T Nation

Pinning hCG ED?

All of my observations have been conducted using the “gonad-ometer”, a subjective assessment of testicle size performed independently by my wife and I.

After two weeks of 600mg/week test enanthate + 25mg dianabol pre-training (3x week), the gonad-ometer registered a decrease in size of 50-60%. At this point I started 250iu hCG 2x/week, which restored the boys to roughly 80-90% of their original size.

At week 5, I switched from enanthate to prop due to potential allergy issues with the TE (six separate instances of idiopathic angioedemas over 2.5 weeks). Coming off the enanthate resolved the angioedemas, and I started pinning 250iu hCG 3x/week (since this is the usual recommendation, and I was pinning prop ED anyway). This caused no change in size over biweekly injections.

A week ago I decided to try a little experiment and pin hCG every day with the same weekly dosage - Sunday and Wednesday 125iu, 100iu other days. This has restored my testicles to nearly 100% of their pre-cycle size.

The reading I did suggests that the doses are not high enough to induce Leydig cell desensitization. Since the H and P portions of the HPTA are suppressed anyway, I would think that the additional suppression from the hCG should not be an issue.

Two questions:

  1. Is the gonad-ometer an accurate assessment of testicular function?
  2. If so, then pinning hCG ED seems to be superior to pinning E3D, so why is E3D the recommendation? Daily subq injections are really not a big deal.

Probably just the PITA factor…Its a bit of a bother to pin every day for some people…though I guess if you are pinning prop ED, an extra SC injection shouldn’t matter much. I think its more just out of convenience and the results are similar for less frequent injections.

I think most people are not bothered with maintaing ONE-HUNDRED percent of their original testicle size. Testicular size is also not the determining factor of Leydig cell response to natural LH post-cycle.
I cannot comment on the gonado-meter as I have never come across this.
I cant seem to find any info on the half-life of hCG but this may be something that you may want to look at.
Also I think the scare of leydig cell desensitisation may have lead to the least amount of hCG used to produce results which for most is 250iu/2x a week.

Sorry, that was tongue-in-cheek. I feel my nuts then try to decide how small I think they are. It’s completely subjective.

I’m curious if testicle size is an accurate measure of anything other than response to the action of the hCG. If a change in dosing schedule increases the size of my balls by 10%, does that mean that they are producing 10% more steroid hormones? Does that mean that it will be slightly easier to recover post-cycle, assuming that the Leydig cells respond to endogenous LH normally?

[quote]hockeysledder wrote:

Sorry, that was tongue-in-cheek. I feel my nuts then try to decide how small I think they are. It’s completely subjective.

I’m curious if testicle size is an accurate measure of anything other than response to the action of the hCG. If a change in dosing schedule increases the size of my balls by 10%, does that mean that they are producing 10% more steroid hormones? Does that mean that it will be slightly easier to recover post-cycle, assuming that the Leydig cells respond to endogenous LH normally?
[/quote]

LOL sorry my bad!
No, a 10% increase in testicular volume does not mean a 10% increase in steroid hormones. The size of the testicles is determined by many factors OTHER than steroid hormone production such as leydig cell mass, sertoli cell mass, sperm volume and sperm density to name a few.
In regards to the recovery post-cycle, I can only speak from experience but cannot give you any scientific backup (havent got the time to find any literature at the moment). In my experience, testicular volume has been a determining factor for my recovery post-cycle.
one example I can give you is my previous cycle I pinned my last prop alongside my last hCG jab. My testicles were normal or at least 80%, however I discontinued the hCG too early as within 2 days my testicles had atrophied to around 30% of original size. I proceeded with my SERM PCT (high doses) to no avail, so I blasted hCG 2500iu 3x in a week and within a couple of days testicular size returned alongside my mood, libido and energy.

Now I am not advocating the use of high dose hCG POST-CYCLE, I am merely regurgitating my own experience. For future cycles I now know that if I shut down hard I can blast the hCG with low-dose AI and I will recover very quickly.

Hope that helps.

[quote]Singhbuilder wrote:
I cannot comment on the gonado-meter as I have never come across this. [/quote]

Fucking LMAO…anyway, it’s an interesting theory but I am deathly afraid of desensitizing my leydig cells, so I will stick to the 250 iu 2x week.

Have you tried it that way with HCG before, or is this the first time using it?

[quote]Singhbuilder wrote:
In regards to the recovery post-cycle, I can only speak from experience but cannot give you any scientific backup (havent got the time to find any literature at the moment). In my experience, testicular volume has been a determining factor for my recovery post-cycle.
[/quote]

Intuitively, this makes sense to me. If the T part of the HPTA is already “awake”, it’s just one less confounding variable in recovery. That’s not scientific at all, though.

[quote]Singhbuilder wrote:
one example I can give you is my previous cycle I pinned my last prop alongside my last hCG jab. My testicles were normal or at least 80%, however I discontinued the hCG too early as within 2 days my testicles had atrophied to around 30% of original size.
[/quote]

Hm. That’s odd. Were you injecting the hCG and the prop ED or EOD? Do you remember your dosages? How long did you wait to start SERM PCT?

The HL of hCG seems to be generally taken as 36 hours, even though I think it’s actually biphasic. I think the HL of prop is generally taken as 72 hours, but I’m not convinced that’s really accurate - the only literature I can get my hands on at home suggests that IM test prop causes serum T to rise roughly linearly for 12 hours, then hold constant for another ~12 hours, then decay with a roughly 12 hour half-life.

Some interesting things come out of that model. First, if you want to know what the active amount of TP in your system is, it works out to roughly 1.5x the amount of an ED injection (assuming injections are spaced roughly 24h apart). So if you are injecting 100mg at noon ED, by day 4 you have achieved a steady state average drug activity equivalent to 150mg of TP. Second, 36h after your last shot, the total activity has been reduced by half - equivalent to, in this case 50mg TP ED; 48h after the last shot, your have reached a level equivalent to a replacement dose of ~25mg TP ED; by 3 days after the last shot, the drug activity is equivalent to 4mg TP ED, and you can definitely start PCT.

That suggests that pinning the hCG alongside the prop is about right, since it’s active longer, and you would like it to be out of your system before PCT, as it is, in theory, suppressive.
That entire analysis assumes that the hypothalamus and pituitary begin responding normally once the exogenous test clears.

[quote]Proud_Virgin wrote:

[quote]Singhbuilder wrote:
I cannot comment on the gonado-meter as I have never come across this. [/quote]

Fucking LMAO…anyway, it’s an interesting theory but I am deathly afraid of desensitizing my leydig cells, so I will stick to the 250 iu 2x week.

Have you tried it that way with HCG before, or is this the first time using it?[/quote]

First time using it. I was pushing 250iu 2x/wk for a few weeks, gonadometer read 80%. Upped it to 250iu 3x/wk, gonadometer stayed steady at 80%. Starting pinning smaller amounts ED (still 750iu total per week) and gonadometer is holding steady at roughly 100%. That’s the Cliff’s note of the OP.

Leydig cell desensitization is, based on the reading that I’ve done, a function of the amount of hCG used, not the frequency. 70-75iu ED (rather than 250iu 2x/wk) shouldn’t carry any greater risk of desensitization because peak levels never get very high. In fact, if desensitization is really a function of peak levels, the ED schedule is safer. If it’s a function of AUC instead, I think it’s a push, but I would have to actually plot it to be sure.

I’m kind of curious how little hCG you can get away with on an ED dosing schedule. What if you could get away with 50iu ED or less and maintain 80% on the gonadometer? Surely that would reduce the already low risk of desensitization?

[quote]hockeysledder wrote:
Leydig cell desensitization is, based on the reading that I’ve done, a function of the amount of hCG used, not the frequency. 70-75iu ED (rather than 250iu 2x/wk) shouldn’t carry any greater risk of desensitization because peak levels never get very high. In fact, if desensitization is really a function of peak levels, the ED schedule is safer. If it’s a function of AUC instead, I think it’s a push, but I would have to actually plot it to be sure.[/quote]

This. Otherwise, everyone would be walking around with desensitized Leydig cells since the body naturally releases LH in pulses.

[quote]

I’m kind of curious how little hCG you can get away with on an ED dosing schedule. What if you could get away with 50iu ED or less and maintain 80% on the gonadometer? Surely that would reduce the already low risk of desensitization?[/quote]

I’ve wondered this myself. This would actually be pretty easy to determine in someone with a functioning set of testes and a strong desire for scientific knowledge (and a little bit of cash for blood tests and HCG). Just simply go get bloodwork showing your natural levels. Settle on an ED dosing schedule (I would think around 75-100 iu/day seems about right). Do it for a couple weeks, go get your levels checked again and compare. If you hit your ED dosing correctly, they will be the same.

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:
I’ve wondered this myself. This would actually be pretty easy to determine in someone with a functioning set of testes and a strong desire for scientific knowledge (and a little bit of cash for blood tests and HCG). Just simply go get bloodwork showing your natural levels. Settle on an ED dosing schedule (I would think around 75-100 iu/day seems about right). Do it for a couple weeks, go get your levels checked again and compare. If you hit your ED dosing correctly, they will be the same.
[/quote]

Blood tests are, unfortunately, quite a bit more than a little bit of cash, or I would already be getting one at least monthly on cycle and during PCT. hCG is pretty cheap, though, cheap enough that my experiment probably isn’t really worth it - the difference between 500iu/wk and 750iu/wk is around $3-4/month.

It’s certainly a good idea, though, and obviously I’m curious or I wouldn’t have started this thread…

You can get Test checked for about $50 (I think) on www.privatemdlabs.com

[quote]hockeysledder wrote:
First time using it. I was pushing 250iu 2x/wk for a few weeks, gonadometer read 80%. Upped it to 250iu 3x/wk, gonadometer stayed steady at 80%. Starting pinning smaller amounts ED (still 750iu total per week) and gonadometer is holding steady at roughly 100%. That’s the Cliff’s note of the OP.

Leydig cell desensitization is, based on the reading that I’ve done, a function of the amount of hCG used, not the frequency. 70-75iu ED (rather than 250iu 2x/wk) shouldn’t carry any greater risk of desensitization because peak levels never get very high. In fact, if desensitization is really a function of peak levels, the ED schedule is safer. If it’s a function of AUC instead, I think it’s a push, but I would have to actually plot it to be sure.

I’m kind of curious how little hCG you can get away with on an ED dosing schedule. What if you could get away with 50iu ED or less and maintain 80% on the gonadometer? Surely that would reduce the already low risk of desensitization?[/quote]

You make a good point…I have not done too much research in this area, so I have just been doing the conventional dosing schedule.

I’m guessing it’s just a case of convenience vs. optimal dosing. Man if I had to pin HCG ED in addition to the rest of the stuff, I wouldn’t be able to drink a glass of water without it leaking out.

I’m intrigued. On another board I post on occasionally, the general consensus is to use hCG 250iu two or three times a week during cycle, then to do 500iu a day for ten days after your last pin of test, stopping it 4 days before you start PCT. They say that desensitisation is a myth…

I can’t decide whose advice to follow

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
I’m intrigued. On another board I post on occasionally, the general consensus is to use hCG 250iu two or three times a week during cycle, then to do 500iu a day for ten days after your last pin of test, stopping it 4 days before you start PCT. They say that desensitisation is a myth…

I can’t decide whose advice to follow [/quote]

That would be for Test E or Cyp or a blend like Sustanon. 4 days is enough time for the hCG to clear so you aren’t suppressed for PCT, so that jives with my analysis. If I were using a longer ester, I would definitely keep pinning hCG during the clearing time, but I wouldn’t use 500iu ED. I would use exactly the same amount as I had on cycle - 500iu ED just seems like a wasteful amount

I did some more reading, and it does appear that the dangers of desensitization are vastly overstated - it takes something like 2000iu 3x/week over months to produce desensitization in even a fraction of subjects. Reasonable dosages for TRT patients seem to range somewhere between 250iu 2x/week and 500iu E3D, with some doctors using as much as 1500iu 3x/week (which, based on the literature, is an unnecessarily large amount).

