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Still Shutdown 6 Months After Cycle. Looking for Advice?




  • 24
  • 5’9
  • 178lbs
  • ~15% BF

After some poor decisioning and evidently not enough research I decided to run my first cycle. My cycle consisted of Test E @ 500mg p/w for 10 weeks, Anavar at 75mg p/d for 8 weeks, HCG at 500iu p/w for 10 weeks and Arimidex at 0.5mg EOD. My PCT (which was inadequate) was Nolva only at 80/40/40/20/20.

My last dose of Test was on 17/04/16. I continued my AI and HCG dose for 2 weeks. I then commenced my PCT which ended on the 28/05.

My first issue was starting the anavar 2 weeks prior to starting the test (Ill advice received and I acknowledge this mistake).

I also failed to obtain a blood test prior to the cycle (no excuse for that and it was a stupid decision).
I however obtained a blood test 4 weeks into the cycle which showed the following (apologies for the measurements - I’m an Aussie):

  • Testosterone Level: >35.0 nmol/L (cut off point)
  • Oestradiol Level: <100 pmol/L
  • Total PSA: 0.4 ug/L
  • SHBG: 9.8 nmol/L
  • LH: <0.5 IU/L
  • FSH: <0.5 IU/L

I finished my cycle and neglected to obtain post cycle blood work (another stupid decision I acknowledge).

Forward now 5 months down the track I decided to obtain a blood test with the intention of completing a Test E only cycle in the new year. My bloods came back with some very poor results indicating my levels are extremely low:

  • Testosterone Level: >5.1 nmol/L (cut off point)
  • Oestradiol Level: <100 pmol/L
  • Total PSA: 0.2 ug/L
  • SHBG: 32.8 nmol/L
  • LH: <1.0 IU/L
  • FSH: <1.9 IU/L

Now my doctor has advised that I should wait it out - that Clomid/Nolva or HCG treatment is unlikely to provide any real benefit. She advised that I’m just one of those people who are very slow at recovery compared to others who just bounce back.

I’m looking for any advice in regards to my situation, I have read through countless posts and forums however thought it would be better to post up my circumstances.

Should I look at trying a HPTA recovery protocol of HCG, Nolva and Clomid? Or should I start a run of Clomid? Or would it be better to wait it out?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I also acknowledge I’ll probably receive a bit of roasting for a few poor decisions.




Taking the anavar before starting the test isn’t an issue in terms of your recovery.

Your cycle appears to be fairly well planned, the PCT would not be considered inadequate, however you don’t appear to have recovered. **How do you feel now in comparison to how you felt before running the cycle?

As you didn’t get bloodwork before starting this is the only thing you can go on to determine if your levels are roughly back to where they used to be. You could have been low before cycle. Erections/libido/energy/mood

I don’t understand some of the results on your most recent bloodwork.

What is your Oestradiol at?

If it is elevated this could be causing the suppression to LH/FSH. If there is no explanation for the low LH/FSH, such as elevated E2, then you might want to discuss HPTA recovery with your doctor again. As it has been 5 months since you have taken anything it seems unlikely you are going to recover without some help.


Thanks for the response pex86, I appreciate you trying to help!

I do feel different now in comparison to how I felt before I ran the cycle. My erections are less frequent - no morning wood anymore, however I have no problem with erections during sex. My libido has definitely decreased aswell. My mood has changed, I’ve been a bit depressed (could be due to other things going on I guess) and lacking motivation or drive to do anything.
I’ve found that my energy levels are down, but not heavily different. I’m still been able to train well in the gym (later at night too), but I have definitely felt more tired then usual.

Unfortunately the blood tests have these annoying cut off points, so the Oestradial was just cut off at <100. I also meant to write Test 5.1 nmol/L.

I’ve attached a copy of the blood tests.

It looks as though I may need to see a different doctor or an endocrinologist and get some more detailed blood tests done ? Or is there a protocol that can be recommended based on the results I currently have ?

Thanks once again!


Hi Logan,

So its saying you are under 100pmol/L for estrogen? If so then its not elevated which is good.

I am not a doctor so please bare that in mind when reading the following. I am just a random guy on the internet.

If i was going to try something myself then i would just run nolvadex for 6 weeks 20/20/20/20/10/10eod. Keep an eye on estrogen as you might want to use some arimidex if that gets elevated.

I wouldnt use HCG right now. It would almost certainly increase T levels but it will also shut down you own LH production which is the opposite of what we want to do.

Get testosterone tested whilst using the SERM and also 2-4 weeks after discontinuing it. Obviously we want levels to increase whilst using the SERM and then stay normal after you have stopped taking it. If levels drop back down after a second PCT then i guess you would be looking at TRT or HCG monotherapy.

You might find yourself banging your head against a wall trying different doctors and endo’s. If you are able to have open discussion with the one you are currently using then i would stick with it. Just be respectful and ask for their thoughts on what ever you are thinking of trying.

What country are you in?


Hi Pex,

Thanks for the response.

Yes, that’s correct - my E doesn’t appear to be elevated.

