Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone produced by cells that are surrounding a growing embryo (syncitiotrophoblast initially) , which eventually forms the placenta after implantation. HCG is also found in a woman’s urine and blood during pregnancy. The pituitary analogue of HCG, known as luteinizing hormone (LH), is produced in the pituitary gland of males and females of all ages.
What is HCG used for when bodybuilding?
HCG is the fastest way to restore testicular function and recovery from a steroid cycle. Although it is not necessary with some cycles and novice users (depending on the strength and length of a cycle), it is one of those things that is better to have if you can get it, especially for heath reasons during a cycle of AAS.
HCG is what synthetic testosterone is to natural testosterone, it mimics luteinizing hormone. Luteinizing hormone (or commonly referred to as “LH”) is the hormone that signals the testes to produce testosterone.
This is why HCG is commonly used in post cycle therapy and/or during testosterone replacement therapy. The other major reason for using HCG is it minimizes testicular shrinkage from steroids.
HCG sends the signal to the testes to continue to produce LH. When it comes to the discontinuation of testosterone you have what is called primary hypogonadism and secondary hypogonadism.
Let’s actually talk about secondary hypogonadism first since this is more common. Secondary hypogonadism is when the pituitary gland or hypothalamus stops producing testosterone or stops producing as much testosterone.
The use of HCG in this case is intended to bring LH levels back and help you begin producing your own testosterone again.
Primary hypogonadism is when the testes do not function properly at all. This isn’t the case with most men.
Unlike secondary hypogonadism where the brain isn’t sending the signal to the testes (often due to synthetic testosterone cycling), primary hypogonadism is when testicular function itself no longer works but the signal from the brain is still evident.
You can mimic LH production and follicle stimulating hormone within the testes despite the absence of “natural LH and FSH” the same way we mimic testosterone levels despite the absence of testosterone actually produced by our own bodies.
What that basically means is that you’re still able to produce sperm and retain testicular function even if you’re on testosterone replacement therapy, and fertility can still be maintained by doing so in most men.
What is the dosage of HCG that should be used?
There are two ways to use HCG while cycling and 2 ways to use it while on long-term Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT);
The first way is to use a smaller amount throughout the cycle (or throughout TRT) to maintain testicular function on a steady basis.
Usually 250 iu per week is the common dose if using HCG during a cycle or during TRT. If your using HCG during cycle, then the use of HCG is not necessary when coming off cycle or during TRT at any time.
The second way to use HCG is to inject it at higher dosages in shorter intervals, and use it every so often if you’re on TRT. A lot of people will use a 5,000 iu vial in a 2-week period, once every 10-12 weeks during Testosterone replacement therapy (1250 iu 2x/week for 2 weeks).
You may ask yourself why it’s commonly run in 2 different manners and there are a couple reasons for that.
For starters, HCG has a shelf life of about 30 days once it’s mixed with bacteriostatic water. A lot of vials come in 5,000 iu vials, so your HCG is going to go bad before using it all, if you were to run 250 iu a week steady throughout.
The next point to this is that some users feel that it takes a more substantial amount of HCG per injection to really stimulate the testes and this falls more along the lines of cosmetic reasons rather than fertility reasons (users do not want to see their testes shrink during AAS use).
For fertility reasons, running HCG throughout is suggestively the better route to go because you’re constantly stimulating the follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone without backing off intermittently.
How to mix and administer HCG safely?
The easiest way to inject HCG is to use a 1 ml insulin syringe. You will need some bacteriostatic water (if the vial does not come with the water) and if the vial is 5,000 iu or just 2,000 iu, you will mix 1 ml of bacteriostatic water into your vial of powder. (When mixing be sure to add the water slowly and then rotate clockwise gently until all the powder is dissolved in the liquid).
A 1 ml insulin syringe has marks on the side of it that start at 10 and follow with 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100. So if 100 units of water represents 5,000 iu of HCG, then you know that for every 10 mark on the syringe it’s 500 iu of HCG once it’s drawn into the syringe.
Therefore, if you wanted to use 250 iu each week, then you’d fill to 5 clicks on the insulin pin (halfway to the 10 mark) and inject it.
It is best to inject the day before your Testosterone shot, since this is the day your test levels will fall the lowest during your cycle.
The HCG will help raise the Testosterone levels in your body and it’s 72-hour life will carry over halfway through the week and this is enough to avoid testicular atrophy.
It is suggested the same for guys on TRT, just administer a 250 iu shot the day before your steroid injection.
If you only take one injection of Testosterone every 2 weeks, then you’ll need to do it twice in that 2-week period.
If your taking HCG every once in a while on TRT or using it strictly for 2 weeks post cycle, then you’d want to fill to the 25 unit mark on your pin.
(There really is no “25 unit” mark on an insulin syringe, so it’s the “20 mark” plus 5 units and inject that twice a week evenly spaced apart (ie; Mon/Thurs) 25 iu x 4 = 5,000 iu HCG, so 2 weeks of HCG at 2,500 iu per week.)
The reason you will want to switch injections to twice a week when using HCG, is because HCG can make you Gynaecomastia prone, if there is too much Oestrogen conversion while stimulating your Testosterone levels.
Remember that during HCG use, you will want to use an Aromatase inhibitor such as Arimistane or Arimidex at 1/2 mg every day for the 2 weeks, to insure you counterbalance any side effects and keep yourself at optimum health.