T Nation

Wondering If This Is Good Progress in Lab Results?


Been on TRT since late May, have had some ups and downs, as expected, but overall feel pretty decent. Protocol is 50mg Test Cyp, IM, 2X week, Monday AM, Thursday PM (100mg total), 500iu hCG 3X/week, .5mg Adex 2X/week.

Had labs done back in July:
TT: 1010 ng/dL (RR is 265-916) (Took Test Cyp in morning, blood was taken in afternoon)
FreeT: 185 pg/mL (RR 33-227)
BioT: 433 ng/dL (RR 131-682)
SHBG: 50.2nmol/L (RR 19-76)
E2(sens.) 56 pg/mL (RR 11-43) Previous from late May was 41.

Then had labs repeated in mid-August. (Had not had Thursday’s injection when blood taken)
TT: 520 ng/dL (RR is 265-916)
FreeT: 96 pg/mL (RR 33-227)
BioT: 235 ng/dL (RR 131-682)
SHBG: 38.5 nmol/L (RR 19-76)
E2(sens.) 42 pg/mL (RR 11-43) Previous from late May was 41.

Again, overall I feel decent but am wondering if I’m in the optimum range of T levels or should I ask to have my dose of Test Cyp increased. I want to thrive, not merely “tread water”.

On a positive note, my endo cares more how I feel than what the numbers are. I’m 49, reasonably fit, strength train 3X/week and do varying cardio 3-4X/week.


Your Free T is not optimal, it needs to be at least high normal. I’m not fond of HCG and AI’s, they just take away benefits of TRT by creating estrogen then needing a drug to counteract. These AI’s have side effects and can degrade TRT benefits.

If fertility is no concern, then HCG in unnecessary, if you want children at a later date, revisit HCG at this time, but right now it might causing problems because some men don’t tolerate it.

When I have estrogen above range I feel mediocre, decent but not optimal. The proper range mens estrogen is <35, you are using the Roche ECLIA methodology, the Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry is more sensitive and appropriate for men.

Man your E2 is up there for being on 1mg per week of anastrozole and only taking 100mg of T. But if you need, then you need it, looks like you do, at least for now.

Numbers are as I would expect for your dosing schedule and amount, other than the anastrozole.

I actually love the hCG for the fullness of the boys and, without TMI, it gives me fantastic loads, like I’m 18 again and the wife loves the big “presents” too.

Maybe I can cut back the hcg to 2X/week? I noticed my SHBG has dropped almost 12 points, as well, and as I understand, lower is better? Also, I’d like to discontinue the Adex, but am having fluid retention issues.

Would upping the T dose increase the free T? Or would I likely just aromatize it?


Lower SHBG is not better, low SHBG is associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

SHBG transports sex hormones regulating the access of these hormones to their target tissues, SHBG even transports insulin which is why low levels are associated diabetes.

This is the drawback to using HCG, you cannot discontinue Arimidex as long as you’re on HCG.

If you increase your T dosage, water retention may become more of an issue. Try lowering the HCG to the minimum dosage that provides good results and increase the T dosage. Keep the AI dosage the same.

You can also increase injections frequencies of both T and HCG, this will lower estrogen on both fronts and may eliminate water retention issues. You might be able to decrease the AI dosage or possibly eliminate it if you dose frequently enough.

It is the experience of many, the smaller the T dosage, the less impact of aromatization.

I’ve been trying to gain better free T levels while controlling E2. It’s been almost a month since I increased my Test Cyp dose from 100mg a week (2-50mg injections on Monday and Thursday) to 140mg (70mg on Mon and Thurs.). I also decreased my hCG from 500iu 3X/week to 350iu 2/x week and have been taking 0.5mg Adex (.25mg on days of injections).

I just had new blood work and they did a non-sensitive E2. Injection was on Monday morning, blood draw was Tuesday morning:

TT - 775 (300-890 ng/dL)
Free T - 196.2 (47.0-244.0 pg/mL)
SHBG 27 (19-76 nmol/L)
E2 - 7 (11-43 pg/mL) non-sensitive

It looks like the Adex has tanked my E2 so that explains why I’ve been feeling crappy for the last few weeks. Should I drop the Adex and see if I get a better balance of E2 and Test levels? Anyone have any other suggestions?


Drop the AI and drop the HCG.

Drop the Adex for sure. Drink a beer before bed for a week if you want to cut some time on the crashed E2 coming back up. You can try the hcg without AI as it may bring E2 up quicker and see how it goes.

Your FT is 27.68 ng/dL (16-31 ng/dL) which puts you close to the top, too bad you can’t tell us how you feel with these TT and FT numbers when E2 isn’t crushed.

Most of the current testing available to some of us uses inaccurate methods to get FT numbers and can be inaccurate by 40%.

It makes my recommendation on dosing hard because this is a game of results, not just numbers.

If you came in here with, “I never felt better in my life”, well then the numbers mean something now. When I feel amazing, I want to see what that looks like on paper so I can move the goalposts.

I had elevated E2 a few months back, hence the reason for the Dr. prescribing the Adex. But I felt good (certainly better than I do now) and really the only symptoms were water retention, elevated BP, and elevated heart rate but not debilitating.

Is it plausible that since I reduced the hCG dose, that allowed my E2 to drop “naturally” and the Adex made it bottom out?

Also, I’ve noticed my SHBG have gone down as well. In mid-July they were 50.2nmol/L (RR 19-76) and now they’re at 27. I suspect I don’t want them to go much lower?

Anyway, thanks so much for the continuing advice. I think I’ll drop the Adex and see how I feel in a few weeks and then maybe get new labs in a month or so.

Wouldn’t the conversion be 19.62 ng/dL or is there a specific conversion calculation for testosterone?

The HCG is more than likely increase estrogen therefore water retention causing high BP, decrease HCG dosage. I found AI’s to only cause me problems, even at 1/4 of an anastrozole 0.050 dosage.

Not using the Tru-T calculator, this is the only one you should be using, all the other are garbage.

You’re welcome.

I read on another forum that zinc supplements can lower E2 and I’ve been taking 50mg starting about 2 weeks back.

Has anyone here heard that?

Yes there’s a few things like zinc, dim, etc that can drop E2 so you have to be careful with them. I’ve seen people post warm lemon water having a decent AI effect.

Thank you, sir! I wish my endo had told me this. I’m betting the Adex dropped my E2 and then when I started the zinc, that further lowered it.

I’m realizing the TRT road is awash is pot holes, LOL.

Last week I discovered I had tanked my E2, which was 7 (11-43 pg/mL) non-sensitive. I stopped the Adex but a week later I still feel pretty bad. Elevated heart rate, very poor sleep, and general fatigue. The sleep issue is really bad. I have a device that goes under my mattress that measures sleep quality and my Delta and REM stages suck.

I’ve tried the beer thing but still just feel out of it. I know everyone is different but any idea how long before my E2 rebounds?

One to two months.

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