T Nation

HCG on TRT for Upstream Benefits?

Hi all, looking for info regarding the use of HCG while on TRT. Not for fertility or aesthetics, just for possible “upstream” benefits from it being produced.

Some clinics seem to put clients on straight away, others don’t. None seem to offer supplementation from pills etc.

Its obviously a very important hormone but since it decreases soo much as you age is it beneficial to still produce it when my natural levels would be naturally low and as I have high test and estrogen from my shots? I expect a yes its helpful but the advice I often see is it can cause more issues than its worth. (Although anecdotal is fine if you do have anything worth reading please post the links).

I am 57, on “self prescribed” TRT. Don’t want kids, don’t want big balls, just want to not die too nastily.
I know a few members have strong opinions on this, I’ll tag a couple of people whos posts I’ve seen and respect their opinion, and the fact they back up with studies. @readalot @unreal24278 @lordgains

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Difficult to speculate about long term effects. I tried to do so some time ago. Maybe you haven’t seen my post:

When it comes to how you feel on TRT, then some say hCG has its benefits, which I find convincing.

I’ll try to get back to you later, I’m currently very busy and don’t spend much time on here.

Thanks for the kind words.

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HCG? No.

You could try taking pregnenolone and/DHEA to complete those “upstream” hormones. Some guys like it, some dont. I’ve never tried them but have at times thought about adding them in just to see. HCG I use from time to time when I’ve screwed up and messed my normal protocol up. Helps me bridge back

There is no data showing HCG providing upstream hormonal benefits. The thing about HCG is it only stimulates half of the testicles and therefore doesn’t activate all hormonal pathways.

The reason is money, it’s a cash business and the clinic gets a piece of the profit.

Im on HCG, and its mostly because I like my balls to swing. Semen flows better too

@systemlord That will be news to these guys if they are still alive:

image

My advice would be to stop with the definitive statements. Those combined with your username may give some poor chap on here the impression you know what you are talking about.

@MrGrant in case you aren’t aware of the resource (I can’t share a link to another forum), Nelson Vergel has a great forum called ExcelMale. Look up this thread titled:

"Raising Pregnenolone, Progesterone and DHEA with HCG"

Lots of additional links and previous literature linked therein.

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4 DISCUSSION

An optimal endocrine replacement strategy for hypogonadotropic hypogonadal males aims at normalizing all aspects of deficient androgenic action. While testosterone replacement has been used in clinical practice to solely convey androgenic effects, gonadotropins have been employed for the purpose of additionally initiating testicular growth and spermatogenesis.13

The present study provides data on steroid hormone profiles of males with CHH, in which these two different replacement regimens were applied sequentially. The hormone concentrations in serum reflect the overall production of hormone that is contributed to the blood stream by each hormone-producing tissue. The naturally occurring ‘knock down condition’ of central hormonal stimulation of gonads, with uncompromised ACTH secretion that is present in CHH males, was used as a model, to enable delineation of gonadotropin effects on testicular and adrenal steroidogenic pathways involved in male androgen biosynthesis. Specifically, hCG/rFSH effects on serum steroid hormone concentrations of the classic Δ5 pathway of steroid biosynthesis, on concentrations of steroids of the Δ4 steroidogenic pathway, the alternative pathway of testosterone biosynthesis, the backdoor pathway of DHT synthesis and on concentrations of the 11-oxygenated C19 androgen pathway were investigated. In addition, the serum levels of testosterone metabolites were analyzed.

Our results indicate that treatment of CHH males with gonadotropins results in steroid hormone profiles similar to those of healthy men, with few exceptions (E2, progesterone). However, this is not the case using a regimen based on exogenous testosterone. If testosterone is applied, steroidogenic pathways in testicles of CHH males remain unstimulated. By contrast, if hCG + rFSH are used, the LHCG receptor in Leydig cells is activated.14 In response, multiple steroids of the classical steroidogenic cascade are synthesized by the gonads, including the classic potent androgens T and DHT. This explains the differences observed in serum steroid levels in CHH males on the two different replacement regimens.

4.5.6 Summarized results and conclusions

These biochemical studies of serum steroid hormone patterns in CHH males on two different androgenic replacement regimens contribute to our knowledge of human steroidogenesis, specifically androgen production and its regulation. Gonadotropins contribute to steroid production along the classic Δ4 pathway, by stimulation of 17-OHP production. In addition, gonadotropins co-activate an alternative pathway of T biosynthesis from DHEA via androstenediol.

However, Δ5 biosynthesis of 17-OH-pregnenolone, DHEA(S) seems fully gonadotropin-independent, and the production of androstenedione is largely gonadotropin-independent. Thus, an ‘adrenal-peripheral tissues-testicular collaboration’ regarding androgen synthesis by classic or alternative pathways seems possible.

The 11-oxygenated C19 androgen pathway is activated independently of gonadotropins. The activity of the three DHT backdoor pathways (converging in androstanediol biosynthesis) is not increased by gonadotropins.

