops and that gives us some idea, but it’s mostly guesswork. Certain androgens, such as MENT have shown significantly less impact on LH and TT than you’d expect, especially at low doses. So the answer has been to assume that shutdown has happened and proceed as such, because that’s the ‘better safe than sorry’ route. Is it scientifically accurate? Meh, probably not. But since nobody knows for sure how any person responds to these drugs we take that path rather than getting into the weeds about just how suppressed or shut down one individual may or may not be.

Has to do with receptor density changing. It also has an impact on dopamine. Once the body senses a very high level of a compound, it will downregulate the # of receptors expressed on cell surfaces.

Really low chemical signal? Build a shitload of receptors to “pickup” every signal floating around.

Swamped with chemical noise? Get rid of the receptors and downregulate the intense signal.

Homeostasis is always reached, but some peoples homeostasis sucks, because of the downstream pathways that are affected.

I felt “alive” for 1-2 months on 120mg/week. Felt like life was worth living, erections were amazing, sex drive was insane. Lifting was amazing. Now I feel more depressed and more anhedonic than before TRT.