Thanks for your input. I’ve read through a few different forums and found a couple of people in a similar situation. One guy seemed to increase his T and LH levels out of shutdown using a 2nd PCT 6 months post cycle consistenting of Clomid and Aromasin.
My understanding is there isn’t too much difference between Clomid or Nolva in this aspect as they both attempt to increase LH and subsequently Test levels ? So would it be more of a personal preference ?

Also do you think Aromasin would provide any benefit? I know it is a suicidal AI and if dosed too high It can cause a heap of low E issues, however it also has the prospect of increasing Test levels. Would it be worth running simultaneously?

Yeah I understand the doctors can be a bit like that. I’m in Aus and the doctor I see here is provided by our free needle exchange service which allows anonymity. However I don’t believe she is a specialist of any kind in this area.

Thanks once again for your input!


Try another PCT serm protocol as suggested, by pex. For me personally I have had best success with Nolva 20mg and clomid 25mg for at least 8 weeks. Everyones a little different, in how long is best for a PCT and what stuff to take.


Yeah as far as i am aware clomid and nolva are very similar. As you used Nolva previously you could try clomid this time around.

I have always used arimidex to control estrogen and do not know a lot about aromasin so couldn’t say if it would provide any advantage. Arimidex seems to be more commonly used in a TRT context also

The decisiion as to what you use may come down to what you can get hold of?

Hopefully a second PCT will get you back to normal!


Thanks for the advice mate.

I’ll try another PCT run and get bloods during and after to see how I go!


No problem Pex, thanks again for the input!

Getting hold of what I need isn’t too much of a problem. I’ll give a second PCT a shot and get some bloods during and after to see how it’s going.

Thanks once again for all the advice, I really appreciate it!


Was your Nolvadex from a legit source?
Either way - try running Clomid. It’s a better LH agonist than Nolvadex to begin with and some guys have success with one or the other. Just run the Clomid at 25/day which should be very tolerable and get bloods in a few weeks. If LH is back online you can continue for a few more weeks to get T levels back. I think this is your best bet right now. As others said - do not run HCG as it will only further suppress your system.


Aromasin is tricky-'you can blow past your sweet spot very easily. I would not run an AI unless you confirm your E2 is high and we can’t tell with the lab range posted.

Also - it’s not uncommon to take months to recover. What does strike me as strange was that your values are still so low after running a pretty solid PCT. this leads me to believe that either your Serm was bunk or you had low T to begin with. How were you feeling before your cycle? Any low T symptoms?


Hey Mate,

Thanks for the response!
First time I’d bought from that source and now I’m starting to think it may not have been legitimate quality.

I don’t believe I had any of the symptoms of low T pre cycle - so I don’t think that was an issue.

I have started Clomid at 25mg ED and Aromasin at 25mg EoD with both running for 2 weeks now. I’m going to increase the Clomid dose to 50mg today and see how I take to it.
I’m looking to get bloods sometime next week and guage any progress or changes needed from there. I am concerned about driving my E too low with the AI, but I do feel 100x better at the moment possibly because of the T raising effects of Aromasin.


You shoukd be fine. I went through a very similar experience and Clomid was way better than Nolvadex (although I suspected my Nolvadex source as well).

Two quick things - 1) your Aromasin dose is high - the normal PCT dose is 12.5mg EOD. Watch out for low Estro sides and 2) Clomid sides come out of nowhere - you will be feeling great and then want to jump off a bridge. It affects everyone differently. My point is - I think you should stick to 25 mg/day and then run another 2 weeks if you need to rather than up the dose. Just my opinion / experience.


Yeah it should be okay - Nice learning curve from my first cycle though.

I have felt much better with the Clomid but I’ll keep the dose at 25mg ED at least until I get bloods as I know I can tolerate that dose wth no sides. Last thing I’d want is to be going through all that over the holiday period haha.

With regards to the Aromasin dose have you experienced much difference between 12.5mg or 25mg EoD? From the medical journals I read regarding its use there wasn’t too much more suppression of Estrogen between the 2 doses however the higher dose had a greater increase on Test and LH/ FSH levels?

It will be much easier once I get bloods and can see where my levels are all at and change any dosing accordingly! Thanks for all your advice, I really appreciate it!



For anyone interested I’ve just got my blood work back halfway through a 7 week second PCT to attempt to get me out of shutdown.

My results came back really good:

  • Test Has increased dramatically
  • FSH and LH are higher however could still use a little bit of improvment.
  • SHBG is much lower aswell and now in the 20s which is good too!

I have a few weeks left of Clomid at 25mg ED and Aromasin at 12.5mg EOD. I’ll get new bloods a few weeks after finishing and hopefully my levels remain high and haven’t crashed!


keep us posted, this topic is interesting and helpful


Good to see some improvement - how do you feel?

Not to be negative but Testosterone and LH are still quite low especially considering you are using a SERM at the time the bloods were taken. However this will hopefully continue to improve and if it is stable after discontinuing the SERM use you should be good.