T Nation

HCG: Personal Benefits & Experiences?


#1

I'm at about the 6 month point of my TRT and FINALLY seem to have my E2 levels straight with the right dose of Arimidex (actually L-Dex). I really rode the wave on that one as an over-responder and fine-tuned it to work well for me. Just took blood tests this morning to confirm.

I planned all along to start HCG at this point (per the stickies) and just received six months worth of Fertigyn. What I'm interested in knowing is how many folks out there truly benefit from adding HCG to their protocol?

I expected significant testicular atrophy at this point and so far, I am experiencing none of this. Maybe HCG will further enhance my "boys"? I am suffering the "brain fog" that many others do, which I understand HCG seems to have a profound positive effect. Any feedback on this would be helpful as well.


#2

If your "brain fog" is from low pregnenolone, that will also lead to lower DHEA. Both can have some impact on mental state.

Can you post labs and ranges?

Describe your doses and timing.

Age=
Weight=
Height=
Waist=

Loosing fat?

How is your mood and libido?

There is discussion re hCG in the protocol for injections sticky.

You should have refined your Arimidex dose while already on hCG as hCG will increase E2 and then you are refining your E2 dose again.

Your testes are not apparently smaller. Are they as firm?

If your testes are hanging down when warm, that would suggest that you still have some LH levels. That is VERY unexpected.


#3

Good questions and enlightening comments, as usual. I just had labs drawn today and will post results when I get them back. My doc requested only Total Test and CBC, and I manually added Free T and E2 on the lab request for my own edification. Despite my asking for it, I have yet to get a full-panel comprehensive lab workup done, but that's another problem I need to resolve, starting obviously with pregnenolone (that brain fog issue is a real career-killer).

Current protocol:
Test Cypionate ~120 mg/week (2 x 60 mg -- Mon night/ Fri morning)
Liquidex ~0.6 mg/week (3 x 0.2 mg -- Sun/ Tues/ Thurs)

Here are my current stats:
Age 43
Weight 177# (down from 196#)
Height 69"
Waist 32-1/2" (down from 36")

I've lost a great deal of bodyfat over the last 3-4 months, thru pretty hardcore diet, running/weight training and lots of determination. I eat a lot of food, but it's very clean and balanced with routine carb cycling. All told, my body weight has dropped nearly 20 lbs and I've maintained strength/muscle mass in a way I never expected. Blood pressure is in range and my resting pulse is 42 BPM. I'm pretty shredded now, but still carry some fat in my pecs and lower back. I'm skeptical of my own progress as I read my stats, but they are shockingly accurate. So physically, I'm happy with my results.

Mood and libido are good, but they certainly swing with changes in L-Dex usage, as do joint/tendon pain and nipple issues. I'm using 0.2 mg L-Dex three days/week (0.6 mg total). After much trial and error, that seems to work best for me. But I'll be ready to adjust dosage with HCG use.

As for the testes, there's a lot of variability with firmness and they do "disappear" on occasion. Right now, I have nothing but my new TRT baseline to compare to (which beats the crap out of life without it). I'll try the HCG and see how that changes things. I normally give 2-3 weeks before making further adjustments with Test & L-Dex. Is that about right with the HCG as well?


#4

Fat loss releases a lot of garbage into the blood stream. When your weight is stable, that will stop.

hCG is fast acting, however, the testes may need to make physical changes, recovery, before they reach an end state. That can take time. Many report a mood boost with hCG. Reasons not known, however, the effect is mostly transient. So short term observations are not very useful. And when you slide down off of that peak, your perception of how you feel may be more about how you do not feel as well as you did, as opposed to how you feel better than before hCG. The mood boost seems consistent with a surge in dopamine.

If you have been doing a starvation diet, that can mess up your thyroid hormones. Your waking body temp is a good measure of what is going on.

You can do a male panel at LEF.org and pay out-of-pocket, E2 labs there too.


#5

HCG also stimulates the conversion of progesterone to 17-Hydroxyprogesterone (or something like that) which is the step between progesterone and cortisol production.

External T reduces 17-Hydroxyprogesterone.


#6

As there isn't much progesterone in the testes [I assume], then this effect is limited to the adrenals. Are you staying that there are hCG/LH receptors in the adrenal glands?

I don't know if I buy this story, but when you state "External T reduces 17-Hydroxyprogesterone." I think that it would be better to state that "External T drives LH close to zero and that [somehow] reduces 17-Hydroxyprogesterone." When T is in the body, it does not matter where it came from.

Men do not have any meaningful levels of hCG unless injecting or from a hCG producing testicular cancer.