Sorry for the delay. So backing up a bit.
Here were my numbers for most of the 15 years after Propecia:
Testosterone, Serum: 407 (348 - 1197)
Testosterone, Free: 10.13 (5 - 21)
% Free Testosterone: 2.49 (1.5 - 4.2)
Estradiol, Sensitive: 6 (3 - 70)
TSH: 1.7 (0.4 - 4.5)
Thyroxine: 10 (4.5 - 12)
T3 Uptake: 32 (24 - 39)
Year and a half ago prior to starting HRT:
Depression, No motivation, Bouts of extreme depression, go nowhere, do nothing, work from home, no vitality, no interest, no libido, terrible sleep quality, weak as hell in the gym, hair falling out. Emotions were unstable as hell. No control over my reaction to stress."
Testosterone Serum: 295 (348-1197) LOW
Testosterone Free: 7.61 (5 - 21)
% Free Testosterone: 2.5 (1.5 - 4.2)
DHT: 28 (30 - 85) LOW
DHEA Serum (i got the wrong one, should’ve gotten DHEA-S): 132 (31 - 701)
LH: 5.0 (1.7 - 8.6)
FSH: 3.9 (1.5 - 12.4)
Prolactin: 12.6 (4.0 - 15.2)
Estradiol, Sensitive: 8 (3 - 70)
SHBG: 33.8 (16.5 - 55.9)
Pregnenolone MS: 79 ( < 151)
After 2 weeks on Clomid 12mg:
Week 1 on Clomid - felt unbelievable. Depression literally dissolved within 24 hours of first administration. Sleep was deep and satisfying for a few days. Libido strong. Strength returned in Gym.
Week 2 on Clomid 12mg - Felt unwell. Body odor increased dramatically. Headaches. Hot flashes. Night sweats. Poor sleep. Feelings of aggression and easily irritated. Generally felt unwell.
Very strange afternoon bouts of severe depression. So depressed that I would lay in fetal position on couch every day at around 5pm for the rest of the evening. Worst emotional feeling ever. No motivation to go anywhere or do anything."
Testosterone Serum: 885 (348 - 1197)
Testosterone Free: 23.3 (5 - 21) HIGH
% Free Testosterone: 2.63 (1.5 - 4.2)
DHEA Sulfate: 210 (102 - 416)
DHEA Serum: 131 (31 - 701)
LH: 8.7 (1.7 - 8.6) HIGH
FSH: 6.3 (1.5 - 12.4)
Proactin: 7.9 (4 - 15)
Estradiol Sensitive: 18 (3 - 70)
Lowered dose to 6.5mg and added DHEA 5mg sublingual.
After 3 weeks:
Depression gone. Sleep acceptably normal. Energy Good. Productive workouts. Hair Loss finally stopped. Libido blah. Recovery time a solid 3-4 days before felt any slight interest again.
SHBG: 45.3 (16 - 56)
Kept with the regimen and tested again after 7 weeks of Clomid 6.5 and DHEA 5mg:
Everything still pretty great. This was my sweet spot for now. But libido still blah. Full 4 days for any interest to resurface after releasing.
Tested only my T:
Decided at this point that 550 was insufficient for me, and that I needed to get my Estrogen and DHT back to where they should be. Clomid and DHEA were giving me a break from feeling miserable, but were keeping my E and DHT down. And I didn’t want to stay on the stuff forever. Goal at this point was to get my E2 up to about 25 again, and get my Testosterone to about 700 and maintain.
8 months Clomid 6.5 / DHEA 5mg:
Estradiol: 8.1 (7 - 42)
My notes regarding the 366 T levels below:
Switched to Androgel, half-postage-stamp size dose of gel. After 1 month: Was feeling really quite good. Libido actually improved a bit for the first time, so I was surprised to see that my testosterone was only 366. I can usually accurately guess my T levels, but that’s been in the setting of having Estrogen around 8 and DHT around 12 for many years. Apparently getting Estrogen up to where it should be, and getting DHT in a normal range again helped me feel a lot better even without the Testosterone. This teaches me (at least for my body) that its a worthwhile endeavor to get my T levels at around 650 and also get my Estrogen at 25-sh and DHT out of the teens. Not JUST get my testosterone levels up. However I should note that at 52 (below) DHT I started losing hair again. So maybe my goal should be 30’s or 40’s. I was unable to find any information online about average DHT levels by age, or recommended DHT levels."
Testosterone, Total: 366 (250 - 1100)
Testosterone, Free: 52 (35 - 155)
DHT: 54 (16 - 79)
Here are my notes from the 448 Testosterone results below:
Half-postage-stamp size dose - one on each shoulder. After 2 months: Hair Loss seems to have plateaued a bit. No longer accelerating like it was. Libido is okay. I don’t feel any drastic improvement in this area. Unfortunately I did not write anything else after seeing the below test results, about how I was feeling. That typically means (for me) that all is well, and the remaining problem is getting my Hair Loss and Libido where I want them. So basically - an increase of Testosterone around 100 points, but no real change in libido. Coincidentally (?) the results also show now real change in DHT/Estrogen. So again I wonder if they are pretty influential in libido. More than Testosterone. Or maybe they’re right where they should be, and everyone’s waiting for my Testosterone levels to get where THEY should be (600’s).
Testosterone, Total: 448
Testosterone, Free: 48
Notes prior to the below test results:
I decided to up my Androgel dose a bit, to try and get my Testosterone levels up. I tried putting it in a smaller skin-surface area to not increase DHT. Apparently didn’t work (on the DHT). And apparently my tiny bump in Testosterone dose didn’t do much either. Libido has been basically “nothing” according to my notes. Strange. Maybe DHT is too high now… although E2 has dropped a bit also. Confusing.
Testosterone, Total: 453
Testosterone, Free: 7.3
Like an idiot I started applying Androgel to legs and buttocks. Totally forgot about the skin-surface-area-DHT thing, and as you can see from below I just shot my DHT sky high by doing this. Had some pretty severe testicle aching during this period as well, including migraines, and dizziness, and nausea. Libido has been complete flatline the whole time. Been doing phlebotomy to keep my hematocrit down as well.
Testosterone, Total: 434
DHT: 105 HIGH
Current: Added HCG Sublingual 500 IU. Switched to Androgel 1.62. Will test in several weeks.
So all of this to say - if I do a restart, how would you approach it if you were me?
My goal right now is libido. I can’t keep going through life without one.