T Nation

HCG/Testicular Atrophy


Hey Everyone,

Just got a few questions about testicular atrophy. I was wondering why HCG is suggested as only 'optional' in the beginner cycle of the newbie sticky, from what I've read, it seems quite vital to use.

Also HCG was recommended in the cycle to take 250iu 3x weekly, I've seen other people posting threads saying that they've been taking a lot more than that. Don't have any to post as an example sorry. Is the more test being taken, the more HCG neccessary?

I've tried to do research on it, maybe I don't know what to type into google or something. So if anyone could just give me a run down on the basics or point me in the right direction, that'd be great, thanks!


From what I've read from Dr. John Crisler, who is big in the HRT world, 250iu used two days prior and 250iu used the day after the Test administration is sufficient and the the best approach. He said that it can be upped but he has rarely used seen more than 350iu twice weekly needed while being used ON cycle.


Great article, thank you! I appreciate the advise!
It answered a lot of my questions!

I was still planning to do some research into my next question but I'll ask anyway; it is fine to take Arimidex (an AI) and HCG during a cycle isn't it? They don't counteract each other in any way right? I was planning to only take Adex on cycle because I've seen a few posters say with younger men HCG isn't as neccessary. But I think it's best to be safe than sorry.

I've read orals are just as effective as injections in regards to HCG, I was thinking I'd prefer to take an oral even though the needles for HCG are tiny and painless. That way it wouldn't raise any questions with the HCG in the fridge. Does anyone believe differently?


The reason the sticky OP lists hcg as optional is because that is the OP's personal opinion. And if I remember correctly, that sticky was written back some time ago. Times have changed a bit and our understanding of the hormone feedback loop has improved.

There are some that still consider HCG to be optional, but I am definitely not one of them. If you plan on only running one cycle ever (YEAH RIGHT!) then ok, but for men that will be running multiple cycles for the next 20 or so years and shutting their natural production down for 12 weeks or so at a time, I would highly advise its use.

Benefits go beyond just natural testosterone output and include testicular size/fullness, pregnenolone production (which is vital for cortisol production), and possibly even fertility.

A standard dose is 250 iu 2-3x/week. This has been shown to maintain natural T output. You see much higher recommendation elsewhere (even on some suppliers websites!) but these people are not good to listen to. That high of dosage is only needed for a last ditch effort restart for those that have mismanaged their cycles in the past. Those high levels have a chance of destroying your Leydig Cell receptors and may render you hypogonadal.

HCG and AI are fine to run togtether. Recommended actually.

No experience with oral HCG, but I would be skeptical as most orals derived from injectables tend to be bunk. If you are already pinning your AAS, then it is rather simple and painless to just do a Sub C injection of HCG along with it.


Thank you! I really appreciate the information, it's a big help.

I hadn't even thought of an oral HCG originally, then when I was trying to find out more about HCG, I came across an article where it stated that studies proved oral HCG was more effective with less risks/side effects. That was just one article of course, so I wouldn't base my assumptions off just that, but it gives me a reason to look into it further!


I wouldn't buy it...I have seen opinions that the peptide is much too large to be absorbed orally, across the mucous membrane. May or may not be true...but I don't know of any doctors prescribing oral HCG. I don't think legit pharma-grade oral HCG even exists. There's a pretty big market for it as a fertility drug, and nobody likes giving themselves shots (OK, maybe a few people do) so if an oral form were possible I would think it'd be out there by now...stands to reason.

Most of the time you see the oral stuff, it is in "homeopathic dilution" for the HCG diet fad, which is to say there's a fraction of a percent (or none at all) of the peptide present. But when people miraculously lose weight on the stuff (oh, and by the way, a 500-calorie diet) they will swear by it!!! My suspicion is that most of these snake oils don't contain any at all, since it would be an illegal sale of a prescription drug...FDA has stated that it doesn't care about the dilution.

In any case, what are the supposed side effects or risks at the doses we use (250iu 2-3x/wk)? I have had nothing but positives since I added HCG to my TRT regimen...it's good stuff and I consider it essential.

From my understanding there is no benefit to using more than the usual dose...and possibly some harm, as you could desensitize the Leydig cells and that will impact your natural production ability in the future. The only point of HCG is to keep the testes functioning while you're taking exogenous T, since it mimics the LH/FSH which are diminished or shut down by taking T.