T Nation

Dropping HCG? Experiences

Hi all, used the Search function and didn’t see much on this, so I wanted to see if anyone had first-hand experience in dropping HCG from their TRT protocol.

Cliff Notes: I’m in Canada and do not have regular access to bloodwork unfortunately (don’t even get me started). My TRT doc put me on 120mg/week T with 350ug HCG EOD and 0.5mg Arimidex 2x per week. After significant experimentation with dosages, going as low as 0.05mg 2x/week, I have come to the conclusion that Arimidex does not agree with me - at all. Even at such low dosages, I get joint pain, brain fog, and very severe anxiety, to the point of being debilitating. Aromasin is very hard to (legally) come by in Canada and as such, I’m dropping AI’s completely from my protocol. I simply cannot handle the sides.

I’m looking at dropping my T dose to 100mg/week, and am considering dropping HCG entirely. I’m estrogen-sensitive and my understanding is that HCG can significantly raise E2 levels. I’m not overly worried about fertility (my wife is pregnant with our second child and we plan to stop at 2), and i’ve been cursed my entire life with enormous balls, so a little shrinkage does not worry me. I understand that HCG mimicking LH plays a key role in production of other hormones, but I’d like to get some feedback from the group if anyone has successfully dropped HCG from their protocol entirely, and if so, what the effects were?

Thanks in advance
JD

Not recalling any past cases with anything that fits this question.

I’ve never used HCG and have been on TRT for over three years without issue. My understanding is that the only thing HCG does is maintain size and fertility - not sure what other hormones would be affected by mimicking LH. There are a few assholes around that insist HCG is necessary for the other “roles” testicles play, but I’ve never heard any one accurately describe the role of testicles other than to make babies.

FWIW, I don take an AI either. I’m on 150mg E7D and have never taken an AI. I do take Grape Seed extract, which is alleged to have AI properties, but that’s it.

In summary, I’m running 150mg of Test C. No AI, no HCG. Atrophy is the only downside and frankly, I’m like you, really don’t miss my pendulous balls getting wet on the crapper.

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If you ended up wanting to stay on the HCG, you could just lower your test dose a little bit also, if you wanted to prevent going on an AI.

Pregnenolone is the hormone that is produced in the testicles that some guys end up low on.

It says that it is also produced in adrenal glands and brain. Although, which one produces most, Im not sure.

No AI, no HCG going on 2 years TRT. Some mild shrinkage is the only negative ive noticed. I haven’t had pregnenolone labs drawn though.

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We have more and more young men showing up with hormone problems and some are put on TRT without any regard for their reproductive health. And you want to criticize efforts at related education. Older men also need to understand the problems and solutions to make an informed decision on their future.

You certainly are not contributing anything that supports the purpose of this forum. Guys need to understand things then do what makes sense for them and their individual labs and responses to TRT. Do you have a bad attitude about everything in general? Maybe the few assholes can nominate you to get kicked out.

Who used the word “necessary”? The operative word is “supports”. Many find that the state of their testes is an important part of their sexual self-image and some wives and girlfriends also have an opinion about that too.

If you do not understand or care about testicular hormones that does not give you the right to criticize those who do not share your lack of interest or understanding.

LolNo

One’s personal experience on TRT is certainly a contribution to the TRT forum in general, especially when someone says they don’t use Hcg in a thread that asks for input from people who don’t use Hcg.

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I agree. That’s what I want to hear , is people’s own experience. Yes you can through some studied facts in there but people’s experience is what is important. Or else we can just Google…

Some on here preach only certain things and it can be quite annoying. But that’s ok.
I try my best to only speak on things I experienced and have enough knowledge to share.

That does not explain the attitude.

I didn’t see any major attitude in his post. Not to speak for Myth, but it seems like he’s seen people recommend Hcg as mandatory when it may not actually be, and he strongly disagrees with that approach. Pretty straight-forward.