A replacement regimen with combined hCG/rFSH mimics physiologic steroid hormone profiles better than a substitution with exogenous testosterone. The documented differences in steroid profiles on testosterone replacement in hypogonadal males with absent or severely reduced endogenous LH and FSH secretion may have long-term consequences for health and well-being. Specifically, body composition, bone health, glucose and lipid metabolism, salt and water balance, cognition, mood, sleep and sexual function could be affected. The steroidogenic differences could also be relevant for gonadotropin-suppressive treatments with long-acting testosterone preparations in males with primary hypogonadism. To what extent this hypothesis is true, should be addressed in future clinical studies.

I tried HCG years back, but used the usual online source from overseas. I know that even before you mix with bac. water, the dry powder vial needs to be refriderated. I’d like to try it again, but…

If shipping is appx 3 weeks, how is the stuff any good once it gets to the states?

Thanks for giving some input!

I’ve only looked at the question if LH targets other tissues in an important manner, but not if the leydig cell are important in the presence if T. Good point.

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Thanks all for the info, the trouble is I’m now more confused than before!
@lordgains
I hadn’t seen this post and didn’t know LH was also produced in the brain. A very interesting read thanks.
@readalot
I looked at the excelmale threads and links and comments in all threads, unfortunately much of this is WAY over my head, but it seems (please anyone correct me where I’m wrong)

If you want to use HCG for upstream benefits it increase levels, so may using supplements if levels are low, but this may not make any obvious different to your perceived benefit?

It may not raise levels (it seems that’s the case for some users?) and if your testosterone and estrogen levels are normal/high (as in testosterone “optimization” therapy, as mine normally are) then the body is unlikely to create a “natural” balance of the missing hormones as you are not really in a nature balance so testing and going by feeling are the way forward?

One paper said something along the lines that the use of HGC against dementia seemed to help if the person was started on it before their natural levels declined (i.e. pre-menopause, and I suppose pre-andropause?) in my case I started TRT at 55 after a steady decline in fitness and motivation. If this is the case then very possibly little or no use to me. Unfortunately I didn’t do bloods but the symptoms and relief all seem to agree with many posts on here that I had low testosterone levels. (i.e., i am old).

Also I have very bad skin, always have had so supplementing with DHEA doesn’t seem like the best idea for me unless recommended by a doctor.

Obviously many of my personal points are coming from my age and late start (and lack of professional medical advice) so for now I am going to continue reading but please if I am way off base on any of this please let me know.
(And I promise all my posts will be just as vague and rambling) :slight_smile:

I’ve decided to start using HCG, ordered around 2 months worth so will see how this goes. Going to inject twice a week, originally planning on doing in same syringe as test but as I just contaminated the test vial I think I’ll use separate syringes from now on.
First two injections 500iu, then 250iu for the rest.

I did read about taking it on separate days from your test jab to possibly spread the rise in testosterone but I’m not sure with the low amounts I’m taking, plus the half live of the test E it would make much difference?

I’m here looking specifically for things people do about testicular atrophe while on TRT. I’ve been on it for … oh, I’d say 6 or 7 years. The clinic I started with used weekly injections, and when I started to atrophe they increased my hcg and it seemed to really help.

However, it appears to be off the market here in the US … expensive, and doctors are reluctant to prescribe it.

That clinic closed with COVID, and I’m currently going to another that uses T pellets which last (in me) about 6 months. They tell me it’s bio-identical T, as opposed to the injections I was getting – and the side effects I had gotten from the injections (I was bloating some from estrogen conversion for a while and did get SOME acne increase while on the shots - the hcg seemed to take care of that) … anyway, the pellets don’t have those side effects.

But the testical size issue is still there on the pellets, and I can’t seem to get hcg anymore.

It SOUNDS like some people here are getting it from overseas. I don’t know how viable an option that is. But my question is, what other things are people doing to address this issue, or was hcg pretty much “it”?

For testicular atrophy, short of using clomid (not recommended), nothing comes close to the effectiveness of HCG.

You are kind of screwed until something else comes along or compounding rules are changed.

Even if you could buy HCG retail, there just isn’t enough supply out there.

Have your Doc prescribe you HCG. Its available via prescription, and can only be obtained from Big Pharma. The rules changed during the pandemic and compound pharmacies can no longer make it on site. It has to made in a manufacturing site designated for mass production all of which are run by corporate pharmaceutical companies. So those of us here in the states who use HCG, its obtained directly from the clinic who is willing to purchase it and pass it along to its patients. It’s not a prescription that can be made by a compounding pharmacy, anymore. That’s the only difference. So if you want HCG, ask your doc and have them order some up for you. This has been a subject filled with misinformation fueled by youtube videos that parroted the misunderstanding of how HCG will be classified and handled. All you have to do is read FDA regulations on it and nothing else. Forget what you were told.

We have not had difficulty getting hCG through compounding pharmacies. Yes, some have stopped making it. Some have not. We use multiple sources for it. Might take a little leg work to find one.

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I have talked to her a couple of times about HCG, and she basically said it’s unavailable anymore – which doesn’t sound like it’s true.

I heard that it got prohibitively expensive. I wonder how much and how often I’d have to take it (I assume it’s typically injections) if I can talk her into it.

Had not heard of clomid. Reading between the lines I’m guessing there are some undesirable side-effects …

She lied to ya.

Not everyone gets them though, you could always give Clomid a try with an open mind on it?