T Nation

Steroids & Libido


Hey folks,

I plan on using steroids in a couple of years and would like to add to my knowledge as much as possible. I've read the excellent sticky threads but I've got a couple of questions for the experienced guys.
It seems no matter what testosterone based steroid is used there are always some libido/ED issues in the process... am I correct in saying this or is it over-hyped? Are there steroids that will have zero negative impact on libido? This may be a stupid question but I am pretty ignorant on the topic.



Define "testosterone-based steroid"

The main causes for libido problems are: low levels of DHT (testosterone -> DHT via 5-Alpha reductase enzyme), too low or too high estrogen, elevated prolactin levels. Not in any specific order.

Its somewhat easy to predict what will happen if just one steroid is used. It gets more complicated when steroids are stacked.

Zero impact on libido is tough to say. It will vary in different people. Some steroids will definitely increase libido though. Not all steroids with a reputation for lowering libido will have the same effect in everyone.

Most of this is just my opinion. Its not a comprehensive breakdown by any means.


In my experience, when on test, libido goes up significantly. Some drugs like deca (19-nors) are known to cause a decrease in libido, especially when not enough test is run with them. It's after the cycle, before and during PCT, that most report problems with libido. In my experience in PCT with nolva, there were definitely times when I wish I had a weiner pill on hand...


Thanks for the replies.
By testosterone based steroid, I mean stuff that does not include HGH, IGF-1,insulin etc, basically a steroid that will raise testosterone.
The libido aspect is the only thing that worries me. I have some well informed friends that have told me that negative sides can be avoided by ensuring that the testosterone/cortisol ratio is not significantly altered when using, but this can only be done with very frequent blood work. Of course the alternative is to accept the sides and deal with them using anti-Es etc. Thoughts?



hGH, IGF-1, and insulin are not steroid hormones. The rest of your post is confusing, and I think you need to do more research. For example, when you say that you should maintain a testosterone/cortisol ratio, do you realise than some AAS suppress cortisol, while others do not?


I doubt cortisol levels will have a significant enough effect to cause any problems. If it's your first cycle, run test only and see if you can control your libido. You'll feel like a 10-year-old afraid to walk around with your random erections and you'll want sex constantly. Even during PCT, you won't have huge problems. Just keep nolva on the lower end (20mg/day) and you'll be fine. Maybe a couple times it'll be harder to get up but it never stopped me. Trust me, libido is the last thing you need to worry about until you get more experienced and start using other compounds.


Yes more research is definately needed, probably another 2 years worth!
The whole testosterone/cortisol ratio is something I'm trying to learn more about as it seems to be the ideal way to dope. I understand that if this ratio is altered significantly (e.g if testosterone goes up 10 times while cortisol remains at the same level) then the user will experience the negative sides as well as fail doping controls.
Can you name some of the AAS that suppress cortisol?



Thanks for the advice. What you've said looks simple and promising.
A few questions:

  1. What would your opinion be on running very small doses of test for short cycles of about 2-3 weeks with 6 weeks off? I'm not too concerned with gaining mass only improved speed,power and work capacity. The steroid use would coincide with an increased training load.

  2. Can you apply some time frames to what you've mentioned above? e.g how long before you noticed that the steroid was out of your system, how long it took before you could go off everything including the nolva and feel fine?

  3. About the erections, OK I've no problem with it taking a bit longer to get an erection during PCT but can you comment on the firmness of them when you did get one? (embarassing question but I need to know this)

Thanks again


Dianabol and Nandrolone would be the obvious ones to mention.


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  1. I haven't done any short cycles but it's the new way to go for a lot've guys and I'd like to try it myself sometime. But, 6 weeks off after 2/3 weeks on and rotating seems unbalanced. Based on what I've read, 2-3-2-3-2-6, 3-4-3-4-3-8, 2-2-2-2-2-4, etc. are great short cycles, as opposed to 2-6-2-6... Just make sure to eat more when on if you want to get the most out've it.