Your over-reaction to that by bringing up the idea of kicking him out was unwarranted, out of the blue (unless there’s backstory with you guys I’m unaware of), and, frankly, a little funny.

hCG is mandatory if these are important issues to an individual:

  • testes shrinking, you care, wife/GF cares or you both care
  • risk of infertility

In many?most cases guys new to TRT have no idea that T will cause such problems and there was no informed consent at the doctor’s office. So it is all about education and choice. A continuous effort with each new guy to make sure that this is covered as needed. The problems are real.

It would be irresponsible to not encourage young guys to protect their fertility.

Almost all will get shrinkage without hCG and many get the 24x7 ache.

Also need to point out that many on TRT without hCG when hCG is introduced have a very significant improvement in mood that happens overnight. That really suggests that there are LH receptors in brain that have interesting roles.

Repetition is required because new guys do not read the stickies and need some explicit guidance and education. If someone on the side lines is upset by this educational effort, they should do something else.

Maybe “assholes” was a bit unwarranted. That does sound a bit critical…

After everything is said and done, individuals will decide what they want to do and what matters to them. One guy had to remind me that he did not have any testicles!

I was actually criticizing a lack of education, when posters claim the testicles are important even if you do not care about atrophy or fertility. I have yet to see any proof of the role testicles play other than fertility, yet some on here insist that you are a complete idiot if you do not uae HCG. Usually those posters take a very condescending tone, which is why I have an attitude.

I disagree, and believe that point has already been made with respect to my experience on TRT without HCG, which is what the OP asked about.

I have indeed, and been called an idiot for pointing out it is not necessary unless you are concerned about atrophy or fertility.

There is a history, but I thought we had gotten past it. Apparently not, lol. And, frankly, it is a little funny.

Yes, that was my point. I have made it before and have been ridiculed. When people ridicule me, I classify them as assholes. For the record, you have never ridiculed me so I was not including you in the sobriquet.

You are the first to suggest any valid reason for HCG other than atrophy and fertility.

I’ll own that.

So, we can all move along now, nothing to see here, lol.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. A question for those who have dropped HCG, or never used it - do you feel reasonably “dialed-in” in your TRT, ie: you’re getting the positive effects you want with minimal sides and minimal fluctuations? With all the ancillary meds (AI, HCG, SERMS in some cases) there are so many variables at play, and I’m strongly considering giving test-only TRT a shot.

Some feedback as a new member: my experience on this forum has been overall positive, and there are definitely some very helpful and knowledgeable posters here, but the constant “Read the Stickies” reminders get a bit old. Yes, everyone would do well to read them (I have), but they aren’t gospel truth and some of the contents could be considered debatable (ie: I don’t believe 22 is the magic number for Estrogen for every single person). Plus, as someone who has participated in many forums across many subject matters, many people just aren’t gonna read them, no matter what.

TRT is relatively new and could be considered equal parts science and art, with “feel” being just an important a metric as blood panels, and true clinical consensus doesn’t exist from what I can see. It’s a fluid field, and experts like Dr. Crisler and McClain have course-corrected their recommendations many times. I personally get a lot out of hearing everyone’s personal experiences and anecdotes and I’m curious to see how best practice for TRT evolves in the coming months and years

Well The_Myth and I have crossed swords before with his having to add that he does not need this or that. I now qualify my advice a bit deeper and that does require more work. Not everyone fits the mainstream molds. But I can’t write a book for every thread.

I used to have to do everything by my self and now more are trying to get involved and yes, some are not up to my standards. But we have to put up with some of that enthusiasm and small indiscretions. A few years ago we used to get a few guys a week, now it can be many in a day and I cannot keep up. I try to get guys launched and cannot follow cases that get really long and I can only hope that the stickies get read. Then I can be away and miss cases completely. We need other helping. Mr The_Myth can get deeply involved as I am or hold his nose about some of the contributions of others. I can’t spend 6 hours a day doing this anymore, but today I may be close.

@The_Myth
How many mg of grape seed extractor do you take?
Also if u tried calcium d glucarate?
@systemlord I believe u use the CDG. What dose?
Thanks

200 mg daily. Have not tried anything else.