Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Profile
In this profile I will firstly talk about what HCG is and then discuss how to use it (reconstitution, injecting etc..)/when it can be used. There seems to be some confusion as to its use, but this article should help you to decide how much to use and when, for maximum results.
What is HCG and how can it be used?
As you may or may not know, HCG comes in power form and needs to be diluted with bacteriostatic water (sterile water can be used for a one off injection, but for several injections over many weeks/months, bacteriostatic water must be used), for injection subcutaneously or intramuscularly. How does it work? In short, HCG mimics LH (luteinizing hormone) in the body, meaning it stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone (via the leydig cells), even when there are no or very low levels of natural LH circulating around the body. It is therefore used to maintain testosterone levels and testicle size (testicle size usually decreases when the body’s natural testosterone production shuts down) during a steroid cycle for example.
It use is not limited to when on cycle, as it can also be used off-cycle to perform the same actions, for example in cases of secondary hypogonadism, where levels of LH are too low. Many physicians now prescribe HCG as part of a TRT/HRT protocol (usually alongside testosterone and an AI).
HCG confusion – Should it be used during PCT?
Where the confusion begins is if HCG should be used during PCT? Most say no (I will discuss why below), however my view is slightly different to that, as I think it has its place in the early stages of PCT. If HCG has been used during the cycle then you may not need to use it at the start of your PCT as your testicles won’t be ‘shut down’, however a single shot (no more than 1,000iu) once the steroids are out of your system can be used if you feel it necessary. If you haven’t used HCG during your cycle, then for the first week after the steroids are out of your system you can use it (Monday 500iu – Wednesday 500iu – Friday 500iu) – this will kickstart everything and then allow you to proceed with your normal PCT protocol. My PCT advice is different to most others – again this is based on both science and personal experience. For my advised PCT click here.
To find out when a steroid will be out of your system go to: Steroidplot.com – you can enter in the type of steroid, the ester, the dose and the cycle length and it will calculate how long before the compound(s) is out of your system.
Why do some suggest against using it as part of PCT? Simply because unlike other PCT meds such as Clomid and Nolvadex, it doesn’t stimulate LH production, it merely replaces it and therefore supposedly does nothing for recovery. However, used at the start of PCT in the protocol mentioned above, it can really help to get your HPTA firing again and hopefully allow you to recover quickly.
How much HCG should be used?
This will vary depending on the circumstances (during a cycle, post cycle, HRT/TRT), but it doesn’t really vary that much.
During a steroid cycle: Begin with 250iu twice per week (Monday and Thursday for example) and see what effect that has. After a few weeks if your testicles haven’t shrunk then you know this dose it too small and up it to 500iu twice a week.
Post-cycle: A single 1500ui shot if HCG has not been used during the cycle, or three shots of 500iu in the first week after the steroids have cleared your system if it has been used (optional).
HRT/TRT: this will depend on your regimen and the dosages of the other other medications you are taking, but usually 250-500iu is taken twice a week (once every 3.5 days – Monday morning and Thursday evening for example).
Side effects of HCG usage
As with all medications and drugs the side effects experience will vary from person to person, but on the whole there are two main negative effects from HCG usage.
1) Gynecomastia (aka bitch tits): as you will know, excess testosterone gets converted to estrogen via the aromatase enzyme. As HCG increases the levels of testosterone, this may result in excess estrogen levels that may, if left too high for too long, cause the formation of gynecomastia. Of course, it is only usually high doses of HCG that cause this, but all users of HCG should be aware of this and have some nolvadex at hand to treat it if required.
2) Leydig cell desensitisation: using too much HCG for too long can cause leydig cell desensitisation (the leydig cells are located in the testicles and are responsible for producing testosterone) – this means that they won’t be as sensitive to or respond at all to your natural LH when the HCG is withdrawn, resulting in lower than normal testosterone levels. This can be reversed, but it is not guaranteed. As with will all drugs, a less is more and cautious approach is best. I have seen some high-profile/professional bodybuilders advise taking 5,000iu several times a week for a few weeks post cycle, but to me this is just asking for problems.
Reconstitution & Injecting HCG
There are two types of HCG you can purchase: Pharma grade and that made by underground labs. Pharma grade will come in a small vial with 1ml of sterile water, as it medically supposed to be used in one injection; UG HCG will come in a larger vial. Either way you will need to purchase bacteriostatic water to mix with the HCG. To reconstitute follow these instructions:
Pharma grade: Draw up 0.5ml of BAC water into your syringe. Break the ampoule containing the HCG power. Inject the bBAC water into the power until it is all dissolved. Draw up the HCG/BAC water solution and inject it into your larger vial of BAC water.
UGL: Draw up 0.5ml of BAC water into your syringe. Inject into the vial containing the HCG power. Let it dissolve then draw it and inject it back into your BAC water vial.