T Nation

My HRT Journey So Far

My HRT journey began when I followed the advice of many on this forum and had both my total and free testosterone checked.

My baseline values were total = 322 (reference range 250-1100) and free = 67.2 (reference range 34.0 - 155.0).

My doctor immediately started me on 5g of Androgel. After one month on Androgel, my numbers read total = 471 and free = 121.

I was dismayed by the small increase in total, but heartened by the doubling of the free.

I am now on 10g of Androgel for a month and will report back with my blood levels.

Any input would be well received.

Hi Lizard. I have been on Agel for over a year. Went from 292 to 892. I’m not sure how long the ramp up took, but a couple of things:

I also have taken steps to to raise my T levels normally. Look around this site, and you will find numerous posts addressing this. This may be part of the increase I am seeing. Been a while since I had blood work done, though, I may want to do another check soon.

You will find a lot of “HRT is forever, man. Don’t do it unless you are ready to do it forever”. I don’t buy it. Too many people doing much larger doses of T for long periods of time and bouncing back fine.

What really matters isn’t the number, but how you feel. I am assuming you were symptomatic before the gel. Do you feel better? This is what counts, not the number.

Nut shrinkage - none.

[quote]hankr wrote:
You will find a lot of “HRT is forever, man. Don’t do it unless you are ready to do it forever”. I don’t buy it. Too many people doing much larger doses of T for long periods of time and bouncing back fine.
[/quote]

If you are on TRT for a longer term without HCG, if you then quit, your hormones will crash. As you are already having trouble, and for most older, you will not bounce back like a younger guy post cycle. Your testes may be damaged and not be able to get back to where you were. So in reality, once your hormone levels get low and you feel wrong and seek therapy, you will not want to stop TRT, so that’s really the meaning of “forever”. No so much a trap, but a lifelong commitment to taking care of the problem.

As for HCG, I feel that using that should be the norm, not the exception. The problem is the stigma against injection that the transdermal manufactures are milking. It hard to push transdermals then suggest that everyone needs to inject HCG! So the system is stacked against injections and transdermals are where the huge profits are generated.

As for testes shrinking, a decent TRT dose, like 100mg/week of test cyp, will fully suppress LH and testicular function*. If a few feel that their nuts are not shrinking or hurting, they have no business suggesting to all that there is not a serious problem of this nature for most.

  • no so much in some young men, but for older guys needing TRT, when you triple the TT levels, you are then so much higher than where the body wanted to be, that the feedback system will shut down LH.

[quote]KSman wrote:
hankr wrote:
You will find a lot of “HRT is forever, man. Don’t do it unless you are ready to do it forever”. I don’t buy it. Too many people doing much larger doses of T for long periods of time and bouncing back fine.

If you are on TRT for a longer term without HCG, if you then quit, your hormones will crash. As you are already having trouble, and for most older, you will not bounce back like a younger guy post cycle. Your testes may be damaged and not be able to get back to where you were. So in reality, once your hormone levels get low and you feel wrong and seek therapy, you will not want to stop TRT, so that’s really the meaning of “forever”. No so much a trap, but a lifelong commitment to taking care of the problem.

As for HCG, I feel that using that should be the norm, not the exception. The problem is the stigma against injection that the transdermal manufactures are milking. It hard to push transdermals then suggest that everyone needs to inject HCG! So the system is stacked against injections and transdermals are where the huge profits are generated.

As for testes shrinking, a decent TRT dose, like 100mg/week of test cyp, will fully suppress LH and testicular function*. If a few feel that their nuts are not shrinking or hurting, they have no business suggesting to all that there is not a serious problem of this nature for most.

  • no so much in some young men, but for older guys needing TRT, when you triple the TT levels, you are then so much higher than where the body wanted to be, that the feedback system will shut down LH.
    [/quote]

I agree, to a point. I think this is a highly individual thing. All I have to go on are my own experience and what I read here. I have no shrinkage - but I am only doing 5gm / day - nowhere close to 100 / week. Maybe if I was doing injections, my results and response to the OP would be different. There are posts here from those who have done what I would consider long high dose cycles and they are fine.

All any of us can do is gather all the info we can find, and make a careful risk / beneftis judgement.
caveat emptor

[quote]hankr wrote:

I agree, to a point. I think this is a highly individual thing. All I have to go on are my own experience and what I read here. I have no shrinkage - but I am only doing 5gm / day - nowhere close to 100 / week. Maybe if I was doing injections, my results and response to the OP would be different. There are posts here from those who have done what I would consider long high dose cycles and they are fine.

All any of us can do is gather all the info we can find, and make a careful risk / beneftis judgement.
caveat emptor[/quote]

You’re comparing dosages of different delivery methods.

10 grams of A daily for two years for me has shrunk me down beyond pea size. However, that is a lot better than having two basketballs that function no better than filling air space in your jeans.

[quote]hankr wrote:
Hi Lizard. I have been on Agel for over a year. Went from 292 to 892. I’m not sure how long the ramp up took, but a couple of things:

I also have taken steps to to raise my T levels normally. Look around this site, and you will find numerous posts addressing this. This may be part of the increase I am seeing. Been a while since I had blood work done, though, I may want to do another check soon.

You will find a lot of “HRT is forever, man. Don’t do it unless you are ready to do it forever”. I don’t buy it. Too many people doing much larger doses of T for long periods of time and bouncing back fine.

What really matters isn’t the number, but how you feel. I am assuming you were symptomatic before the gel. Do you feel better? This is what counts, not the number.