  2. I honestly couldn't even tell when the test was out've my system because it's a very gradual process. My last cycle was 650mg/wk Test cyp for 11 weeks. I felt the mental effects of the test immediately (obviously all in my head) and felt the physical effects (ie libido increase) probably a week and a half in, if I'm remembering correctly. I did a 6-week PCT of 20mg nolva per day. My libido didn't "crash" until the second week and lasted for about 2 weeks. During those two weeks, my sex drive and performance went significantly down but by no means was I held down by it.

Throughout most of my PCT, I actually felt completely normal though. I was expecting bad sides but really, if I didn't know I had done a cycle, I might not have even suspected anything. Weeks 2 and 3 of the PCT I experienced intermediate depression various times throughout the day and got emotional at the slightest things. They were by far the hardest weeks of it all but they didn't even compare to the 11 weeks of feeling like a god and then the 4 weeks in the PCT where I felt completely normal

  1. I have no problem answering any personal questions like that you have. Erection firmness during those two weeks was definitely down. At times when doing the business, I would go in at an angle and it would bend and come out, if you can picture that... BUT from weeks 2-11 on test and the 2 weeks between cycle and PCT, erection firmness was rock solid. MUCH firmer than usual. My point is, if you have some type of concern about your erections, like it seems you do since you focus on them in your questions, if you were to do a cycle like mine you would end up trading 2 weeks of decreased libido and erection stiffness for 14 weeks of the opposite. Pretty damn good deal if you ask me.

In your case, a series of short cycles would have milder effects at every side: Milder increase in libido, milder decrease in libido, smoother transitions, just less drastic effects overall- both good and bad.


The only steroid that raises testosterone levels is testosterone. All the others will shut down testosterone production if run long enough at high enough dose.

HGH and Insulin are not steroids.

Anti-E is a horrible term. THere are SERMs and AIs. They are different classes of drugs and do different things. What are you referring to?

How would an AI or SERM help a problem caused by your theory of messed up testosterone/cortisol ratio?


Thanks for the detailed response, I've got everything I need to know from this and it sounds pretty straightforward. It's great to be able to get this info, much appreciated bro.


Hey I'm not claiming to be an expert here.
I don't care if you think anti-E is a horrible term, I think most people understood what I meant even if it is the wrong term.
What I was trying to convey was a method of doping used by a former swimmer I know. He had access to daily blood work and their objective was to only use the steroids when his natural testosterone was dropping from overtraining. They only used them to restore the natural testosterone/cortisol ratio. As a result he was able to withstand constant heavy training with no side effects. At least this is how interpreted what he was trying to say.

P.S It pisses me off to the point of rage when someone who obviously knows a great deal about a topic focuses down on mistakes made by someone who has very little knowlege of the topic. Don't do that.


it amazes me to realize after reading these posts on how little I actually know about all this stuff..


It was my pleasure bro. If you have anymore questions and I don't see them posted, feel free to PM me. I am by no means an expert, but I've done my reading and have some experience so I'll do what I can


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I honestly have no idea what drug you are talking about because as I said SERMs and AIs are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT drugs.

Thanks for telling me what to do. Ill definitely listen to you.

You took my post as an attack on you. It wasnt. I corrected a mistake you made by confusing peptides with steroid hormones. I EXPLAINED my reason for why 'anti-e' may lead to confusion. And I asked you a question so you could explain and elaborate an extremely vague part of your post.

So maybe you need to grow the fuck up and avoid being hostile at the first possible chance. It's not going to do you any good.


I started this thread to ASK questions, I didn't expext a string of questions blasted at me from an expert, especially since I stated in my first post that I am ignorant on the topic, so I interpreted your post as being smart assed.
However, I see now that you were just trying to clarify my post and I was too quick to turn hostile, so I appologise for that. It's difficult to understand the tone of a conversation when you're not face to face.
None the less I've gotten some great info here and thanks to everyone for that.