T Nation

HCG Dosing?


Hi everyone, I've been talking about this elsewhere but I think maybe it needs its own thread.

I understand that high dosages of HCG during PCT can desensitize the LH receptors in your testes leading to a post cycle yo-yo effect, but at the same time, barring desensitization, the high dosage will reactivate your HTPA faster and thereby lessen post cycle losses.

The legitimate medical use of HCG is to treat depression of the HTPA. It is not used to treat the cause of the symptom but only the symptom itself. For this purpose it is typically administered in dosages from 1500 - 5000 IU.

My question is then why is better for juicers to take such small doses when the symptom is the same?


First, your understanding of the ordinary medical use of HCG is really not precisely right. The most common use is to stimulate ovulation in women, not to do anything with regard to suppressed hypothalamic or pituitary function. It has also been used to stimulate spermatogenesis in men, and testosterone production. The same considerations apply.

Second, it isn’t the case that optimum dosing for one use and dosing protocol – e.g., to stimulate ovulation with a shot at the doctor’s office, or to stimulate spermatogenesis with again, a doctor’s office visit involved for each shot – is going to be optimum for other purposes, such as stimulating testosterone production with ongoing injections.

Further, it by no means is always the case that commonly used medical dosings are the optimum dosing for most individuals. The purpose could be efficacy in say 95% of individuals, never mind that the dose might be many times that needed for all but the last 10% or some other fraction.

Rather than attempt to reason out why everyone (at least those in the half recommending lower dosages) ought to be wrong on logic and misconceptions such as these, the thing to do would be to look at the evidence.

You have probably already been pointed to a dose-response study in the medical literature, recently published, that validated what I have said on this point. If not, surely it can be found as it has been posted many times recently. Also a Pubmed search would readily turn it up.

So the question should rather be, Why take, on an ongoing basis, a dose that is shown to be pure excess, not delivering higher testosterone than the top end of the amount commonly recommended here?

Especially as HCG use during a cycle is intended merely to prevent testicular atrophy and maintain function. Most certainly one doesn’t need to go past the dose that already maximizes testosterone production to do that.

There’s also the consideration that you are confused about the entire thing, wanting to use HCG post-cycle. Don’t do that: use it as described above. For which the low end of the dosage range commonly recommended here is entirely sufficient.

Its proper use, with regard to steroid cycles, is as a preventative: to have the testes ready to go when LH production resumes.

The wrong use is as you were planning, to fail to engage in such prevention, then stimulate testosterone production via the HCG that will itself be inhibitory to recovering already-inhibited LH production.

I appreciate that someone with a colorful name like Big Cat or something wrote some webpages saying these things, and sure, half of webpages say one thing and half say another. What is needed is judgment as to what makes sense and what has some sound basis behind it and what does not have so much of that behind it.


Well, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”




This was brought to my attention by KSman.

Andrea D Coviello, Alvin M Matsumoto, William J Bremner, Karen L Herbst, John K Amory, Bradley D Anawalt, Paul R Sutton, William W Wright, Terry R Brown, Xiaohua Yan, Barry R Zirkin, Jonathan P Jarow

In previous studies of testicular biopsy tissue from healthy men, intratesticular testosterone (ITT) has been shown to be much higher than serum testosterone (T), suggesting that high ITT is needed relative to serum T for normal spermatogenesis in men. However, the quantitative relationship between ITT and spermatogenesis is not known.

To begin to address this issue experimentally, we determined the dose-response relationship between human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and ITT to ascertain the minimum dose needed to maintain ITT in the normal range. Twenty-nine men with normal reproductive physiology were randomized to receive 200 mg T enanthate weekly in combination with either saline placebo or 125, 250, or 500 IU hCG every other day for 3 wk. ITT was assessed in testicular fluid obtained by percutaneous fine needle aspiration at baseline and at the end of treatment.

Baseline serum T (14.1 nmol/liter) was 1.2% of ITT (1174 nmol/liter). LH and FSH were profoundly suppressed to 5% and 3% of baseline, respectively, and ITT was suppressed by 94% (1234 to 72 nmol/liter) in the T enanthate/placebo group. ITT increased linearly with increasing hCG dose (P < 0.001). Posttreatment ITT was 25% less than baseline in the 125 IU hCG group, 7% less than baseline in the 250 IU hCG group, and 26% greater than baseline in the 500 IU hCG group. These results demonstrate that relatively low dose hCG maintains ITT within the normal range in healthy men with gonadotropin suppression. Extensions of this study will allow determination of the ITT concentration threshold required to maintain spermatogenesis in man.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 May ;90:2595-602 [Pubmed] [Scholar] [SelectDrop] [HideShow]


Oh – not addressed to the douche, as he has announced that he was leaving the building, but to any others who might find the subject informative:

By the time I’d gotten to the end of the above post, I’d forgotten what I’d intended as one of the main points.

Due to the half-life of HCG, a dose such as 500 IU every other day in fact generates levels equivalent to a considerably larger injection anyway.

Or contrariwise, taking the fact that in a given medical use a doctor might inject 1500 IU as a single injection, with the next office visit being some time away, that would say nothing, other than to the quite illogical, about whether that is an appropriate dose for, for example, 3x/week or every other day use.

However, actually the relevant fact is that it’s thoroughly demonstrated that one does not need such large doses. And the reputation HCG formerly had as a “harsh drug” (back in the days of 5000 IU at a time being what everyone did) and causing problems with water retention and gyno were simply products of gross overdosing.

All this has been hashed through so many times though.


Thanks again. You have lived up to your reputation as a helpful guy. Nice! Good points. You’re right, I had misunderstood the clinical usage of HCG. Good point about the half life too. My medical jargon skills aren’t really strong enough to consult the literature directly so I appreciate the paraphrasing.

And Dynamo Hum too, good article. That is exactly the kind of thing Ive been looking for. Preesh!