Nut shrinkage - none.
[/quote]

Thank you for responding. I was encouraged by your statement that your buildup to 892 was a gradual process. What was your dosage each month? Did you adjust it up or down? How long do you feel it took to reach 892?

[quote]Avoids Roids wrote:
hankr wrote:

I agree, to a point. I think this is a highly individual thing. All I have to go on are my own experience and what I read here. I have no shrinkage - but I am only doing 5gm / day - nowhere close to 100 / week. Maybe if I was doing injections, my results and response to the OP would be different. There are posts here from those who have done what I would consider long high dose cycles and they are fine.

All any of us can do is gather all the info we can find, and make a careful risk / beneftis judgement.
caveat emptor

You’re comparing dosages of different delivery methods.

10 grams of A daily for two years for me has shrunk me down beyond pea size. However, that is a lot better than having two basketballs that function no better than filling air space in your jeans.
[/quote]

Thank you for responding but I’m somewhat discouraged to hear of the shrinkage issues.

I am only 45 and want to marry and have children, so I might have to give up the convenience of transdermals (if they get me to the right levels) and go with injectables.

[quote]Easter Lizard wrote:
hankr wrote:
Hi Lizard. I have been on Agel for over a year. Went from 292 to 892. I’m not sure how long the ramp up took, but a couple of things:

I also have taken steps to to raise my T levels normally. Look around this site, and you will find numerous posts addressing this. This may be part of the increase I am seeing. Been a while since I had blood work done, though, I may want to do another check soon.

You will find a lot of “HRT is forever, man. Don’t do it unless you are ready to do it forever”. I don’t buy it. Too many people doing much larger doses of T for long periods of time and bouncing back fine.

What really matters isn’t the number, but how you feel. I am assuming you were symptomatic before the gel. Do you feel better? This is what counts, not the number.

Nut shrinkage - none.

Thank you for responding. I was encouraged by your statement that your buildup to 892 was a gradual process. What was your dosage each month? Did you adjust it up or down? How long do you feel it took to reach 892?[/quote]

My first blood work after starting HRT was about 8 months later, so somewhat sooner than that. Again, no shrinkage here.

[quote]hankr wrote:
Easter Lizard wrote:
hankr wrote:
Hi Lizard. I have been on Agel for over a year. Went from 292 to 892. I’m not sure how long the ramp up took, but a couple of things:

I also have taken steps to to raise my T levels normally. Look around this site, and you will find numerous posts addressing this. This may be part of the increase I am seeing. Been a while since I had blood work done, though, I may want to do another check soon.

You will find a lot of “HRT is forever, man. Don’t do it unless you are ready to do it forever”. I don’t buy it. Too many people doing much larger doses of T for long periods of time and bouncing back fine.

What really matters isn’t the number, but how you feel. I am assuming you were symptomatic before the gel. Do you feel better? This is what counts, not the number.

Nut shrinkage - none.

Thank you for responding. I was encouraged by your statement that your buildup to 892 was a gradual process. What was your dosage each month? Did you adjust it up or down? How long do you feel it took to reach 892?

My first blood work after starting HRT was about 8 months later, so somewhat sooner than that. Again, no shrinkage here.[/quote]

May I ask your dosage?

[quote]Easter Lizard wrote:
hank you for responding but I’m somewhat discouraged to hear of the shrinkage issues.

I am only 45 and want to marry and have children[/quote]

From what I understand, people in your situation might want to have some sperm stored away in a sperm bank for safe-keeping.

I have also heard here on that there are treatments along w HRT that can keep our testicles stimulated to continue producing.

Tell your doctor of your concerns about having children –

[quote]e-loo wrote:
Easter Lizard wrote:
hank you for responding but I’m somewhat discouraged to hear of the shrinkage issues.

I am only 45 and want to marry and have children

From what I understand, people in your situation might want to have some sperm stored away in a sperm bank for safe-keeping.

I have also heard here on that there are treatments along w HRT that can keep our testicles stimulated to continue producing.

Tell your doctor of your concerns about having children –

[/quote]

I will definitely do that, my friend. I am in the process of finding a good endo who has experience in these matters.

Has anyone on here taken the sperm bank route?

[quote]Easter Lizard wrote:

May I ask your dosage?[/quote]

You missed this above:

hankr wrote:

I agree, to a point. I think this is a highly individual thing. All I have to go on are my own experience and what I read here. I have no shrinkage - but I am only doing 5gm / day - nowhere close to 100 / week. Maybe if I was doing injections, my results and response to the OP would be different. There are posts here from those who have done what I would consider long high dose cycles and they are fine.

[quote]KSman wrote:
Easter Lizard wrote:

May I ask your dosage?

You missed this above:

hankr wrote:

I agree, to a point. I think this is a highly individual thing. All I have to go on are my own experience and what I read here. I have no shrinkage - but I am only doing 5gm / day - nowhere close to 100 / week. Maybe if I was doing injections, my results and response to the OP would be different. There are posts here from those who have done what I would consider long high dose cycles and they are fine. [/quote]

I did see that, but I was asking Avoid Roids. :slight_smile:

[quote]KSman wrote:
Easter Lizard wrote:

May I ask your dosage?

You missed this above:

hankr wrote:

I agree, to a point. I think this is a highly individual thing. All I have to go on are my own experience and what I read here. I have no shrinkage - but I am only doing 5gm / day - nowhere close to 100 / week. Maybe if I was doing injections, my results and response to the OP would be different. There are posts here from those who have done what I would consider long high dose cycles and they are fine. [/quote]

I did see that, but I was asking Avoid Roids. :slight_smile: