T Nation

Polycythemia and Aspirin

First: I’m months away from starting my first cycle. This one of several questions (and a possible solution I want to run by y’all) I have after not seeing it directly addressed in the forum…

Testosterone and other androgens (for our purposes I’ll lump them together as test) have a stimulating effect that can cause polycythemia. Polycythemia is the thickening of the blood (an increase in hemoglobin, hematocrit, or red blood cell count). Thicker blood increases the risk of stroke (among other not-so-fun things).

There are higher instances of polycythemia among patients who inject test, and the likelihood of developing polycythemia appears to be connected to the amount of test injected.

A common way to manage this is to donate blood. Donating pint of blood will apparently lower hematocrit by ~3%.

I’m gay, and can’t donate blood without staying celibate for 2 years (not gonna happen), and I doubt very highly my doc will prescribe a therapeutic phlebotomy for blood tests she didn’t order.

I have no desire to bloodlet myself at home.

Has anyone else on this board had to deal with being unable to give blood and then having test-induced polycythemia?

Has anyone used a baby aspirin daily during their cycle? Some doctors recommend the use of a baby aspirin (81 mg) a day and 2,000 to 4,000 mg a day of omega-3 fatty acids (Udos oils or fish oil capsules) to help lower blood viscosity. This is what I’m considering adding to my 8 week cycle instead of donating blood by having to lie about myself.

First I’m in the same boat as you (kinda) that I am not permitted to donate blood due to some of the places I’ve traveled and I am on Dr prescribed TRT (I also occasionally augment my TRT with other AAS use) and am prone to polycythemia. My Dr. just drains a unit of blood from me every so often when/iif my #s start to get high. I can’t imagine that your doc wouldn’t just do the same especially if you just suggested it to them.
As you your last point I do supplement with a quality Omega 3/6 product (around 6 grams ED) and it has really helped.

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First off, thanks for the reply. Where in the world did you travel to?

Also can you be more specific on how the omega 3/6 helped?

Hey, my gf is trans so im in the same category. I have been on Test a while and its not a guarantee that you have to donate blood due to increase in blood cells. I did run Equipose once and that compound will cause the most thickening. I got by without donating and like an idiot only ran it for 12 weeks.
Long story short if your doing just Test dont worry about it man.

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I was in Europe during the period of all the ‘mad cow’ stuff as well as the middle east in areas that are consider malaria prone. The Red Cross has a metric that adds up all the time you’ve been in health hot spots and has me deferred from donating. I wasn’t sure how long the deferment was for so I tried to donate a unit of blood a couple of months ago when the bloodmobile was at my office; their computer flagged my name and they wouldn’t even draw my blood.
Anyway back to your question…
My answer is purely subjective and anecdotal so take it for whatever you think it’s worth. When I was on just a very basic TRT regimen ~100 mg Test C /wk I would first notice my face/skin becoming red to the point that folks at work would occasionally comment that it looked like I had either been out in the sun or on vacation (when I hadn’t). I could physically feel and see when it was getting time to do a phlebotomy. My blood tests would show something like this (taken directly from one report):
RBC 6.35 (range 4.14 - 5.8)
Hemoglobin 20.8 (range 12.6 - 17.7)
Hematocrit 58.4 (range 37.5 - 51.0)

What I can tell you now is that for the past 3-4 months I’ve been taking a significantly higher dose of Test than I was then and the only thing I’ve changed that I can imagine having any impact on my blood count #s is the introduction of the Omega 3-6 product. Unfortunately I don’t have a blood test to prove it (but will in late May).