HCG, water retention, and bloating

I was hoping to get your thoughts and allow others with a similar issue to revisit and share what has come of their water retention/bloating issues surrounding HCG.

I have been on TRT now for one year. For the first 6-months it was just testosterone alone. The doctor recommended HCG, but because it is so expensive he said it was up to me if I want to try it. In October of 2023, six months after being on testosterone alone, I began HCG.

I’ve yet to determine with the doctor if HCG is the cause, but I have had so many symptoms that I thought would be linked to estrogen dominance (high e2), but I just had my blood checked and estrogen is fine:

Total T: 933.4 ng/dL
% free T: 32.1
Test F+W bound: 299.6 ng/dL
Estradiol: 23.9 pg/mL

I was surprised to see e2 in normal range, because I have had so much abdominal, chest, love handles, etc. significantly increase in size. I was almost certain it was e2, but it appears some people respond to HCG with significant water retention. I feel like I’m wearing a fat suit in my mid section. I have mood swings, bouts of sadness, become stressed easily, and this has been going on for about 6 months now since I started the HCG. Also have a hard time maintaining erections I even lack the energy and desire to workout like I had in the first 6-months on Test.

Anyone else experience this?

I am taking 0.4mL of test cyp 2x weekly
1/2 tab of AI
1mL (1000 units) of HCG 2x weekly (I feel this is high given others #s)

Testosterone increases aldosterone produced in adrenal glands, which enters the kidneys, and tells the kidneys to absorb more sodium and sodium, carries water.

This leads to fluid retention which can cause blood pressure spikes and anxiety. Many continue to blame estrogen as the cause.

I feel like you’re leaving something out.

What’s the primary motivation for being on hCG, let alone for 6 months with all these side effects?

I’m simply taking the hcg to see how I feel on it. I have no plans for any more children, so it’s purely to keep the testicles normal size. I don’t need hcg.

I guess I’m not sure why you would start HCG. If you not concerned with shrinkage and you don’t plan on having any more kids. Were you not doing well on Test mono therapy?
Anyways, if you feel like you have given the HCG a fair chance as an addition to your therapy and it has not proven any benefit. Then maybe just drop it and see if the water weight subsides.

I started test cyp in March 2023. Doctor said he usually puts patients on HCG with it to prevent atrophy, but with prices so high it was up to me if I wanted to do it. From March-Oct 2023 I was on test and AI alone. It was great.

I was experiencing the atrophy, but with no pain. I wanted to see what life was like with HCG and getting back full size and function of testicles. Doctor said it would return back to normal size/function within six months. I began taking 1000 units = 1 mL 2x weekly per his instruction starting Oct 2023.

Thing is, in May 2023, I got blood work done showing high estrogen after starting test. I was supposed to get blood work done last fall, but we had some extended family issues and I am in med school, plus a husband and father to 9-year old twins. So though I continued the test and Hcg during a difficult time, I did not get anymore bloodwork done.

I assumed that all of the issues I was experiencing was due to a continued high level of estrogen, but when I just got my last labs done last week my estrogen is right where it needs to be which now makes me think Hcg is the culprit. Process of elimination.

So I reached out to all of you before my appt on Wednesday to see what others thought.

I would actually try dropping the AI and see how you feel. Your Androgen to Estrogen ratio should (according to Nelson Vergel) be between 14-20.
So you’d take your TT if 933/14=66 and 933/20=46 so your “ideal” range for that TT level would be 46-66 estradiol.

You could also try dropping your HCG dose down too to 300-700 range and see how you feel. But dropping the AI would be my first step

1 Like

I had anxiety/water issues on Tcyp. they all went away with daily Tprop injection. I feel amazing on HCG. high doses. even up to 3x2000IU /week. I used reliablerx hcg from india, either sanofi or zyhcg, which is 20-30$/10k IU to updosing not a cost issue.
but the HCG ramps my libido like 5x. the higher the more. with T there is a sweet spot (somewhere 20-30mg/daily) where higher goes south. have not seen an upper dose on HCG yet, since I went Tprop. on Tcyp HCG gave ma anxiety and all kind of issues, could be very wall due to BP/water etc


T-prop and hCG will get out of your system faster (shorter half-life) than cypionate, bodybuilders for years have claimed enanthate has less fluid retention than cypionate.

So T-prop should in theory cause even less fluid retention.

Thanks for the feedback everyone, this is also for anyone in the future who is looking for a potential answer.

Met with my doctor, and it is in line with what some of you said. He believes that with the combination of Test and HCG that it increased cortisol which explains the anxiety, stress, etc.

Now, whether the HCG is causing water retention is another matter. The increased cortisol may have led to “cortisol belly” as it is often termed. So although I gained weight in my midsection, it’s up in the air as to whether it is water retention or fat accumulation. I have been in a caloric deficit, but the increased cortisol may have tanked my metabolism and basal metabolic rate until I was ultimately eating in a surplus. That is left to be determined.

I am off the HCG, managing cortisol with stress reduction and supplementation, staying on my original TRT protocol. The only other thing is that I am reducing my AI to increase my estrogen a bit. This goes back to the individual speaking of the Test:estrogen ratio.

Sounds good keep us posted.
What supplements did the Dr. recommend for Cortisol suppression?

Integrative medicine has one called “Cortisol Manager,” it is the only one on the market by that name. He recommends taking 2-3 pills before bed.

I’m not sure if I can add links to this or not, but I just checked Amazon and they have Cortisol Manager in stock for $25

1 Like

phosphatidylserine balances cortisol, however i’m not super certain cortisol is the issue here. its a long shot at best.

1 Like