Ideally, one would try to emulate testicular stimulation via LH, but LH is released in pulses and has a half-life of 20 minutes, and there is simply no way to emulate that with hCG, which has a half-life of 36 hours. IMO, the next best thing to do is to use the least amount of hCG possible to produce the desired effect, which, for me, seems to be smaller amounts ED. I am going to have to give myself a couple of larger doses in the next week since I will be travelling and don’t want to have to bring hCG with me, but once I get back I am going to drop my dosage to 75iu ED and report back.

ya ya, for long estered test.

I’m trying to decide now between how much hCG to use between my last pin and PCT. The ten day blast might be a bit excessive because I didn’t run all that heavy a cycle, but then I’ve got enough hCG to do it so I guess you could argue that because I’ve got it, it makes sense to use it. Then again I might just pin 500iu E3D…

decisions, decisions

If you are running hcg throughout your cycle, there is absolutely no reason to “blast” or whatever other nonsense these other boards talk about. It makes no sense. Your balls are already awake and have been the entire time, so why would you increase the dose? (except maybe to produce more test while the exogenous test is leaving your body).

you see, this is the problem with trying to learn shit off the internet

VT, you clearly know your stuff, but the other posters on the other boards also seem to know their stuff. Everyone says something different, and EVERYONE’s got the science to back it up. It just seems to come down to having to having to pick your method see what happens.

i dunno I guess with shit like this I’d just prefer to be overcautious than not cautious enough

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:
Your balls are already awake and have been the entire time, so why would you increase the dose? (except maybe to produce more test while the exogenous test is leaving your body). [/quote]

That would be a possible rationale, but my intuition is that Leydig cells don’t work that way. If they did, you could just inject massive amounts of hCG instead of cycling. For a cell to respond to LH, you only have to activate 1% or so of it’s receptors. My guess is that anything beyond that doesn’t cause much (if any) additional steroidogenesis. Also, at some point, you will totally saturate the cell’s LH receptors, which is exactly when you risk downregulation of the receptors (which is probably what we actually mean when we say desensitization).

I’d also like to know how tightly LH and hCG actually bind to the LH receptors. If hCG is very tightly bound, it could be that the half-life of hCG is entirely unimportant because a very tightly bound ligand can still be signalling the cell long after serum levels are effectively zero.

I hate to link a wikipedia article, but there are a lot of open questions, and it’s a good place to start if you’re interested and have time to dig through studies - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luteinizing_hormone/choriogonadotropin_receptor

I suspect you are right hockey. Was just trying to rationalize why anyone would think blasting at the end would be a good idea.

Agreed that it’s the only reason I can come up with to rationalize a blast like that.

rds, the problem is that unless you actually go and look at the research yourself, you can never really be sure that someone in a forum a) has actually read research and b) actually understands the results, methods, and the statistics used to report the results. You either have to muddle through and decide who is trustworthy or go read the research on your own, which is very time consuming.

Another problem is that a lot of these studies are either ill-informed, use non-standard populations, or use insane doses of drugs to animals. Go read the clen thread on the first page if you want to see a perfect example of how stupid some of these studies are, and how actually interpreting the results is sometimes non-trivial.

There’s just not a lot of money in researching PEDs due to the stigma. If the NFL dropped their drug policy tomorrow, by August we would have a hundred peer reviewed studies on safe and effective PED use.